David Jennings. British Composer
David Jennings was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, in 1972. He started to compose music at the age of 12. He read Music at Durham University with the distinguished composer John Casken and went on to Manchester University to study composition at postgraduate level, again with John Casken.
David has combined teaching with composing since 1995. He worked as Head of Music at The Hampshire Schools, Knightsbridge, London between 1998 and 2000. Teaching has helped to give him a shrewd grasp of what makes music 'work' for both performers and audience alike. Consequently, David's compositions have been successfully performed both in schools and by professionals of the highest calibre, such as members of the Northern Sinfonia. David is currently building up an impressive list of works, ranging from piano miniatures to large orchestral works.
The recent performances of the "Three Sonatinas for Piano" have attracted outstanding reviews, and the sort of positive response from audiences that is most unusual for 'new music'. This is because David rejects the "Plinkety Plonk" idealogy he feels has blighted much of late twentieth century music, aiming in his own work to achieve the right balance between traditional and contemporary approaches.
David's compositions have many influences both musical and non-musical. Early exposure to the works of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Moeran, Bridge and Bax helped to give his music its distinctive warm, glowing quality, further enhanced by his admiration for Gershwin and Medieval music. An appreciation of the landscape of the North of England, particularly Yorkshire and Northumberland, has also left a positive mark on David's music, which aims to recreate its sense of timelessness. The composer is strongly influenced by poetry and the visual arts, particularly English watercolours of the early nineteenth century, which he feels are an inspiring marriage of technique and expression. David admires contemporary composers who share his belief in writing music that is directly communicative, such as John Tavener, Judith Weir, Robin Holloway and John Casken. David became a member of the Lakeland Composers in 2009 and his music regularly appears in concert programmes. It has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
A highly acclaimed recording of David's complete music for piano performed by James Willshire was recently released on the Divine Art label. Signed copies can be ordered directly from the composer (see the Contact Page of this website) or from Amazon and other websites. The CD is also available to buy in all good record stores. It has been nominated for Recording Of The Year 2013 by MusicWeb International. David's complete piano music is published by Goodmusic Publishing.
Here is a movement from the Sonatina No. 2 for Piano. It is played by Phillip Fawcett, who gave the work its first performance: