David Pearl began playing the cello in grade school in San Jose and took private lessons through college. His first time playing chamber music was in high school, learning the first movement of the Beethoven Op. 18 No. 4 quartet with classmates in the school orchestra, and later the first movement of the Ravel piano trio (which he, the school orchestra's principal violinist, and her piano teacher mother, bravely performed at their church).
In his sophomore year at UC Berkeley he took a chamber music class taught by a violinist from the Oakland Symphony, who coached his group weekly on the Debussy string quartet. Subsequently his newly formed quartet began busking on San Francisco street corners. They’d pile into a decrepit 1940 Packard ambulance with their instruments, stands and folding chairs and drive across the Bay Bridge. Even though his academic focus in college was political theory (this was Berkeley in the early 1970s) the university paid for his lessons with one of the great cello pedagogues, Margaret Rowell, and, when Margaret was away for 3 months, with the famous Dutch baroque cellist Anner Bylsma.
Rather than play in an orchestra, David prefers to play chamber music with an assortment of wonderful musicians, primarily in Washington DC and also in New York City, where he has a second apartment. He is a regular participant every summer in the Chamber Music Conference (formerly known as Bennington).
David has served as Vice-Chair of ACMP and Treasurer of the ACMP Foundation. He is retired from a 30-year career in finance—first as an investment banker in New York City with the First Boston Corporation, Kidder Peabody, and Goldman Sachs, and then as a financial regulator in Washington DC with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, where he was a founding staffer (the fifth employee of an organization that now has over 600). David is currently the president of his 195 unit condominium in Washington DC.