Donald Palma, a native New Yorker, is a founding member of Orpheus. Mr. Palma, who received his formal education at The Juilliard School, is a former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and former principal bass of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra.
As a chamber musician he has appeared in recital with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Jan DeGaetani and Jorge Bolet, and has performed with the Nash Ensemble, the Juilliard Quartet, the Da Camera of Houston, the First Monday Concerts in Boston, the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and the North Country Chamber Players. He has also performed at the Madeira Bach Festival, the Vermont Mozart Festival and the Colorado Music Festival.
With Speculum Musicae, the contemporary music group, he serves a double function as bassist and conductor and has appeared in both capacities at the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Geneva Festival, the Miami Festival, the New York Philharmonic Horizons Festival, the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center and the Fromm Concerts at Harvard. Mr. Palma has participated in the premieres of scores of compositions and has over twenty-five recordings of new works to his credit. He is currently the music director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory – where he conducts the New England Conservatory Chamber Orchestra – and Yale University.