|June 10, 1950 - September 1, 2010|
David Skuse was the Director and Founder of Danubius.
He was a devoted violinist and multi-instrumentalist, having a presence in the Eastern European music and dance worlds from the '60s until the very end of his life.
Sadly, after a 2-year illness, David lost his battle with brain cancer.
Danubius in 2009
Throughout his life, David was continually involved with music or dance or both. Discovering Hungarian/Romanian/Gypsy violin while in college, it became his passion. David went to live in Hungary for a number of years, where he studied Hungarian language, folk music, and dance. He also spent time in Transylvania and Romania, and loved all these cultures. Over the years he performed with many groups, including The Silver String Macedonian Band, The Balkanizers, Westwind International Folk Ensemble, and several groups in Hungary. He also helped to start several orchestras, including the renowned Klezmorim. David preferred playing with small ensembles like Danubius because everyone is important.
Danubius was David's final project. Given the esoteric nature of the Danubius repertoire--music from countries along the Danube River--Hungary, Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria, little published music was available. David was instrumental in transcribing the notes from original recordings to create a large collection of sheet music. As Music Director, he also chose most of the repertoire and arranged the music for the group. David played his violin with great passion and with authentic style, true to the region of the music. Besides violin, David also played other instruments, including viola, gadulka, prim, dumbek, and even string bass on occasion.
David and Jutka were the Dynamic Duo, Hungarian style. The two of them often conversed in Hungarian and enjoyed singing Hungarian and Romanian songs together. They delighted audiences performing Hungarian couple dances as part of Danubius performances, but David stole the show with his boot-slapping solo men's dances from Transylvania.
David was a remarkable man with an amazing assortment of knowledge, skills and interests. We miss him.
This photo of David playing gadulka is from the 90's.