David Cotter

  • Prices: £25 per hour
  • Location: Cambridge CB4 3BS / Mobile & Online Teacher
  • Instrument(s) Taught: Guitar, Clarinet, Music Theory
  • Ages: Children (5+) & Adults
  • Genres Covered: Classical, Jazz, Pop, Rock
  • Contact: [email protected]

Teacher's Biography:

As an educator, David has taught hundreds of pupils over the last 10 years and draws on his extensive knowledge of instrumental techniques, musical interpretation, performance skills, harmony, posture, and physical awareness in his classical guitar teaching practice.

As a guitarist, David frequently performs around the UK and has given lecture-recitals around the world. He possesses a rich repertoire of Baroque, Classical, Contemporary, Latin-American, Percussive, Popular, Romantic, and Spanish music, and has made over 100 concert appearances in a variety of venues, from the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon. He gave the world premiere of the first-ever piece for classical guitar and virtual reality headset at the EXPO Festival (St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford), and has ).
Passionate about ensemble performance, David frequently collaborates with cellists, choirs, clarinettists, composers, electronics, flautists, guitarists, guitar orchestras, harpists, percussionists, pianists, recorder players, singers, and violinists. He has shared the stage with notable artists such as Dame Emma Kirkby and the Military Wives, and performs as one half of Duo Palatino, with mezzo-soprano Sophie Kidwell.

As an academic, David is currently reading for his PhD in Music in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Professor John Rink. His thesis is entitled 'The Collaborative Guitar' – exploring the past, present, and future of the guitar as a collaborative instrument, and theories of performer-performer collaborative creativity.
He has given lecture-recitals (Cambridge, Hong Kong, and Portugal), delivered papers (Belgium, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and Middlesex University), co-authored a book chapter (with Professor Marc Estibeiro, Staffordshire University), co-organised a conference (The Classical Musician in the 21st Century conference, University of Cambridge), and built self-playing guitar robots (RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion, University of Oslo, Norway).

Music Qualifications / Achievements:

  • PhD in Music (in progress) (University of Cambridge)
  • MPhil in Music Studies (High Pass) (University of Cambridge)
  • BA in Music (1st Class Honours) (University of Durham)
  • A-Level Music (A)
  • GCSE Music (A)
  • Classical Guitar – Grade 8 (Distinction)
  • Clarinet – Grade 8


To book your first lesson with me, or to find out more about my lessons, don't hesitate to get in touch by emailing me on [email protected].

DBS Certification

Enhanced DBS

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Teacher's Website




Teacher's Location

You can see where I teach my lessons from in the Google Map below, my full teaching address will be disclosed on booking your first lesson. I am also a mobile music teacher so can travel to you to teach you in the comfort of your own home – for more information simply get in touch.

7 reviews for David Cotter


…highlight of the recital was the Villa-Lobos with excellent dynamic range and absolutely lovely melodic playing…

Durham University – Music Department


…expressive and competent playing, with a nice variety of styles…

Durham University – Music Department -Head of Department


…we enjoyed your performance of the Lennox Berkeley Four Pieces…looking forward to your next recital…


…it was such a privilege to be with you last evening…we were enchanted by the versatility of you both and the imaginative programme…you are a most talented duo…

Duo Palatino Concert


…it was a real pleasure to be there and to be treated to such a delightful programme…looking forward to next year…

Duo Palatino Concert


…congratulations to David and Sophie on their debut concert…a beautiful evening…

Duo Palatino Concert


The festival commenced on Saturday lunchtime with a guitar recital given by David Cotter in the relaxed surroundings of the Eliot House Hotel. David launched his recital with a Prelude from one of Bach’s cello suites and concluded with a performance of the mighty D minor Chaconne from the 2nd Partita for solo violin. The chaconne has gained something of the status of an icon of western art comparable with Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel roof. So what a rare opportunity to experience it in the intimate setting of Liskeard’s Eliot House Hotel! Between these two icons of the Bach canon David included an eclectic range of pieces most of which had something of an interior monologue about them ‘La huida de los amantes’ by the contemporary Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, the Prelude No3 by Heitor Villa Lobos, the renowned, though anonymous, Spanish Romance and most notably Sofia Gubaidulina’s Serenade, an early piece from 1960. David sounded almost apologetic for including this modernist piece but actually I found it to be a highlight of the programme and the piece that most justified the title of the programme ‘Bach to the Future’…. David informed us that Gubaidulina has been quoted as saying ‘Bach is my constant devotion in life’ and this was clear if not from the tonal universe of the music from its extreme introspection. In the Serenade one can hear the influence of Shostakovich, the sparseness (in his chamber music) and the use of extreme registers (surely inherited from late Beethoven) growling almost exclusively in the lower registers at the outset before progressing quite suddenly via a simple scale to an ethereal ending in the stratosphere. There could not be a clearer representation of spiritual ascent than this step by step climbing up a ladder into the heights, beautifully executed in this performance. This composer is not just communing with herself but with her God in precisely the same way as did JS Bach throughout his life & career. The rest of the programme was taken up with Fernando Sor’s Magic Flute Variations and the Polka Dance of Johan Kaspar Mertz. David owned to the Sor being his favourite piece in the programme – and it showed! He played with great verve, particularly in the last 3 variations. David Cotter has an impeccable academic pedigree and plays with assiduous attention to nuance and detail. His understanding of the works he plays compels us to listen. There is something profoundly meditative about his playing.

East Cornwall Bach Festival

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