The American harpsichordist, David Cates, studied piano, counterpoint, music and tuning theory in Chicago with Easley Blackwood, and piano in New York with Jacob Lateiner. Though largely self-taught on the harpsichord he has studied privately with Edward Parmentier and Roger Goodman.
David Cates is rapidly becoming recognized as one of today's most unique and important artists performing on the harpsichord. His playing has been described by critics as unique, sensual, brilliant, moving, revealing, honest, and always emotionally connected to the music he performs. His solo recordings on the Wildboar label of Froberger and J.S. Bach have met with widespread critical acclaim. The 2002 Classical Music Listener's Companion calls him one of the 20 most important harpsichordists available on recordings today; "an unusual interpreter" and an "outstanding talent". He is perhaps the only harpsichordist to have also played the entire Schubert lieder opus, as well as Charles Ives' Concord Sonata.
David Cates performs both internationally and within the USA, primarily as a soloist. Based in Berkeley, California, he is also the co-leader of the baroque ensemble Chiaroscuro, along with the well-known baroque violinist and erstwhile duo partner Elizabeth Blumenstock.