Dulcimer Master David Schnaufer Dies

David Schnaufer, a longtime leader in playing and teaching the dulcimer, died of cancer on Wednesday (Aug. 23) in Nashville at age 53. Credited with bringing the Appalachian instrument into contemporary music, his recording sessions included work with a wide variety of artists, such as Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, the Judds, Mark Knopfler, Cyndi Lauper, Albert Lee, Mark O’Connor and Hank Williams Jr. His credits also include a symphony he wrote and performed with the Columbus, Ga., symphony. A native of Texas, Schnaufer began teaching the traditional stringed instrument at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music in 1995 and was considered to be the leading authority on the dulcimer. He was also a member of the Cactus Brothers, a Nashville-based band that released two albums on the Capitol and Liberty labels during the mid ’90s.