The Conductor: David Gibson

David Gibson

David Gibson began his musical training as a chorister and Lay Clerk in Chichester Cathedral Choir. As Head Chorister he was chosen to sing the treble solo in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms at the first performance in the UK, in the presence of the composer.  As an organ scholar, he later studied music at the universities of London and Sussex.

He has worked extensively as a pianist and organist but has been a freelance conductor for the past thirty years, working with many of the top orchestras in the country, including the Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players and the New London Sinfonia, which he founded.  In 1991 he was appointed Assistant Director of Music and Chorus Master of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.  He then worked for them as Guest Conductor, performing all the major G & S works, together with Die Fledermaus and Orpheus in the Underworld, throughout the UK. In 1994 he was appointed Musical Director of European Chamber Opera and took up a similar post with Opera Holland Park in 1996. He also conducted extensively for Travelling Opera with repertoire including Carmen, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Magic Flute, Barber of Seville, La Bohème, Tosca, Madam Butterfly and Un Ballo in Maschera, performing in Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Barbados, and the USA.

Other engagements have included a return visit to the Barbados Opera Festival, a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Philharmonia and a series of concerts with the London Mozart Players as part of their 50th Anniversary. This included a world premiere of Michael Nyman’s Suite from Drowning by Numbers. David has also worked as Musical Director in the West End for Raymond Gubbay in the highly successful D’Oyly Carte production of The Pirates of Penzance at the Queen’s Theatre.

In 2002 he became director of music of the Surrey Festival Choir, founded by Vaughan Williams, a post he held for five years.  He is currently Musical Director of the Southampton Philharmonic Society, Basingstoke Choral Society and the Croydon Philharmonic Choir.

As part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII, David conducted the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the Britten War Requiem with the Southampton Philharmonic and choirs from Portsmouth and Croydon. In June 2018 David once again conducted the War Requiem, in a highly successful joint concert with Basingstoke Choral Society and Southampton Philharmonic Choir, accompanied by the City of Southampton Orchestra and the London Mozart Players’ Chamber Orchestra. More recently, he prepared and conducted Southampton Philharmonic Choir for its London debut: an exemplary performance from memory of Mozart Requiem, with The Hanover Band, at St John's Smith Square.

In addition to his conducting work, David was appointed performance coach and accompanist at Alton Sixth Form College in 2008 where he also directs the college choir and orchestra.  Since 2013 he has worked for Pimlico Opera leading an exciting initiative, ‘Primary Robins’, which is training primary school children to sing. The project’s focus is on schools throughout Hampshire, where children would otherwise have little exposure to music. This project has increased from the original 400 children to more than 4,000 at present, all of whom are taught on a weekly basis. Further expansion is planned for other parts of the country.