David Geringas, like his teacher Mstislav Rostropovich, earned a reputation as one of the finest cellists of his generation and then took up conducting, where he has also achieved acclaim.
As a cellist Geringas is known for his advocacy of music by Russian and former Soviet composers. Many have written works specifically for him, including Gubaidulina (whose Cello Concerto Geringas recorded), Erkki-Sven Tüür, Peteris Vasks, and Estonian composer Lepo Sumera. Geringas also plays many standards by Boccherini, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and others. As a soloist Geringas has appeared with many of the major orchestras, including the Berlin and London philharmonics, the Philadelphia and Detroit symphony orchestras, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He also regularly appears in chamber music concerts with his wife, pianist Tatiana Geringas. As a conductor Geringas has been active in the new century, leading such ensembles as the Iceland Symphony, Danish NSO, Tokyo Philharmonic, as well as orchestras in Latvia, the Netherlands, and Mexico. Geringas has made 50 or so recordings, available on a range of labels, including BIS, Chandos, Delos, DG, Erato, Philips, RCA, and Teldec.
David Geringas was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 29, 1946. He studied cello at the Moscow Conservatory from 1963-1973, eight years of that period spent under the guidance of Rostropovich. Geringas won first prize in the 1970 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
In 1975 Geringas relocated to West Germany. Among his earliest recordings was the 1979 Eurodisc LP of the Haydn Second Cello Concerto and the Prokofiev Concertino. Geringas steadily built his career in the 1980s, appearing with major orchestras and in concerts with his wife. In 1989 he was awarded the Grand Prix du disque of the Charles Cros Academy for his acclaimed recording of the 12 Boccherini concertos, on the Claves label. Additional awards would follow, including the 1994 Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, for his recording of the cello concertos of Hans Pfitzner, on CPO.
From 2000, Geringas has been professor of cello at the Berlin-based Hanns Eisler Academy of Music. His conducting activity turned busier after 2000: Geringas has served as chief guest conductor of the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra in Japan since 2005. He debuted on the podium with numerous orchestras from around that time, including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (2007). Geringas' later recordings include the 2010 Sony Classical CD of Chopin works for cello and piano, with pianist Ian Fountain.