Choral conductor and organist
David Todd (2010, Music) is a choral conductor and organist based in London.
David was born in Solihull and read Music at University College Oxford, where he was also Organ Scholar and where he set up the Univ Staff Choir. Conducting highlights in Oxford included the first public performance of Jonathan Dove’s 2010 work Seven Angels, Judith Weir’s The Consolations of Scholarship, Mozart’s Requiem in the Sheldonian Theatre, and John Eccles’ opera The Judgment of Paris at the Ashmolean Museum.
Since graduating from Univ, what kinds of projects have you become involved with?
In 2013 I founded and directed the BFO Chorus, a large Midlands-based choir which works on choral-orchestral repertoire in partnership with Jamie Phillips’ Birmingham Festival Orchestra. Together we put on a concert of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms alongside other separate works.
Where do you plan on going next?
I will be graduating in 2015 with a Masters in Choral Conducting from the Royal Academy of Music, having studied with Patrick Russill, Cathal Garvey and Paul Brough, and where I recently performed alongside concert pianist Murray Perahia. I am currently the Organist and Director of Music in the Parish of Wanstead and Director of Music in of Billericay Choral Society, though my work has also taken me abroad. I hold the post of Guest Conductor of the choir of Turku Cathedral in Finland and have recently worked for the Swiss-Italian Conservatoire in Switzerland, in addition to Berlin. Later this season I will be acting as the Chorus Master for the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Can you tell us a little about your group, ‘The Artschoir’?
In 2015 I launched my own professional group ‘The Artschoir’, a new choir aimed to specifically explore the links between music and art through performances, commissions and collaborations. Working with contemporary artists and composers, our first event, ‘Music in Colour’ was held in the Nunnery Gallery in East London in February 2015, exploring works by composers and artists linked to synaesthesia. Relationships explored included those between Kandinsky and Schoenberg, Picasso and Stravinksy, Messiaen and Delaunay. The musical performances were interspersed with readings, and one work was specially commissioned from the choir’s Composer-in-Residence Deborah Pritchard, who wrote a piece based on some of the works in the gallery by local artist Mary Barnes.
What other musical skills have you been able to pursue?
I am also active as a recitalist and accompanist on the organ and piano. Recent performances include Handel’s Organ Concerto in G Minor with the Kings Chamber Orchestra alongside concert organist Jennifer Bate in Muswell Hill, and recitals of Messiaen’s complete organ suite La Nativité du Seigneur.