For a large part of his busy musical life David Corkhill has held concurrent principal positions in both the Philharmonia and the English Chamber Orchestra, and during a varied career he has worked closely with many eminent composers, notably playing many of Britten’s works under the composer’s baton. Britten wrote a specially composed timpani and percussion part to his cantata Rejoice in the Lamb for David, and incorporated ideas from that into the timpani part of his opera Death in Venice, in the first performances and recording of which David participated.
Amongst his engagements as soloist and chamber musician have been performances of Panufnik’s Concertino for Percussion with Evelyn Glennie, a series of Stockhausen’s important works, and performances and a recording of Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with Vladimir Ashkenazy. This was followed by an invitation from Sir George Solti to perform, film, and record for CBS the same work with himself, Murray Periah, and Evelyn Glennie, a recording that won a coveted Grammy award.
In recent years David has become equally well known as a conductor, working with orchestras in many of Europe’s musical centres and elsewhere from California to South Africa. He directed the Philharmonia during the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester and conducted for Angela Georgiou in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales as well as conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in a masterclass with Sir Colin Davis. His recording of William Walton’s Façade with Southbank Sinfonia in collaboration with ‘Kit and the Widow’ is the first of the new Walton Critical Edition.
In between times David continues as a busy composer and arranger. He has recently completed the score of incidental music for the University of Southern California’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and 2011 saw the Italian and UK premières of his St. Francis for ensemble and narrator, commissioned by Southbank Sinfonia.
David teaches timpani at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama of which, with the Royal Academy of Music, he is a Fellow. He is also Musical Director of Orchestra of the Arts (resident at St. Mary-le-Bow in the City of London), Staff Conductor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and Assistant Conductor and Chamber Music Co-ordinator of Southbank Sinfonia.