New Fanfarron video

Posted on Saturday, March 14, 2020

As part of my recent video collaboration with Jeremy Blake from Red Means Recording I was lucky enough to get a performance of my short concert opener Fanfarron by Orchestra of the Swan, conducted by Jason Lai. Please enjoy.

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The Lick Quartet performed by Dover Quartet

Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2019

My new string quartet The Lick Quartet was co-commissioned by Dallas Chamber Music Society and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. It received one of the best premieres of a new piece I've ever received, thanks to the astoundingly brilliant Dover Quartet. Happily their performance at the Concertgebouw was recorded, here it is on my YouTube channel, with score included:

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New Release of Chamber Works on Signum

Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2019

After several years work, I'm delighted to announce that my first portrait recording featuring some of my chamber works is released on Signum on August 30th. The three pieces on this release represent a highly personal musical and spiritual responses to nature. The title work, The North Wind was a Woman treats various aspects of nature as human characters, as if they were manifestations of human emotions. So the North Wind for example, is a jilted lover who 'rattles your windows, bangs at your doors'.

The recording features several of my favourite artists - rock-star mandonlinist Avi Avital and the amazing Dover Quartet feature on Cymbeline; my dear friends at Camerata Pacifica recorded the piece they commissioned, The Consolation of Rain; and rising star Nora Fischer features along with a bespoke gathering of some of New York's best chamber musicians on The North Wind was a Woman. The recording was produced by Grammy-winning producer Erica Brenner and was engineered by Jack Renner and Michael Bishop. It was Telarc founder Jack Renner's last recording before he sadly passed away earlier this year.

Click here for a preview

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Oboe to the power of 10

Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2019

David's new piece for 10 oboes premieres at Wigmore Hall on 8th Junes at 11.3o as part of Nicholas Daniel Oboe Day. Commissioned by Wigmore Hall for this occasion, the short piece is full of fun and wit, and comes with a suitably silly title 'oboe oboe oboe oboe oboe oboe oboe oboe oboe oboe'. The piece is the third piece David has written specifically for Nick Daniel, after his piece for Camerata Pacifica, The Consolation of Rain, and his 2018 BBC Proms commission Sidechaining.

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New Video of Undula

Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2019

My old friend who now goes by the new name of Sequoia is a wonderful pianist I've worked with many times. He recently recorded my solo piano piece Undula. The piece explores senses of water and movement, inspired by David Hockney's 'pool paintings'. The video playfully adds a few of these watery effects over the top of Sequoia's hands at the keyboard, and the score itself.

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New commission for 2018 BBC Proms

Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2018

I'm delighted to have fulfilled a life-long ambition to have a piece performed at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall. As I mentioned in my YouTube video How to get to Carnegie Hall (or your own personal equivalent), when I was 15, my mum even offered to buy me a grand piano if I ever achieved this goal.

The Prom is on 15th July, Prom 3, and it's a wonderful concert, celebrating 40 years of the BBC Young Musician of the Year, featuring many of the previous winners and finalists. I've been asked to write for four of them, oboist Nicholas Daniel, with whom I've worked many times before of course; violinist Jennifer Pike, French Horn player Ben Goldscheider who was a finalist last year, and clarinettist Michael Collins. The piece will also feature the full BBC Concert Orchestra.

The title Sidechaining refers to a process found in digital audio software, I will post more about that soon.

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Premiere in the Elbphilharmonie

Posted on Monday, February 19, 2018

Next month I'll be attending the premiere of an unusual new piece commissioned by NDR in Germany, to be played in the small hall of the amazing new concert venue Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

It's a piece that takes my love for 'plucked' instruments to a new level, as it's written for five of them - Mandolin, Guitar, Harp, Theorbo and Harpsichord. As any of you who know my career will know, the mandolin part is taken by my dear friend and awesome colleague Avi Avital, who helped organise the commission.

The piece, despite being mainly uplifting and full of energy is entitled 'Death is a Friend of Ours'. I was inspired by a book of poems by Helen Dunmore, who died from cancer last year and in her very last poem she charted a rather unexpected relationship with death. Her final poem starts 'Death, hold out your arms to me, embrace me, Give me your motherly caress, Through all this suffering You have not forgotten me."

I was very touched by this idea of death as a caring friend or even a parent, and also by the book's treatment of life as like the ride a surfer takes along the inside of a wave - something full of wonder but inevitably short-lived. The three movements of my work are something of a response to this and are kind of 'dances with death'. Like Dunmore's poems, the dances take a surprisingly positive and uplifting look at the experience. They are telling us we should take joy from our brief time on earth.

The line 'Death is a friend of ours' strikes a similar tone to Helen Dunmore's poems, but comes from the English philosopher, and native of my home town St Albans, Francis Bacon.

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Undula for Molly Morkowski

Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Undula is a new solo piano piece written for New York-based Molly Morkowski. The premiere takes place at a recital she is giving in Montana State University this October 7th. Undula is inspired by the Californian pool paintings of David Hockney. Read more about it here

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New piece for San Diego Symphony

Posted on Friday, June 9, 2017

I was honoured to be asked by San Diego Symphony to write a celebratory fanfare in honour of their departing maestro Jahja Ling, who conducted the premieres of my Night Parade and the Violin Concerto Fragile Light. The former of these pieces Jahja also brought to Carnegie Hall for the orchestra's debut there, as well as on their tour of China in 2013. I enjoyed working with Maestro Ling, who had a firm but gentle approach, and the orchestra has clearly flourished under his tenure, with a raft of excellent younger players joining and creating his legacy for the future.

The fanfare is a 3 minute work for full orchestra, you can hear it by clicking the youtube video above. It's called Fanfarrón, the Spanish word, said to be the origin of the word 'fanfare', which translates roughly as 'show-off' or 'loud-mouth' - a reference to the character of the music of course, rather than the man himself, who is anything but!

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Avi Avital/Dover Quartet US Tour

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mandolin rock-star Avi Avital and the leading US quartet Dover Quartet tour Cymbeline in North America throughout February, as well as recording the piece for a future release, alongside Bruce's The North Wind was a Woman. Described by the Financial Times as "a vibrant piece with a golden hue that finds much sonic variety in the instrumental combination", Cymbeline is inspired by the spiritual place the sun has had in human culture and forms three movements relating to positions of the sun - sunrise, noon, and sunset.

Tour dates:

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