David made his Philly POPS debut in 2013 with the Christmas Spectacular series and was delighted to be asked back to conduct it again in 2014 and 2015. Last season, he returned for Blockbuster Broadway, and was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Philly POPS shortly thereafter.
David grew up in Philadelphia. He attended Germantown Friends School from kindergarten through sixth grade and sang in the choir of Grace Church in Mt. Airy. He later attended Yale University and the Juilliard School, and studied at the Conservatoire américain in France with legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger.
At age 12, he met Leonard Bernstein while singing in the world premiere of Mass at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Ten years later, he was asked to assist his teacher, John Mauceri, for the Tenth Anniversary production of Mass. This led to a close association with Bernstein, both as a conducting student and as an editor of Bernstein’s music during the last decade of the composer’s life.
David’s face is widely known to American TV audiences from his conducting of the two Les Misérables Anniversary Concerts (10th and 25th), both of which have become PBS fund-raising perennials. He regularly appears on radio and television in the UK, where he has lived since 1996. He has conducted five times at the BBC Proms, London’s annual music festival at the Royal Albert Hall, most notably for the immensely successful Sondheim 80th birthday celebration. Following his English National Opera debut with Sweeney Todd in 2015, he returned with Carousel to rave reviews last season.
David has conducted the French premieres of four Sondheim musicals: Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods and Follies. In concert, he has worked with several French orchestras and will be making his debut with the Orchestra national de Lyon and the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France later this year.
His passion and expertise in the pit has earned him a thriving US opera career. Last September, he made his Opera Philadelphia debut with The Magic Flute. He has conducted Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night to great acclaim at three U.S. companies. Later this season, he will be conducting Verdi’s Rigoletto in Kansas City and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at Hawaii Opera Theatre.
A desire to leave a lasting legacy prompted David to co-edit the first-ever scholarly critical edition of a classic Broadway hit: Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate. Using the model of authentic editions of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, he and Seann Alderking unearthed the original 1948 orchestra parts for the show and meticulously created new scores and parts, now available for sale and rental. David has since conducted two productions of Kate based on the new edition.
His ever-increasing catalogue of recordings includes Something’s Gotta Give with baritone Simon Keenlyside, Forever with soprano Diana Damrau, excerpts from La bohème and Madama Butterfly with the Royal Philharmonic, Jonathan Dove’s community opera Tobias and the Angel, complete recordings of the musicals Miss Saigon and Man of La Mancha, and, exclusively for the Philly POPS, the 2015 Christmas Spectacular CD.