David studied conducting with a colourful range of international maestros: from Imre Pallo, Henryk Pisarek, Harry Spence Lyth and James Lockhardt. He has also undertaken master classes with such figures as Myer Friedman, Graham Abbott, Mats Nilsson, Neil McEwan and Eduardo Diaz Munoz.
During his university days at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he conducted some of the institutions finest ensembles in performances, recordings, rehearsals and workshops. During this time he also assisted Maestro Imre Pallo as offstage-conductor in major productions and also served as assistant conductor with the Early Music Ensemble, under early music specialist Neal Peres da Costa.
While at university he also conducted various scratch student orchestras, gaining some amazing first experiences particularly as a conductor of concertos accompanying soloists, as well as many notable formative experiences with new music, and was particularly buoyed by the encouragement and advice of the composition staff including Michael Smetanin, Trevor Pearce and the late Richard Toop.
David soon enjoyed forays into the world of musical theatre, conducting Rodger and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song (AHA! A Chinatown Production, 2003), Guys and Dolls (Mosman Musical Society, 2003), and the premiere performances of the chamber opera Betrayal (MAK Productions/Sydney Conservatorium, 2004).
From 2004-2019 he was Musical Director of Fisher’s Ghost Youth Orchestra in South-West Sydney. In 2005, he conducted the orchestra at the opening of the Campbelltown Arts Centre, a high profile event attracting multiple political leaders including a former Prime Minister. As part of the Aurora New Music Festivals in 2006, 2008 and 2010, David conducted the FGYO in several world premieres, including Peter McNamara’s The Dividing Ranges and Christopher Tin’s The Myrmidons Attack. These festivals also saw David conducting the Australian-premiere of the orchestral version of Baba Yetu (performing with African Acapella group Pambazuka), alongside music by Peter Sculthorpe, Elena Kats-Chernin, Stuart Greenbaum, Michael Atherton, Robert Oetomo and Vincent Surjadinata, as well as Ann Carr-Boyd’s Romance for Flute and Orchestra, with soloist Jane Duncan. Other premieres with FGYO include Elena Kats-Chernin's Innocent Clouds (chamber orchestra version), and Robert Allworth's The Blue Mountains. Some other notable collaborations at FGYO have included concerts with local soloists such as Luke Spicer, Lisa Bucknell, Lachlan Glen, Jonathan Békés, Paul Carasco, Catherine Williams, Judy Reid, Gezelle Diwa and the Macarthur Singers.
During 2006 David was assistant chorus master of the Willoughby Symphony Choir, working alongside conductors such as William Moxey, Phillip Chu and Tom Woods. In the meantime, his relationship with new music continued with concerts organised by the newly established ‘Chronology Arts’ organisation, as well as the ‘Fellowship of Australian Composers’. Here he premiered works by Andrew Batt-Rawden, Julian Day, Chloé Charody, Elias Constantopedos and Alex Pozniak among others. He has also conducted music for several short films. In 2012 David was invited to speak at the Music in Communities Conference on the performance of new and Australian music in schools and community groups.
In 2006 he began conducting the Northern Sydney Youth Orchestra. What followed has been a wonderful decade of concerts and local tours, occasionally performing alongside such notable soloists such as Kamahl, Amy Radford, Simone Easthope, Liane Sadler and Bronwyn Douglass. David and NSYO have completed two international tours to Europe, as well as multiple local tours, concerts, workshops and kids concerts.
From 2010-2019 David was engaged as conductor at Roseville College on Sydney’s North Shore, leading the school Chamber Orchestra and the Junior School Concert Band. He is currently Head of Bands at St Catherines School, Sydney.
Mostly recently David served as Guest Conductor for Strathfield Symphony Orchestra, as well as Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. Over the past 15 years, David has also served as guest conductor for organisations such as The Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic, The Beecroft Orchestra, Sydney Saxophone Collective and continues to be frequently engaged as a guest conductor, consultant and adjudicator.
Copyright © 2018 David Griffin - All Rights Reserved.