COMPOSER OF THE MONTH
David John Roche
David John Roche is one of the most energetic, driven, and successful of Wales’s millennial generation of composers. Born and raised in Tredegar in 1990, he studied at the Universities of Cardiff, Oxford and Cambridge before going on to firmly establish himself as a composer of orchestral and chamber music both in the UK and abroad.
Strongly influenced by heavy metal, lush orchestral music, and his working-class Welsh background, David's music is ‘direct, determined, and loud!’ It has been praised by Thomas Adès for its ‘passages of intense expressive power’, described by BBC Introducing’s Adam Walton as ‘exquisite’, and marked out by Sir James Dyson as ‘bold, exciting, and beautiful’.
David’s work receives a constant stream of international attention, and has been broadcast to millions of people around the world via Rai5, Tellebelluno, S4C, NHK, and the BBC. An ever-growing number of orchestras perform his scores, including Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Brazilian National Orchestra, Dolomiti Symphonia, Florence Philharmonic, Prato Camerata, Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra, Orion Orchestra, and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. These performances have received critical acclaim and, impressively, nearly every orchestral piece he has composed since 2020 has gone on to win one or more awards.
Waves of Love
Written for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and premiered by the Orchestra under the direction of Jac Van Steen at the 2022 Vale of Glamorgan Festival.
David has received extensive commissions from a wide range of artists and organisations that include BBC NOW, Jan Willem Nelleke and Jose Zalba Smith, Orion Orchestra and Dyson, Centre of Cell, Royal Observatory Greenwich, British Library, Hijinx Theatre, and NAFTA Ensemble. His current order book includes music for Tanglewood Music Centre, Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation, Aberystwyth Philomusica, and Jeremy Huw Williams.
David's chamber music commissions include pieces for Solem Quartet, Giovanni Albini, Brian Ellis, Siwan Rhys, Fresh Inc., and Psappha Ensemble.
Commissioned and performed by Psappha at Hallé St Peter's in Manchester (UK) on 27th May 2021.
In addition to symphonic and chamber scores, David’s eclectic catalogue includes work for unconventional forces such as Astrid the Dutch Street Organ, Thousandth Hymnal for seven double basses plus a range of pieces for solo ukulele including In Every Heart.
Tanglewood Music Centre Commission, with the generous support of the Merwin Geffen M.D. and Norman Solomon M.D. New Commissions Fund. Performed by TMC Double Bass Ensemble.
In Every Heart
Performed by Samantha Muir (ukulele)
David's incredible drive and prolific work rate have helped him achieve an enviable track record in competitions and he regularly wins prizes at home and abroad. Recent successes include five awards at the International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition, and first prizes at the Dante Moro Composition Competition, Dante 700 Composition Competition, and Orion Orchestra Composition Competition. In 2021 his Six Prayers for orchestra was awarded second prize in the world-renowned Tōru Takemitsu Composition Award.
David has received an Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice Grant, a Lithuanian Arts Council Grant, has received an AHRC studentship, undertaken a Tanglewood Fellowship, and was nominated for an award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
You can hear The Vow — David John Roche’s commission for the Tredegar Town Band at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival on Friday 22 September. Full info & tickets HERE
> David John Roche composer profile page