David Owen Norris

David Owen Norris, FSA (born 1953) is a British pianist, composer, academic, and broadcaster.

David Owen Norris Portrait

Early lifeEdit

Norris was born in 1953 in Long Buckby in Northamptonshire, England, later attending Daventry Grammar School.[1] He took lessons locally from composer Trevor Hold[2] before going on to study music at Keble College, Oxford where he was organ scholar; he is now an Honorary Fellow of the college.[3]


After leaving Oxford, he studied composition and worked at the Royal Opera House as a repetiteur. As a pianist, he has accompanied soloists such as Dame Janet Baker, Larry Adler and John Tomlinson, and his solo career has included appearances at the Proms and performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has also presented several radio series – his Playlist Series for BBC Radio 4 has recently finished its second series – presented for television, and appeared in a number of television documentaries. He is a professor at the Royal College of Music and at the University of Southampton, where he is Head of Keyboard.[4] He has also been Gresham Professor of Music and a professor at the Royal Academy of Music (having earlier been a student there).[5]


Norris has enjoyed success as a composer in a wide range of musical styles. His Piano Concerto and Symphony were first performed at Dorchester Abbey by the English Music Festival, as was his oratorio Prayerbook, which has been frequently performed and studied subsequent to its premiere. His song cycles Think Only This (settings of war poetry) and Tomorrow Nor Yesterday (settings of the poetry of John Donne) have been released on a disc entitled Fame's Great Trumpet. His operas and operettas, including Die! Sober Flirter and The Jolly Roger, have been performed on BBC Radio and around the UK and Europe, as have several pastiches of Mozart.


In 1991, Norris received the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award.[6] On 12 November 2015, Norris was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA).[7]


(* = Premiere recordings)

Piano concertosEdit

  • Constant Lambert, Rio Grande (Gilmore Festival Records) Yoshimi Takeda KSO 1996
  • Constant Lambert, Piano Concerto (ASV CD WHL 2122) Barry Wordsworth BBCCO* 1999
  • The World's First Piano Concertos [on Square Piano] (Avie AV0014) Sonnerie 2003
  • Edward Elgar, Piano Concerto realised Walker (Dutton CDLX 7148) David Lloyd-Jones BBCCO* 2005
  • Joseph Horovitz, Jazz Concerto (Dutton CDLX 7188) Horovitz Royal Ballet Sinfonia 2007
  • Richard Arnell, Piano Concerto (Dutton CDLX 7184) Martin Yates RSNO* 2007
  • Montague Phillips, Piano Concertos in F# minor and in E (Dutton CDLX 7206)*Gavin Sutherland BBCCO 2008
  • Victor Hely-Hutchinson, Jazz Concerto 'The Young Idea: cum grano salis’ (Dutton CDLX 7206)* 2008

Solo pianoEdit


Chamber musicEdit

Radio programmesEdit

  • A History of Private Life (BBC Audio 2010 ISBN 978-1-4084-6745-9. – 6 CDs)


  1. ^ "Norris, David Owen". Who's Who 2009. Oxford University Press. December 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  2. ^ Foreman, Lewis. Trevor Hold obituary, March 1994 at MusicWeb International
  3. ^ Archer, Ian W; Whalley, Simon. "Keble organ scholars". Keble College, Oxford. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  4. ^ "David Owen Norris". Royal College of Music. Archived from the original on 18 April 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  5. ^ "David Owen Norris". Hyperion Records. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
  6. ^ "Learn More About David Owen Norris: Gilmore Artist".
  7. ^ "12 Nov Ballot Results". Society of Antiquaries of London. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.

External linksEdit