Dr David Banney

Described by the great English conductor Vernon Handley as ‘...easily among the best half-dozen young conductors that I have encountered in the forty years of my career…’, David Banney enjoys a busy schedule of conducting, teaching and composing.  Winner of the ABC-Westfield Australian Young Conductor of the Year Award in 1995, David has conducted many of Australia’s professional orchestras, including the Queensland Symphony, the Queensland Philharmonic, the Canberra Symphony and the West Australian Symphony.  In 1996 David was Music Director of the Brisbane City Opera with whom he gave a critically acclaimed season of Menotti’s The Consul in the Brisbane Biennial.  In 1997 he was Assistant Conductor of Opera Queensland and has also worked with the Queensland Ballet and the Queensland Theatre Company.

David has worked with many student and community orchestras including the Sydney Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Queensland Youth Orchestra and the Newcastle University Symphony Orchestra.  From 1999 to 2005 he was the conductor of the European Medical Students Orchestra with whom he toured Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Norway and the Czech Republic.  He is the Artistic Director of the Christ Church Camerata, Newcastle’s newly formed chamber orchestra.

David has performed with some of Australia’s most prominent soloists, including Ian Munro, Simon Tedeschi and Evgeny Ukharov (piano), Graeme Jennings, Susan Collins and Tor Fromyhr (violin), Patricia Pollett (viola), Margaret Medlyn, Ghillian Sullivan, Jennifer Barnes and Shu Cheen Yu (sopranos), Henry Choo (tenor), Margery Smith and Jason Zanthoudakis (saxophone) and Paul Dean (clarinet). 

His repertoire includes a wide range of orchestral music, church music and opera, as well as many contemporary works.  He has given the World Premieres of a number of Australian works, including Rob Davidson’s Circle, commissioned by the QSO in 1996.  He has conducted works of other Australian composers, among them Ross Edwards, Peter Sculthorpe, Matthew Hindson, Ann Boyd, Phil Bracanin, Colin Brumby and Colin Spiers.  In 2001 he conducted the Australian premiere of Elegy by Swiss composer Jean-Luc Darbellay.   

A past winner of the ABC Young Composers Competition, David’s own works include symphonic music, works for choir, chamber music and pieces for young string orchestras.  His Two Pieces for Violin and Orchestra was premiered by Michele Walsh (violin) with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.  His Newcastle Mass, for mixed and organ, will receive its European Premiere in December 2010, with a performance by the choir of the Kodály Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary. 

David’s teachers have included Vernon Handley, John Curro and Ed Bolkovac (conducting), and Patricia Pollett (viola).  He graduated in music from the University of Queensland in 1996.  David also holds a medical degree form the University of Queensland, and currently works in a Skin Cancer Clinic in Newcastle. 

In 2006 David founded the Newcastle String Academy, an organisation devoted to teaching young string players using the Kodály approach to music education.  David is Vice-President of the NSW Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia (KMEIA), and a member of the National KMEIA Council.