David was educated at Keble College, Oxford, and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. His teachers included Rex Stevens, Christopher Elton, John Caldwell, Leonard Hancock and Roderick Brydon. He was also organist at Keble College Chapel 1980-82, for which he was awarded an exhibition. In 1981 he was Musical Director for Tom Blackmore’s production of Oh, What a Lovely War.
From 1983 to 1986 he worked as repetiteur and coach in the Opera School at the RSAMD. In 1986 David became Conductor and Pianist of Northern Ballet Theatre whom he conducted in theatres throughout the UK, including Sadler’s Wells in London, and Glyndebourne. He has been Director of Music at Casterton School since 1992.Whilst an undergraduate at Keble College, David formed the Oxford String Ensemble, conducting several Vivaldi concertos, Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, Introduction and Allegro and Cello Concerto, Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and 5th symphony, Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture, Beethoven’s 4th, 5th and 7th symphonies, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, Rachmaninov’s 2nd symphony, Schubert’s 9th symphony, Sibelius’s Finlandia, Weber’s 1st Clarinet Concerto, Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Chopin’s 1st Piano Concerto.
In the postgraduate Opera School at the RSAMD David conducted Dido and Aeneas, Le pauvre matelot, The Marriage of Figaro (Act 1), and Carmen. In addition he coached for productions of Cosi fan Tutte, The Rape of Lucretia, The Magic Flute, The Tales of Hoffmann, Samson, The Bear, The Dinner Engagement, Columba, Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro as well as substantial excerpts of L’Egisto, Fidelio, Werther, La Cenerentola, Samson and Delilah, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Falstaff, Hansel and Gretel, Eugene Onegin, Die Fledermaus, Der Rosenkavalier, The Bartered Bride, La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, The Rake’s Progress, Albert Herring, Don Pasquale, and L’Elisir d’Amore, working with Leonard Hancock, Roderick Brydon, David Kelly, Sir Philip Ledger and John Lawson-Graham.
He also directed a number of ensembles including the Academy Strings and the Ulydian orchestra in concerts at Glasgow’s Episcopal and Catholic Cathedrals and Paisley Abbey in repertoire including Handel’s organ concertos and concerti grossi, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos 2-6, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s C major Cello Concerto, Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis. He was also organist and choirmaster at Hillhead Baptist Church from 1983 to 1986.
With Northern Ballet Theatre from 1986 David conducted more than sixty performances each year of works including Coppelia, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty (final act), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, Giselle, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Sealgair, The Lesson, Miss Julie and Ancient Airs and Dances. More contemporary works included Horovitz’s Alice in Wonderland, Carl Davis’s BAFTA award winning A Simple Man, Lippizaner and Liaisons Amoureuses and Philip Feeney’s Memoire imaginaire, Danse Classique (a piano concerto in which David was solo pianist) and Strange Meeting. He also performed as pianist in such works as Debussy’s Petite Suite and Fauré’s Elegy.
During his time at NBT, he worked alongside choreographers, dancers and musicians including Robert de Warren, Jeremy Lesley-Spinks, André Prokovsky, Michael Corder, Rudolf Nureyev, Gillian Lynne, Carl Davis, Christopher Gable, Lynn Seymour, Moira Shearer, Fleming Flindt and Michael Pink.
In 1992, David was Musical Director for the premiere of Sue Casson’s musical show The Happy Prince and repetiteur for the premiere of David Golightly’s opera The Eye.
Since arriving at Casterton School in 1992 David has been Musical Director of The Boyfriend, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, The King and I, Anything Goes, Where’s Charley, Carousel, Me and My Girl, West Side Story (all directed by Angela Weir), Cabaret, Grease, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Little Shop of Horrors, Les Miserables, Guys and Dolls, Kiss me Kate, Oliver, Whistle Down the Wind, Sweeney Todd (all directed by Nici Marriot), Annie, Bugsy Malone, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (all directed by Louise Blackwell).
Large-scale choral repertoire he has conducted include Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Elgar’s The Kingdom, Honegger’s Christmas Cantata, Handel’s Messiah and Four Coronation Anthems, Rutter’s Requiem, Gloria and Magnificat, Andrew Campling’s In Paradisum, Fauré’s Requiem, Bach’s Wachet auf, Verdi’s Requiem, Bob Chilcott’s Canticles of Light, Michael Haydn’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Mozart’s Ave verum corpus and Exsultate Jubilate, and Roland Fudge’s Whitehaven Psalms, Prince of Peace (world premiere) and Celestial Light.
With Casterton School’s Senior Choir and Church Choir David has directed a wide variety of Church music including Masses, canticles, preces and responses by Fauré, Andrew Carter, Bob Chilcott, John Bertalot, Harrison Oxley, Herbert Sumsion, Bernard Rose, Peter Aston, Bryan Kelly, Harold Darke, Kenneth Long, Hugh Blair, Wayne Marshall, many of which they have sung in York Minster, and a huge number of anthems by such composers as LJ White, John Rutter, Michael Hurd, Eric Wetherall, Peter Nardone, Simon Lindley, Michael Neaum, Ernest Bullock, John Ireland, Marci Pyrtle, John Aston, Hubert Parry, Colin Mawby, JS Bach, Sherri Porterfield, Herbert Howells, Howard Goodall, Bob Chilcott, Philip Wilby, Vaughan Williams, Percy Buck, Kenneth Leighton, Charles Wood, Cesar Franck, Andrew Carter, Brahms, John Gardner and Elizabeth Poston.
David has also directed a large number of secular works with Casterton School’s Senior Choir and ‘Phoenix’ including many pieces by Bob Chilcott, Michael Neaum, Andrew Carter, Brian Trant and John Rutter, and others by Roland Fudge, Anthony Powers, Robbie Williams, Cy Johnson, Karl Jenkins, Ivor Novello, Bizet, Ebb & Kander, Julie Gold, Bill Withers, Michael Head, Sting, Weiss and Douglas, Laine and Myers, Bill Whelan, Amanda McBroom, Burt Bacharach, Bart Howard, William Mathias, Puccini, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Paul Simon, Paul Patterson and Sue Casson.
As piano accompanist David has performed professionally a wide instrumental repertoire, including Mozart’s violin sonata in A major, Delius’s violin sonata no 1, Poulenc’s sonatas for oboe, clarinet and flute, Hindemith’s sonatas for oboe and trombone, Franck’s violin sonata, Grieg’s violin sonata in C minor, Beethoven’s violin sonatas in A ‘Kreutzer’ and in F ‘Spring’, Brahms’ violin sonatas in G major, A major and D minor, Schubert’s Winterreise, Schumann’s Fraunliebe und Leben, Falla’s Seven Spanish Songs, Elgar’s violin sonata and piano quintet, Dvorak’s piano quintet in A op 81, Schumann’s piano quintet, Brahms’ horn trio and Dvorak’s sonatina.
Whilst working at RSAMD Opera School, he accompanied Judith Howarth when she won the RSAMD Governors’ Recital Prize. He also accompanied Rosa Mannion, Anthony Michaels-Moore and Alison Barton in national competitions and accompanied singers in masterclasses by John Shirley-Quirk, Robert Tear and Placido Domingo. For several years he was accompanist for International Brass Band Courses where he accompanied recitals by tutors who included Steve Sykes, tuba, Jim Shepherd and Ian Porthouse, cornet, David Childs, euphonium and Nick Hudson, trombone. He frequently performs with Julian Cann, violin, and has played a number of piano quintets with Julian’s string quartet, the Serafin quartet.
With the opera group ‘Encore’ he has performed excerpts of most of the operas he coached at the RSAMD in addition to parts of La Clemenza di Tito, Idomeneo, Tamerlan, Alcina, Norma, Faust, Aida, Il Trovatore, Simon Boccanegra, Otello, Nabucco, I due foscari, Anna Boleyna, Marie Stuarda, La fille du regiment, Gianni Schicchi, Pagliaci, The Pearl Fishers, The Barber of Seville, The Consul, Hérodiade and Orfeo.
David has written extensive analytical booklets on a wide variety of music from the 18th to early 20th centuries including ‘Bach’s Overture (Suite) in D’, ‘Schubert’s Symphony no. 8 in B minor (‘Unfinished’) – 1st movement’, ‘Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto – 3rd movement’, ‘Mozart: Clarinet Concerto – 3rd movement’, ‘Rossini’s The Barber of Seville – Overture’, ‘Weber’s Der Freischütz – Overture’, ‘Haydn’s Symphony no. 103 – 2nd movement’, ‘Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Overture’, ‘Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5 – 4th movement’, ‘Haydn’s Nelson Mass’, ‘Verdi’s Rigoletto’, ‘Rossini’s The Barber of Seville’, ‘Wagner’s Das Rheingold’, ‘Haydn’s String Quartets’, ‘The Concerto Grosso – Corelli, Torelli, Vivaldi and Bach’, ‘Schubert’s Lieder’, ‘Schumann’s Dichterliebe’, ‘Beethoven’s Violin Concerto’, ‘Mahler’s Symphony no. 1’, ‘Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons’, ‘Schubert’s Death and the Maiden string quartet’, ‘The Symphonic Poem – Liszt, Berlioz, R. Strauss, Tchaikovsky’, and ‘English Composers’ settings of Housman poems’.