David Corkhill is one of the U.K.'s most familiar musical figures, both on the concert-hall platform and in the recording studio, as a player, arranger, composer and conductor.

He began his adult musical life at London's Royal Academy of Music with a wide musical grounding as a pianist and harpsichordist as well as the french horn, and graduated as a timpanist and percussionist. These studies and elements of performance became the basis of his conducting studies at the Academy under Professor Maurice Miles, for which David was awarded the Ricordi Prize.

David's early years as a professional musician included work with a great many distinguished musicians - David Munrow, Philip Jones, John-Eliot Gardener, and Karheinz Stockhausen amongst others - and in 1988 he received a much coveted 'Grammy' award for his chamber music work with Sir Georg Solti, Murray Periah and Evelyn Glennie.

It was with the music of Benjamin Britten during the time spent at the Aldeburgh Festival in Suffolk that David developed a special interest and affection. It was there that he took part in many historical performances of Britten's works including the chamber opera The Turn of the Screw under the composer's baton, and in the opera-ballet Death in Venice, the timpani part for which was written for David. These and other close collaborations enabled him to gain unique insights into the composer's style, and he uses this understanding to give his performances of Britten's works a special authenticity and authority.

As a player also, David was honored in 1995 by an invitation from Sir Georg Solti to be a founding member of his World Orchestra for Peace in a historical performance in front of World leaders to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

But much more than this, David's broad experience in all fields of music making enables him to be equally at home directing ensembles of contemporary music, period instrument performances, grand opera, or the mainstream 19th century orchestral repertoire. Recent performances, for example, have included an outstanding Le Sacre du Printemps with the Symphony Orchestra of London's Guildhall School of Music, widely regarded as the years' orchestral highlight; highly acclaimed fully staged performances of Puccini's La Bohème; a continuing project of Bach Cantatas performed as an integral part of the weekday evening services at London's historical City church of St. Mary-le-Bow; a concert performance of excerpts from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde with the celebrated South African soprano Elizabeth Connell; Mendelssohn's complete incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream performed with the Shakespeare play; and an evening of William Walton's music for the Laurence Olivier film of Henry V with actors speaking excerpts from the Shakespeare original and acting out the Agincourt drama. As part of the Guildhall School's opening season of its spectacular new Milton Court concert hall David was honoured to conduct historical first orchestral performances in programmes of Mozart (his Prague Symphony and Requiem) and Beethoven (the Ninth Symphony). 

One of David's most notable achievements in recent years was the conception, creation and organisation (with Southbank Sinfonia) of what was to be the last orchestral concert given by one of the world's greatest conductors, Sir Charles Mackerras. For many years David had worked with Sir Charles in their respective roles of player and conductor in many varied musical environments, and it seemed clear to David that, in view of the conductor's advancing years, there should be some kind of celebration of the life this much loved and respected musician, an occasion in which Sir Charles could participate. And so, on May 25th 2010, with the generous cooperation of Australia House and with James Naughtie as Host, Barry Humphreys as Guest Speaker, and with many eminent friends and colleagues in attendance, Sir Charles conducted a programme of Mozart and Humperdinck. Two months later, after a handful of performances at Glyndebourne and a brief return to his holiday home in Elba, Sir Charles Mackerras died.

Amongst his varied work with many ensembles David has most notably conducted the English Chamber Orchestra (including a U.K. tour with John Williams playing Concierto de Aranjuez), the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa, the Jersey Chamber Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, and ensembles from the Philharmonia Orchestra including one for Maestro Christof von Dohnanyi at the Zurich Tonhalle, Vienna's MusikVerein and at La Scala, Milan, as well as directing the Philharmonia during the 2007 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester Cathedral ("...the audience was held throughout the piece, and [by] the tranquillity of the ending"). He has also deputised in rehearsal for Yvgeny Svetlanov, assisted Sir John-Eliot Gardiner, conducted for Angela Georgiou in the presence of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, and has worked with Pierre Boulez in the preparation of his works. More recently David was invited by Sir Colin Davis to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in a most successful and enlightening masterclass, and he was highly praised for his direction of works by Peter Eötvös as part of the BBC's 2011 Total Immersion programme at London's Barbican Centre ("...beautifully crafted..." - The Guardian). In addition last year saw the release of his recording, in collaboration with 'Kit and the Widow', of David Lloyd-Jones' new critical edition of William Walton's Facade ("...impeccable playing under the direction of David Corkhill"). The CD is available from The Classical Recording Company.

In between times David continues as a busy composer and arranger, and in addition to his frequently performed arrangement for the Wallace Collection of Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and other commissions, he has just completed the score of incidental music for the University of Southern California's production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, and St. Francis for chamber orchestra and speaker, commissioned by Southbank Sinfonia. 2014 sees the première of his adaptation as a song cycle of the Wilfred Owen War Poems in Britten's War Requiem, with the title The Pity of War.

David is Musical Director of Orchestra of the Arts - resident at St. Mary-le-Bow in the City of London - as well as Staff Conductor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Assistant Conductor and Chamber Music Co-ordinator of Southbank Sinfonia.