A native of Philadelphia, David Gillis began his musical training with piano and theory lessons; at eight, he began violin lessons with Czeslawa Ozga, a student of Dounis. He joined the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra as its youngest member and later became its concertmaster.
Mr. Gillis earned his bachelor's degree in music from Temple University, where he studied violin with Joseph Primavera and chamber music with Edgar Ortenberg. He performed throughout the Philadelphia area in the Temple University String Quartet, and spent three summers with the Colorado Philharmonic. In 1969, Mr. Gillis joined the Milwaukee Symphony, serving as associate principal second violinist until 1972, when he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Mr. Gillis is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Quartet, with whom he has appeared extensively in the Pittsburgh area since 1976. His love of chamber music and interest in young people has led him to coach numerous student ensembles as well as maintain a busy teaching schedule. Mr. Gillis has also served on various committees of the Pittsburgh Symphony Society's New Leadership Board (Fiddlesticks, Side-By-Side and Education) and is currently the PSO Ambassador to the North Allegheny School District. He plays a violin made by G.B. Gabrielli dating from 1760.
Mr. Gillis resides in the North Hills with his wife, Carol, and their two children, Colin and Brendan. He enjoys traveling, reading, golf and flyfishing.