American keyboardist David Breitman has gained recognition for performances on the fortepiano and the modern piano, and as an accompanist; he is one of the few pianists anywhere, and of still fewer in the U.S., whose expertise extends into all those realms. He is especially recognized for his collaboration with baritone Sanford Sylvan, which has been active for more than 30 years and has spawned hundreds of recitals and several CDs, ranging from standard fare like Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin, to the premiere recording of The Glass Hammer, a song cycle by the Cuban-American composer Jorge Martín. Breitman had his primary training in Montreal. He dropped out of music temporarily and completed a Bachelor's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but he became attracted to the piano once again and took lessons from Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory, where he received a Master's degree in 1981. His immersion in historical keyboard performance grew as he studied with Malcolm Bilson at Cornell University and was granted the DMA the following year.
Breitman is director of the Historical Performance Program at Oberlin College in Ohio, and he frequently gives master classes at other institutions. In addition to his numerous recordings with Sylvan, he has issued innovative recordings as a soloist. For the Canadian label Analekta he has recorded the Mozart violin sonatas on historical instruments with Jean-François Rivest. He was also a participant in a project, initiated by Bilson, that led to recordings (on the Claves label) of the complete Beethoven sonatas on historical pianos, featuring seven different pianists. The group not only recorded the music but toured en masse, traveling twice to Italy and performing at the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence in 1999, and for the Amici della Musica in Palermo in 2002. In 2014, Breitman began recording the Beethoven violin sonatas with Elizabeth Wallfisch, and in 2018, he released an album of Beethoven's cello sonatas with historically oriented cellist Jaap ter Linden. ~ James Manheim~ Rovi