David Brophy was born in Dublin and is a graduate of the Technological University Dublin 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 to take the position of 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, Julian Bliss, Barry Douglas, Sir Willard White, Martin Fröst, Lesley Garret, Sir James Galway, Lang Lang, Danielle de Niese, Nicola Benedetti, Kim Criswell, Daniel Hope, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Chloë Hanslip and Carolin Widmann. He has conducted across Europe with recent engagements taking him to Spain (Orquesta Nacional Clásica de Andorra and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia) and Finland (Oulu Symphony Orchestra), while other 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 début with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia in the Fabulous Beast Stravinsky double-bill (The Rite of Spring and Petrushka) at Sadler’s Wells. Most recent overseas engagements have seen him début with some of America’s finest orchestras including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington D.C.
His work with specialist new music ensembles, among them Vox 21 and Crash Ensemble, has led to numerous first performances including the Irish premiere of Steve Reich’s Music for Eighteen Musicians, alongside recent world premieres of arrangements by Nico Muhly for traditional Irish singer, Iarla Ó Lionáird. David’s operatic work has led to wide acclaim, partnering Lyric Opera Productions, Opera Theatre Company, Opera Ireland, Glasthule Opera and Northern Ireland Opera, notably in their acclaimed partnership with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, directing Handel’s Radamisto. His recent debut at Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires) – conducting the South American premiere of Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire – has also garnered widespread critical acclaim. Beyond the realm of strictly musical performances, David has regularly collaborated in concert with numerous actors, including Brendan Gleeson, Fiona Shaw, Stephen Rae, Patrick Bergin and Adrian Dunbar and has worked on films directed by Neil Jordan and Stephen Frears.
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, Nico Muhly, Donnacha Dennehy and Gavin Bryars and 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 all-embracing musical tastes have also witnessed collaborations with U2, Sinéad O’Connor, Jon Lord (Deep Purple), Duke Special, Celtic Thunder, Nathan Carter, Daniel O’Donnell, Imelda May, Jack L, Phil Coulter, The Coronas, Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy), Father John Misty, Eddi Reader (Fairground Attraction), Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet) and Midge Ure (Ultravox, Band Aid). He has appeared at all major festivals in Ireland, most notably with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at the Electric Picnic, and has conducted at the Proms in the Park with the Ulster Orchestra as part of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms.
David has broadcast on RTÉ, BBC, CBC (Canada), Sky Arts 2 television and across Europe for the EBU. He has recorded for Silva Screen Records, Lyric FM, Tara Records, V2 Records, New World Records and Compass Records 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.
David won the 2013 Sky Arts Ignition Award, pitching with director Lynne Parker (Rough Magic Theatre Company) to present Kurt Weill’s opera Mahagonny at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, mounted as a co-production with Opera Theatre Company.
Aside from his work as a musician, David has presented the RTÉ1 award-winning TV series Instrumental (Adare Productions and RTÉ), the IFTA award-winning High Hopes Choir (Tyrone Productions and RTÉ) and David Brophy’s Choir of Ages (Tyrone Productions and RTÉ). He is a board-member of Ireland’s Contemporary Music Centre.