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David Murphy



Welsh conductor David Murphy made his Royal Opera debut in 2017 conducting the posthumous premiere of Ravi Shankar’s opera Sukanya, which he also orchestrated. He has previously worked at the Royal Opera House as an assistant to Charles Mackerras.

Murphy was born in Pembrokeshire. He trained as a violinist at the Purcell School and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and went on to perform as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Britain and Europe. After two years spent teaching at Wichita State University he trained as a conductor with Jay Decker, Gustav Meier, Seiji Ozawa and Léon Barzin. He has since conducted orchestras including London Philharmonic Orchestra (engagements including the world premiere of Shankar’s Symphony, recorded for LPO Live), Scottish Chamber Orchestra (including the world premiere of Amjad Ali Khan’s sarod concerto Samaagam, recorded for Harmonic Mundi), Residentie Orkest (including the European premiere of Indra and the Polish premiere of Elgar/Payne’s Symphony no.3), London Sinfonietta (including Holst’s Savitri), Philharmonia Orchestra (including the London premiere of Holst’s Indra), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia.

Murphy has been Musical Director of Sinfonia Verdi since 1990. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

News and features

Opera Essentials: Ravi Shankar’s Sukanya

8 May 2017
Opera Essentials: Ravi Shankar’s <em>Sukanya</em>

Our quick introduction to this world premiere from a music icon.

How Ravi Shankar's Sukanya came to life

4 May 2017
How Ravi Shankar's <em>Sukanya</em> came to life

The iconic sitarist’s only opera was left unfinished upon his death, but it has now been completed and will soon be heard for the first time.

Ravi Shankar's opera Sukanya to receive world premiere in May 2017

29 September 2016
Ravi Shankar's opera <em>Sukanya</em> to receive world premiere in May 2017

The late composer's only opera will tour the UK in a new co-production with London Philharmonic Orchestra and Leicester's Curve theatre.