David Horne

Photo of David Horne

Head of Graduate School

BMus (Curtis), PhD (Harvard)

Email: [email protected]





Professor David Horne teaches in both academic and principal study areas at the RNCM and directs HARP, the college’s Hub for Artistic Research into Performance. He supervises a wide range of composition, performance and musicology PhD students.

He is regularly commissioned and performed by major organisations in the UK and abroad, including Carnegie Hall, London Sinfonietta, the BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Scottish Chamber Orchestras. Ensembles who have performed his music include Ensemble 10/10, Nash Ensemble, Scottish Ensemble and, abroad, Boston Musica Viva, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Centre, Ensemble Moderne, the Nieuw Ensemble (Netherlands), Orchestra 2001 (Philadelphia) and Remix Ensemble (Portugal.) His solo commissions include those from Boris Berezovsky, Nicholas Cox, Evelyn Glennie, Nobuko Imai and Fred Sherry.

His concerto works include a Piano Concerto, a percussion concerto (Ignition) for Evelyn Glennie and a Double Violin Concerto for Clio Gould and Jonathan Morton. His full-length opera Friend of the People, was commissioned and premiered by Scottish Opera. His music has featured at the BBC Proms, Cheltenham, Huddersfield and St. Magnus Festivals as well as at international festivals in Berlin, Paris, Rome, Singapore and Strasbourg. Active as a pianist, and winner of the piano section, BBC Young Musician of the Year 1988, he has recently performed both his Piano Concerto and Flex with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Career highlights include a full evening concert of his works given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Clark Rundell, subsequently broadcast. Last year he had a portrait concert as part of the BBC Proms, accompanying the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of his Daedalus in Flight. His music is published by Boosey and Hawkes.

A respected teacher and mentor David is in demand as an educator at all levels. He has mentored emerging composers on Making Music’s Adopt a Composer programme for a decade and frequently advises and mentors composers on Sound and Music projects. He has a keen interest in working with younger musicians and is a key tutor on the Sound and Music Summer School and leads education projects throughout the UK.

Personal Website

Current and Future Research

Restless Feeling (2008), for large ensemble 20”

Commissioned by Remix Ensemble; Première Porto: Casa di Musica, Portugal, [date] March 1 2008, Remix Ensemble, conductor Peter Rundel. Subsequent performances in Lisbon: Gulbenkian Foundation March 2 2008, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin March 8 2008 and Palais de Fetes Strasbourg September 29, 2008, with accompanying interview on Radio France Musique. UK performances by Ensemble 10:10, conductor Clark Rundell , Cornerstone, Liverpool, June 20, 2009 and April 18, 2012


Chime (2009), for basset clarinet and piano 10′

Commissioned by Mark Simpson: Première Cornerstone Festival, Liverpool, November 23 2009, Mark Simpson, basset clarinet, Ian Buckle, piano

Released 2010 on NMC D139


Virtuosic Instruments (2012), for large ensemble 12″ 

first performance November 14, Ensemble 10/10 conducted by Clark Rundell


Daedalus in Flight (2013) for orchestra 11”

Written for New Music North West festival 2013: Première, MediaCityUK, Manchester, October 29 2013, BBC Philharmonic, conductor Clark Rundell


Recent research presentations:

With oboist Melinda Maxwell- Composition and Improvisation

RNCM Research Seminar, March 2011

Performing Musicology RMA Study Day, City University London, June 2011

Royal Holloway University of London, October 2011

IMR Study Day The Instrument in Performance, University of London, March 2012


Presenting alone on joint research project:

First International Improvisation Conference, Braga, Portugal, April 2011

Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium, February 2012


Presentation at Graduate Study Day

Sheffield University, January 2012


Presentation on recent work:

Liverpool Hope University, November 2012

Undergraduate Teaching

Principal study composition tutor

Co-ordinator and tutor: Performing Contemporary Music (BMus3), Performance Studies (BMus4)

Lecturer: Research Electives:

Anatomy of the Symphony: from Berlioz to Shostakovich

20th Century Chamber Music

The Modern Concerto

20th Century Analysis

Five Great 20th Century Operas

The String Quartet from 1900

Puccini Operas

Wagner- Der Ring des Nibelungen

Composition and Performance

Lecturer: Music, Culture and Performance I (19th and 20th centuries)

Postgraduate Teaching

Principal study composition tutor

PG Composition Seminar

Co-ordinator and lecturer: Lecture Recital

Co-ordinator and lecturer: Repertoire Studies (MPerf)

Supervision: (Lecture Recital, projects)

Research Supervision

Primary supervisor:

Devon Bonelli – Composition

Elspeth Brooke – Composition

Christian Jones- Performance

Davide Sciacca – Performance

Secondary supervisor:

Nate Chivers- Composition

Peggy Nolan- Performance

Nick Waldock- Performance

Previous supervision, completed:

Dr Jack Adler-McKean- Performance

Dr Jason Alder- Performance

Dr Kerry Baldwin- Performance

Dr Isabel Benito-Gutierrez- Composition

Dr Zakiya Leeming – Composition

Dr Gillian Menichino – Composition

Dr Olga Paliy – Performance

Dr Silvia Lucas Rodriguez- Performance

Dr Kiana Shafei- Performance

Dr Maksim Štšura- Musicology (at the Royal College of Music)

Dr Jacob Thompson-Bell – Composition




  • David Horne Daedalus in Flight, 2013, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Clark Rundell, Full orchestra, 
  • David Horne Virtuosic Instruments, 2012, Ensemble 10:10, Clark Rundell, Large ensemble, , Liverpool
  • David Horne Chime for Basset Clarinet and Piano, 2009, Mark Simpson, Ian Buckle Basset Clarinet (A) and Piano, NMC, Liverpool, 2010
  • David Horne Restless Feeling, 2008, Remix Ensemble, Peter Rundel, Large ensemble, , Porto, Portugal
  • Composition(All Details – Simplified)s

  • published by , 2023

Professional Activity

David is highly sought after as a workshop leader and has led projects and courses for the Aldeburgh Festival, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, London Sinfonietta, SPNM, and Wigmore Hall. He is a mentor on Sound and Music’s Adopt a Composer programme and led the first New Music/New Media course for the Britten-Pears School in 2004. He was composer in association with the RLPO from 2000-2003 and in 2006/07 was a visiting professor at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya. His compositions (over 90) are published exclusively by Boosey and Hawkes and his music has been recorded on several labels, including BMG and NMC.

A Tutor in Composition at the RNCM since 2001, many of his students have gained inclusion on the SPNM shortlist, won a wide range of awards and scholarships, including two Theodore Holland Intercollegiate Prizes, commissions and performances by prestigious orchestras and ensembles. A full-time member of staff since 2008, his teaching at both undergraduate, postgraduate and research level reflects the wide range of his compositional research, his interests in performance studies and various topics including analysis, orchestral and chamber music, opera and the study of instrumentation.