Born in Carlisle in 1957, David Hill was educated at Chetham’s School of Music as a violinist and pianist, where he led the school orchestra. He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the age of 17 and won an organ scholarship to St John’s College, Cambridge where he served under the direction of the late Dr George Guest. His previous posts have included Master of Music at Winchester Cathedral (1987–2002) and Westminster Cathedral (1982–7), Associate Conductor and then Artistic Director of the Philharmonia Chorus (1986–97), Music Director of The Waynflete Singers (1987-2002) and Director of Music at St John’s College, Cambridge (2003-2007).
He is in great demand for choral training workshops worldwide, and his handbook on the subject Giving Voice was published in 1995. He is a choral advisor to music publishers Novello, for whom he has edited several publications including the carols anthologies Noël!, and he regularly contributes articles to Choir and Organ. As an organist, he has given recitals in most of the major venues in the UK and has toured extensively abroad.
David Hill’s broad-ranging discography of over 80 recordings, spanning repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day and including many award-winners, can be found on the Decca/Argo, Hyperion, Naxos and Virgin Classics labels. The third in his English series for Naxos with The Bach Choir and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – Delius’s A Mass of Life – was widely acclaimed on its release in 2012 and won a coveted Choc de Classica. With The Bach Choir David Hill has contributed to the film sound tracks of Kingdom of Heaven, The Chronicles of Narnia and Shrek the Third.
Hill has appeared as guest conductor with the London, Royal Liverpool, BBC, Strasbourg and Zagreb Philharmonic orchestras; the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra Ulster Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as the Netherlands Radio Choir and RIAS Chamber Choir, Berlin.
His commitment to new music has led to him premiering works from leading composers including Judith Bingham, Carl Rütti, Francis Pott, Bob Chilcott, Patrick Gowers, Gabriel Jackson, James Macmillan, Jonathan Harvey, Philip Moore, Naji Hakim, Sir John Tavener, Philip Wilby and Jonathan Dove.
Recent and future highlights include a highly praised BBC Prom in which he conducted the BBC Singers and the chamber ensemble Endymion in The Desert Music by Steve Reich; a celebratory concert for the BBC Singers’ 90th Anniversary at the Barbican; extensive work with the BBC Singers, The Bach Choir and Yale Schola Cantorum; performances with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.