Conductor’s Groundbreaking Project Reaches Climax

As the last student of Leon Barzin, and a protégée of both Sir Charles Mackerras and Pandit Ravi Shankar, conductor David Murphy’s eclectic musical experiences have led him to become a leading pioneer in the fusion of Indian and Western Classical music – a quest which has sparked the development of a new musical genre that taps into the common roots of both musical worlds.

The huge potential for musical discovery this work has created sparked an approach to Arts Council England for support to explore this area, both through research, and through performances which bring together some of the worlds leading Indian musicians with British orchestras. The resulting project, Looking East, is now reaching its climax, and is bringing the musical techniques and traditions of ancient India into the western orchestral mainstream.

David Murphy is uniquely suited to making this connection as whilst being trained as a violinist at the Purcell School, he also undertook masterclasses with Yehudi Menuhin sparking an interest in Indian music. Conducting training followed at the Guildhall School of Music, privately with Leon Barzin (the only surviving pupil of Toscanini), with Seiji Ozawa at Tanglewood and as assistant to Sir Charles Mackerras. The Indian spark ignited by Menuhin grew when Murphy began creative projects with Indian musicians. He went on to perform and to study intensively with Pandit Ravi Shankar who has been his guide in the world of Indian music in recent years.

David conducts orchestras throughout the world, in performances ranging from a recent Beethoven 9 broadcast on both Korean and Japanese television, and a critically acclaimed Festival Hall debut, to working with orchestras in India and South Africa including education work with children from the Townships and villages. All of his mainstream classical work has been inspired by the vitality, colour and perspective of the music of India, and it is this perspective he is looking forward to sharing with audiences in the coming months.

Performances are taking place in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, plus tours throughout India and the US. Scottish and Indian dates are with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the legendary Amjad Ali Khan, and the London performances are with the London Sinfonietta, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva, each premiering a new work by a leading Indian musician, culminating in the World Premiere of Ravi Shankar’s Symphony with the LPO at the Royal Festival Hall next season.

For more information or to request a sample CD please contact:
Ian Roberts or Sara Boughton /
Tel. 0044 (0)20 7734 0206

Related Performances / Tours:
November ’08 – 21st Glasgow City Halls

22nd Edinburgh Queens Hall Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Mozart, Beethoven, Khan Samaagam plus pre concert talk on common ground between Indian and Western music

Jan ‘09 – Rehearsing/preparing new Sitar Concerto by Ravi Shankar with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Anoushka Shankar for US tour culminating in Carnegie Hall performance on January 31st

Feb ‘09 – Tour of India with SCO and Amjad Ali Khan, performances in: MUMBAI, HYDERABAD, BANGALORE, KOLKOTA, PUNE and DELHI

May ’09 – Kings Place London, Holst’s Savitri & New Work by Wajahat Khan with London Sinfonietta (May 22nd) & Kala Ramnath’s Seasons (May 23rd) with Sinfonia Viva

June ’10 – World premiere of Ravi Shankar’s new Symphony at Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmionic Orchestra