David Robert Coleman

The composer and conductor David Robert Coleman was born in London into a German-English family. He studied piano, conducting (with Christopher Adey) and composition (with George Benjamin) at the Royal College of Music London, where he won several conducting prizes. He also studied musicology at King’s College Cambridge and wrote a dissertation on Alban Berg’s ‘Altenberg Lieder’.

Compositions of David Robert Coleman have been commissioned and performed by international orchestras and ensembles, such as the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Members of the Berlin Staatskapelle and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012 he wrote a new instrumentation of the third act of Berg’s ‘Lulu’ for the Berlin State Opera (Barenboim and Andrea Breth. His chamber opera ‘Hans im Glück’ was performed over fifty times at the Berlin State Oper in the Schiller Theater. In 2018 his piece ‘looking for Palestine’ for soprano and orchestra was premiered by Elsa Dreisig, Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at the London Proms and Salzburg festival. His opera ‘The House of Dr Hoffmann’, to a libretto by Irene Dische, was premiered at the Brandenburg Opera in 2019. In 2021 his new piano concerto, written for Saleem Ashkar, was played on a tour with the Kammerakademie Potsdam under his direction.

His music is published by Editions Leduc Paris and Ries und Erler Berlin.

Coleman has been invited as a guest-conductor by orchestras such as the LPO London, Saarbrücken State Orchestra (first performance Penderecki’s piano concerto), Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra (first performance of ‘Nein’ by Uri Caine) , Frankfurt Radio Orchestra and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie.

At the Berlin State Opera, Coleman  conducted two premieres of operas by Sciarrino (‘Macbeth’ and ‘Luca mie traditrici’) directed by Jürgen Flimm. He also conducted performances of operas such as Stravinsky’s ‘The Rake’s Progress’, Bernstein’s ‘Candide’, ‘Neither’ by Morton Feldman and ‘Matsukaze’ by Toshio Hosokawa with Barbara Hannigan in the main role.  Coleman has also conducted ‘Matsukaze’ for Japanese television in Tokyo’s New National Theatre and at the Opera de Lille.

Currently he is based in Germany.