David Hurd was born in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up in Queens, attending both the High School of Music and Art and the Juilliard School before finishing as an organ major at Oberlin College. His principal graduate work was done in organ performance at U.N.C., Chapel Hill. He has as various times served as Assistant Organist of Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, and as Director of Music at the Church of the Intercession, All Saints Church, and the Church of the Holy Apostles, all in Manhattan. He has been a faculty member at The General Theological Seminary since 1976 and has been Professor of Church Music and Director of Chapel Music since 1984. He has held regular and adjunct faculty appointments also at Duke University, the Manhattan School of Music, Westminster Choir College and Yale University.
In 1977 he was awarded first prizes both in organ playing and in improvisation at the International Congress of Organists. In 1981 he was invited to perform at the Internationaal Orgelfestival Haarlem, meeting in Gouda, the Netherlands, during which he received the diploma for improvisation of the Stichting Internationaal Orgelconcours. He has concertized widely under the representation of Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists for over 30 years, and has participated in the adjudication of many local, national and international competitions in the areas of organ performance, improvisation and composition.
He has received doctorates, honoris causa, from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, The Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, CA, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL., and from the University of the South, Sewanee, TN. He has received numerous recognitions including the Distinguished Composer Award for 2010 of the American Guild of Organists, and The African Diaspora Sacred Music Living Legend Award, 2011, by California State University, Dominguez Hills, and the Georgia & Nolan Payton Archive for the Study of African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians.
Dr. Hurd is an active composer with a considerable catalogue of published choral and organ works. His liturgical works are known internationally and ecumenically. Premieres of his commissioned works have been in such major New York venues as Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, and Trinity Church (Wall Street). Works of his have also been premiered at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
In another sphere of music-making Dr. Hurd performs regularly with Chelsea Winds, a recorder consort of which he was a founding member in 1993 and for which he has arranged much music.