David Palmer (b. 1997) is an Oxford-based composer and pianist specialising in contemporary music and instrumental chamber music.
David read music at Oxford University (Worcester College) and graduated with a first-class BA in 2019. A former Oxford University Music Society president and OUMS Chamber Music manager, David held an academic scholarship, an instrumental award, and a scholarship to perform with Ensemble Isis – the University’s contemporary music ensemble.
Before beginning composition studies with Robert Saxton at Oxford, David studied composition with Matthew Sergeant and piano with Jonathan Middleton at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music (2012-16). Awards at the JRNCM included the Friends of the JRNCM Ensemble Prize, Director’s Prize, and the Peter Redfearn Memorial Prize for Composition.
As a composer for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (2014-16), David was tutored by Anna Meredith and Larry Goves. His compositions were performed in the Snape Maltings Concert Hall (Britten Studio), Birmingham Symphony Hall, Tate Britain gallery, Southbank Centre (Clore Ballroom), and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (Music Room).
Alongside frequent solo recitals, David regularly performs with his piano trio and violinist Charlie Lovell-Jones. Orchestral keyboard opportunities include appearances with the International Lutosławski Youth Orchestra, Junior RNCM Symphony Orchestra, and most student orchestras in Oxford.
David studies composition with Richard Barrett in The Hague, and piano with Ronan O’Hora in London. He enjoys a busy teaching schedule in Oxford, and works with Oxford Youth Choirs (Senior Girls’ Choir accompanist, and Boys’ Choir accompanist/director), Banbury Choral Society (accompanist/assistant MD), Christ Church Cathedral School (piano/theory tutor), and St Hilda’s College (Graduate Musician in Residence). From September 2021, David will begin postgraduate studies at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
I have known David for almost two years, having met him while completing a doctorate in music at the University of Oxford. During this time, David has shown himself to be a composer, pianist, and tutor of exceptional talent and ability. His compositions demonstrate flair, imagination, and ambition, betraying a clear knowledge of and critical engagement with a wide range of repertoire. As a pianist, he is versatile, musically sensitive, and highly technically able. His numerous concert appearances show him to excel in both solo and chamber performance, and in a great variety of musical styles.
It is a pleasure to work with David; as well as being an outstanding musician, he is reliable, professional, and generous-spirited. His excellent musical and interpersonal skills have meant that he is in increasingly high demand as a tutor, and his teaching work has been greatly valued. He has much to offer students of all ages and abilities, and I recommend him unreservedly.
I have known David for around 3 years now. We have worked together on many projects, and I think he is an exceptional musician in all disciplines (composition, performance, musicology). He is an incredibly organised and diligent professional, who can work with students of any ability. I highly recommend him.
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