David Brophy was born in Dublin and is a graduate of the Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin. Following further studies in Ireland, England and Holland, he was appointed Apprentice Conductor with Chamber Choir Ireland and subsequently became the first appointee as Assistant Conductor with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. A former Principal Conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, David now enjoys a close relationship with both RTÉ orchestras in addition to regular appearances as guest conductor with the Ulster Orchestra. His career has seen him conduct throughout Europe, Africa, the United States, Canada and China.
David has collaborated with many internationally acclaimed soloists, among them, Tasmin Little, Barry Douglas, Willard White, Lesley Garret, Sir James Galway, Lang Lang, Danielle de Niese, Nicola Benedetti, Kim Criswell and Chloë Hanslip. He has conducted in the US with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and the Naples Philharmonic, in Spain with Orquesta Nacional Clásica de Andorra and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, and at home with all major Irish orchestras. Appearances overseas have included performances at New York’s Lincoln Centre with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and at London’s Barbican Centre as part of their Silent Film & Live Music series alongside his 2014 debut with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia in the Fabulous Beast Stravinsky double-bill (The Rite of Spring and Petrushka) at Sadler’s Wells. Most recent foreign engagements have seen him début with some of America’s finest orchestras including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
His work with specialist new music ensembles, among them Vox 21 and Crash Ensemble, has led to numerous premieres including the Irish premiere of Steve Reich’s Music for Eighteen Musicians and Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, alongside recent world premieres of arrangements by Nico Muhly for Iarla Ó Lionáird. David’s operatic work has led to acclaimed partnerships with Lyric Opera Productions, Opera Theatre Company, Opera Ireland, Glasthule Opera and NI Opera, while he recently made his debut with Ballet Ireland for their production of The Nutcracker.
David has worked closely with numerous singer/songwriters, among them Eleanor McEvoy, Paul Brady, Brian Kennedy and Declan O’Rourke, composers including Shaun Davey, Neil Martin, Bill Whelan, Arvo Pärt, David Fennessy and Donnacha Dennehy, traditional musicians including Altan, Liam O’Flynn, Sharon Corr, Máirtín O’Connor, Lúnasa, The Chieftains, Clannad, Rita Connolly, Carlos Núñez, Sharon Shannon and Martin Hayes. His broad musical tastes have also seen collaborations with U2, Sinéad O’Connor, Jon Lord (Deep Purple), Duke Special, Celtic Thunder, Imelda May, Jack L, Phil Coulter, The Coronas, Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy), Eddi Reader (Fairground Attraction) and Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet). He has appeared at all major festivals in Ireland, most notably with the RTÉCO at the Electric Picnic, and has conducted at the Proms in the Park as part of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms.
He has broadcast on RTÉ, BBC, CBC (Canada), Sky Arts 2 and across the EBU and has recorded for Silva Screen, LyricFM, Tara Records, V2 Records, New World Records and Compass Records recording labels. His television appearances include the National Concert Hall’s 25th anniversary gala concert, The Symphony Sessions (RTÉ) and Proms in the Park (BBC) with the Ulster Orchestra. Film credits include Shaun Davey’s scores for The Abduction Club and Ella Enchanted while his recent recording of Victor Herbert’s operetta Eileen for New World Records, conducting the Orchestra of Ireland in collaboration with triple Grammy award-winning producer Judith Shermann, has been released to wide critical acclaim.
With Rough Magic Theatre Company, he won the 2013 Sky Arts Ignition Award, pitching with director Lynne Parker to present Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, presented as a co-production with Opera Theatre Company.
Aside from his work as a musician, David presented the RTE1 award-winning TV series Instrumental and most recently fronted the IFTA award-winning High Hopes Choir for Tyrone Productions and RTE1 TV. He is a member of the board of Ireland’’s Contemporary Music Centre.