David Burleigh grew up in a musical family in Cornwall, UK. His father was a tenor vocalist, and shared the same teacher as Benjamin Luxon, the world renowned baritone vocalist. His father’s love of singing led him to conduct local choirs and that rubbed off on David. David took up piano lessons at the age of four and violin at the age of eight. He was soon playing the violin in youth orchestras, joining the County Orchestra at the age of eleven and leading the Falmouth Youth Orchestra. He has several recollections of those days, particularly being left as the only violin due to others sickness for a performance of Pirates of Penzance, tackling the obbligatos in Oliver for Fagin’s aria, and all the wonderful music he was introduced to as a teenager that has stuck with him throughout his life.
David has a lifetime of experience and personal study to call on. He has been teaching violin, viola, piano and music theory & performance for over twenty years around Cornwall in the UK. David has taught both privately and for schools as a peripatetic. And he has taught in a variety of roles at Helston Community College, Falmouth University as a visiting professor, and the South West Music School. He is a registered teacher with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in London. David has played violin with several orchestras in the Cornwall area, and has played concerts as part of the Kenwyn String Quartet. On piano, his work has mainly been in the field of musical theatre, playing entire scores in performances of shows like Godspell, Barnum, Annie, The King and I etc…
It is in the field of conducting, however, that David is best known. He has conducted Helston Chamber Choir, Newquay Choral Society, Mabe Ladies Choir and four local orchestras including his own sixty piece symphony orchestra, the Porthleven Philharmonic Orchestra. Add to that, conducting the student orchestra at the University, directing as well as conducting Newquay Operatic Company, performing folk music to pub audiences as part of a duo, and accompanying singers and players for concerts, festival classes and exams and David’s performing life has been extremely varied! He considers himself a classical musician first and foremost but he understands and appreciates good pop and rock just as much!
David has been a mentor to many musicians to date and has been adding to that number at the Real School of Music for over three years now. Many of his students have been taking ABRSM exam qualifications very successfully. David went through this program himself twice and knows the value it provides. For the right student these exams provide considerable musical development opportunities.
David believes firmly in a good technique for playing and has developed a few little routines of his own to help with that. Just as important is performance, as David helps students get beyond the dots to the soul of the music. He always says he aims to produce good musicians, not just technicians!
In another life, David is an accomplished chess player and golfer. Among a few ‘claims to fame’ is a ‘hole in one’ measuring 341 yards (yes really!) and a win over the 19th ranking chess player in the world (well he was six years old at the time!!)