David Katz was born June 28, 1924 in Indiana, he graduated from the Juilliard School of Music and moved to Forest Hills, Queens with his wife Jeanne. They started the Queens Symphony Orchestra (QSO) in 1953 , which he conducted until he died of cancer in 1987.
During the 1970s, the orchestra joined the union and became the first and only professional orchestra in Queens. At this time, QSO was affiliated with the American Symphony Orchestra League and Forest Hills Community Center. David Katz was discovered by Leopold Stokowski, who he joined as associate conductor of The American Symphony Orchestra (ASO). Katz conducted the ASO at Carnegie Hall form 1961 till 1970. He also conducted the Oratorio Society of Queens from 1968 to 1969, succeeding Lawrence Rasmussen. and later conducted the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in 1971.
By QSO’s second season, children’s concerts were added to the schedule, leading to David and Jeannie starting the Music BAG Program (Music for Boys and Girls). This program was designed to get kids involved with making music with the orchestra, and learning the history and theory of music.