David Ott was born July 5, 1947 in Crystal Falls Michigan. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, received his Master's degree at Indiana University and his PhD. in music at the University of Kentucky. He has served on the faculties of Hoguhton College in New York, Pfeiffer College in North Carolina, and DePauw University in Indiana. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music four times and has had two Grammy Award nominations. Since 2013, Ott has also run the "Music for Healing" foundation for the sick and elderly in Okaloosa county.