Drawn to music from the start, David began playing guitar when he was eight, composing in his teens, and working as a professional musician while still in college at Columbia University. Throughout a diverse and colorful career, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Garcia, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal, Brand New Heavies, Maria Muldaur, The McGarrigles, Chaka Khan, David Sanborn, Patti LuPone, The Chieftains, David Bromberg, Dr. John, Krishna Das, Renee Olstead and many others.
In the 1980’s, David was Director of Sales for the New England Digital Corporation, whose Synclavier Digital Music System led the digital revolution in the music/audio industry and literally transformed the way music is produced forever. He was part of a core management team that took this company from an obscure high tech firm in New England to the uncontested world leader in high end music recording technology, including several major financing rounds and growing the company from $300,000 to $25M per year in annual sales over a 5 year period. During this period, David was still able to be active in the music industry, composing music for records, TV and film.
In 1990, David teamed up with colleague Suzanne Ciani to compose the music and title theme for the ABC daytime classic One Life to Life, and has continued as OLTL’s principal composer and music producer to the present. David also has written title themes and underscore for CBS’ As the World Turns, as well as the score and title song for the film The Big Picture, starring Kevin Bacon and Martin Short. In 1995, he worked with legendary bass player Will Lee (David Letterman Show) to produce his own solo debut, From Here To Nichternity, a diverse and colorful collection of pop/jazz stylings, featuring several duets with sax great Michael Brecker.
David has been a student of the Shambhala Buddhist tradition of Tibetan Buddhism since 1970. He is currently a senior teacher in that tradition and has worked closely with his wife, Cyndi Lee (world renowned yoga teacher and founder of the OM yoga center in NYC), to develop yoga/meditation workshops, music especially designed for yoga classes, and a variety of media projects incorporating yoga, meditation and music --- starting with Cyndi’s highly successful series of instructional tapes, OM-yoga-in-a-box.
Creating his own record label was an inevitable next step for this multi-talented individual. David established Nudgie Music LLC as an umbrella company to produce and market a variety of musical/multi-media offerings --- Dharma Moon (a world fusion and alternative life style niche label), and more recently 5 Points Records (a more commercial mainstream label aimed at electronica, dance and pop markets). Also under the company’s umbrella is a publishing company (Nudgie Tunes LLC), a full services music production company (with a studio/office complex set up in NYC), and a licensing division for exploiting master tracks and publishing rights in records, film and TV.
David Nichtern is an unusual fusion of proven creative and business skills. He is also a highly regarded dharma teacher and is a living example of the possibility of fully integrating spirituality, family, business and art.