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Now based in Aotearoa’s capital city, David was raised on a Mid-Canterbury farm which he describes as a wonderful upbringing. His mother was a piano teacher, but he describes the moment he fell in love with classical music as pure chance. One day at high school he put a cassette tape on in the senior common room just to annoy everyone: Purcell's Funeral Music for Queen Mary.
“It was meant to be a prank, but then there was a passage in the music when a bass note resonated through the room, and for some reason I was hooked. It was an awakening - as if all of a sudden the universe opened up before me.”
David went on to gain a BMus and BA (Music). At one time he worked as a singing teacher, and he still occasionally sings as a bass soloist with groups such as Baroque Voices.
A senior presenter with RNZ Concert, David says it’s a privilege to spend time in the company of his wonderful colleagues, but also Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Mozart and others. He refuses to choose just one favourite composer, citing his love for Bruckner, Lully, Haydn, Handel, Brahms, Tartini as just the beginning of a longer list.
He’s able to pin down one favourite live concert experience however - The Vienna Philharmonic playing Sibelius and Bruckner in Paris's Théâtre des Champs-Elysées on the very last day of a holiday in Europe.
“It was phenomenal. I have never heard such beautiful string playing before or since; and it was a strange kind of beauty that conveyed incredibly deep emotional meaning, not just on-the-surface prettiness.”