In 2021, tutti violin David Yeh celebrates the phenomenal milestone of 40 years with WASO.

David first joined WASO in 1979, immediately after moving to Australia from China. Two years after he commenced his journey with the orchestra, a permanent seat became available. David took two weeks off to prepare for his audition, and was the final player to audition for the seat. He successfully secured the spot, and has spent the last 40 years delighting WASO audiences on stage in the violin section.

Photo: Tony McDonough

David started out learning piano at age five, before switching to violin at age eight. Now, after decades of performing, David is still enjoying playing for audiences.

He says there is a lot to love about being a professional musician. “I can play all sorts of classical music. I get to play alongside top conductors and soloists. My own musical skills improve by playing alongside them.”

David on tour to Albany in 2019

WASO has taken David across Western Australia and the world, with several tours to Asia and regional trips across the state. The orchestra’s 2006 tour to China was particularly notable for David, when he was profiled for the ABC documentary Double Happiness filmed during the tour.

David on tour in China in 2016

When asked about standout performances with the orchestra, David humbly says “I just work as hard as I can. I always practice and make sure I finish the job as best I can.”

David’s favourite composer is Sergio Rachmaninov, which made WASO’s first MACA Classics concert of the year a joy to play. Reflecting on performing the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 2, David comments “it is nice to play what the audience likes.”

David rehearsing with the orchestra in 2019. Photo: Tony McDonough

We asked David what he finds challenging about playing the violin. David says, “You are never finished. You have to practice your whole life.” A reflection of David’s dedication over the years.

His advice to his younger self? “Listen to your mother and work hard.”


David is extremely modest about his time with WASO, and looks forward to many more performances with the orchestra.

“I have donated 42 years of my life to WASO. They are my second family.”