David Mastrangelo, principal second violin of the Naples Philharmonic / Artis–Naples, plays like a man trying to win his lover’s heart. But we’re not so sure it’s a human heart he’s after. And David would be the first to tell you everything he does, he does for the glory of God.
He reminds us so very much of another David from long ago.
Mastrangelo began playing the violin at the age of 8 and began studying privately when he was 12, in his hometown of Syracuse, N.Y.
On a full scholarship at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, David studied with Emanuel Borok and was concertmaster under Ansel Brusilow, graduating with honors in 1990. He then attended Mannes College of Music in New York where he studied with Sally Thomas. From 1992 to 1994, he was co-concertmaster of the New World Symphony in Miami.
He joined the Naples Philharmonic in 1994 as assistant principal violin and was promoted to principal second violin in 2000.
David said he is blessed whenever he performs.
“Once I begin to play, I won’t be focused on anything but my music and my prayer,” he said in an interview with Linda Loomis of Syracuse.com. “I do this for the glory of God. Music is the only thing we have both in this world and in Heaven. I would like to touch my audience with its sacred power.”
Mastrangelo teaches at the Stringendo School for Strings at Palm Beach Atlantic University during the summer. He also creates arrangements for solo violin and string ensembles. He dedicates all recognition for his musical accomplishments to the glory of God.
Like King David of the bible, David Mastrangelo seems to be a man after God’s own heart. And again like David, he uses a stringed instrument in his quest. When Mastrangelo plays the violin, angels sing.
We’re quite sure of it. Listen for yourself.
Interview with David Mastrangelo
Naples Noteworthy had the honor of interviewing David Mastrangelo in preparation for the Storytellers Creative Arts Conference, which we’re featuring this month. We’re so grateful he took the time to answer our questions.
Naples Noteworthy: “When were you first drawn to music? Did that happen as a child?”
David Mastrangelo: “I am one of the the successful products of the music programs in the New York State public school system. I didn’ t start getting private lessons until the spring of my eighth grade year at school, which put me way behind other players, but that teacher took me to a summer music camp. There I heard kids from Dorothy Delay’s studio in the Juilliard pre-college program and that was what drove me to want to pursue the violin seriously.”
Naples Noteworthy: “What advice would you give an aspiring violinist who wants to play in the Naples Philharmonic?”
David Mastrangelo: “I would not advise anyone to pursue music as a profession unless they truly feel, deep down, that there is nothing else for them to do professionally for the rest of their lives. It’s far too difficult and the climate in America for professional musicians has been deteriorating for some time, marked by recent labor problems in many of our top 20 orchestras.”
Naples Noteworthy: “What are some of your favorite compositions, musicians, and influences?”
David Mastrangelo: “My favorite composer is J.S. Bach. He dedicated all of his compositions to the glory of God and was truly one of the greatest geniuses in the world of music. Despite being constantly underpaid and unappreciated he continued throughout his lifetime to compose some of the most complicated, yet beloved music. In fact, at the time of his death, he was well known as a virtuoso organist, but unknown as a composer. It was not until about 100 years after his death that Felix Mendelssohn discovered his works and staged Bach revival concerts that his compositions began to be widely performed.”
Naples Noteworthy: “What do you like to do in your leisure time?”
David Mastrangelo: “In my leisure time, you will most likely find me in the gym or home practicing. I just got my certification as a Spinning instructor and have competed in the Naples Fitness Triathlon the last 5 years. I also love studying the Bible and teach a Sunday school class every week at First Baptist Church.”
Naples Noteworthy: “How do you feel when you are playing the violin? What about before and after a performance?”
David Mastrangelo: “As far as feelings during a performance, it’s hard to describe. The best ones are where you’re so into the performance that all other things fade away and when you finish, it’s almost like waking up from a dream. That’s a hard state to get into and to maintain for an entire performance–it’s more mental than physical. However, if you haven’t done adequate physical preparation at home (practicing) you will never be able to achieve that great performance either.”
Evening of Music & Arts Concert
Mastrangelo will be featured at the Storytellers Creative Arts Conference Evening of Music & Arts Concert, along with guests Jaci Velasquez & Nic Gonzales. The concert will be held November 7 at 7 PM at the Covenant Church of Naples. Tickets may be obtained here.
“I’m grateful to Bill Barnett for putting together the Storytellers Conference each year,” Mastrangelo said to Naples Noteworthy. “It’s a great opportunity for people in our community to rub elbows with artists and enjoy great performances. I encourage all those out there to attend that are able.”