David Balakrishnan, composer/violinist and founder of the Grammy winning Turtle Island Quartet, was born in Los Angeles, California in 1954. After graduating from UCLA in 1976, he quickly established his reputation as a talented young improvising violinist, appearing on many recordings and making guest appearances with the David Grisman Quartet and jazz violin legend Stephane Grappelli. Under his direction, Turtle Island has won two Grammy awards and David himself has been nominated six times, the most recent being a 2015 nomination in the instrumental composition category for his piece, “Confetti Man”. Several distinguished musicians have played with the TIQ, including clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, guitar legends Leo Kottke and the Assad brothers, pianists Billy Taylor, Kenny Barron, Cyrus Chestnut and Ramsey Lewis, singers Tierney Sutton and Nellie McKay and the Ying Quartet. Considered an important musician/composer, in 2015 David was awarded Chamber Music America’s prestigious Classical Commissioning Program grant, supporting a full- length work commemorating the quartet’s 30th anniversary season.