Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
David Cohen
BBT Fellowship 2004

David Cohen - Biography

David Cohen received support from BBT between 2004 and 2005.  For an up-to-date biography, go to

David Cohen is also a member of David Trio

Born in the Belgian town of Tournai, cellist David Cohen made his solo debut with the Belgium National Orchestra at nine. He studied at Brussels Conservatorie before four years at the Yehudi Menuhin School, followed by a four-year Menuhin Foundation scholarship at London’s Guildhall, studying with Oleg Kogan and receiving the Gold Medal there.  He has won prizes in over 25 international cello competitions and, in addition to his Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship in 2004, he has been supported by the Guilhermina Suggia Gift, Ian Fleming Trust, SPES, KPMG Martin Scholarship, Hattori Foundation and Fondation SUISA.

His international solo career soon flourished with orchestras such as Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Philharmonia, Liege Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Lille, Zurich Chamber, Lausanne Chamber and Suisse Romande, Seoul Philharmonic and NHK Symphony. He has worked with such distinguished conductors as Lord Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Walter Weller, Sir Charles Mackerras, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Christoph von.Dohnanyí.

David was an ECHO “Rising Star” (2002-2003) and was, when appointed in March 2001, the Philharmonia’s youngest-ever principal player.  David is both artistic director of the chamber music festival ‘Les Sons Intensifs’ in Lessines, Belgium, and co-creator of ‘Concertando’ in Rome.  His recordings are available on the Forlane, Classic FM, Cypres-Records and LPO labels. An advocate of contemporary music, in July 2018 David premièred Gavin Higgins’ Gursky Landscapes with the Carducci Quartet at the Cheltenham Music Festival.  He is a member of the David Trio (also a Borletti-Buitoni Trust winner) and holds the position of Professor at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique de Mons in Belgium.

David plays the ‘Ex-Pergamenschikow’ Dominicus Montagnana cello circa 1735 courtesy of Mrs Pat Morton and the Razumovsky Trust.

From September 2022 David will become co-principal cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra, alongside Rebecca Gilliver

Last updated: November 2021

I am very happy and privileged to have received the Fellowship from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust. This award will be a significant help towards financing my studies and much more. I would like to thank all concerned at the BB Trust for all the help, support and encouragement given to me.

Photographs by Daniel Herendi