Biography

Photo of MeDavid Power was born in London in 1962 but spent most of his childhood in York. His initial interest was rock music. However, the electronic instrumentals on David Bowie’s ‘Berlin’ albums led him to become increasingly interested in more experimental music and, in due course, he discovered the music of composers such Boulez and Stockhausen. This prompted a change in direction. He studied composition with Richard Steinitz, Steve Ingham and Roger Marsh.

In the late 1990's - following a difficult period compositionally, he wrote Eight Miniatures and these saw him adopt a simpler and more direct tone in his music which continues to this day. Most of his music prior to the Miniatures has now been withdrawn.

His Three Chamber Pieces was premiered at the 1987 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and since then his work has been performed widely throughout the UK and, more recently, in Europe and the USA. He has received a number of commissions over the years and his work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as well as on various regional radio stations. His work has also been used as soundtracks for art installations and short films, notably with artist Linda Ingham and film-maker Annabel McCourt.

In 1991 he and Steve Crowther inherited the Soundpool Contemporary Music Concerts. In 1995 he co-founded the Late Music Festival of which he remained Artistic Director until 2008. During that time, a total of 148 concerts were delivered and a total of 97 first performances were given. In its later years the Festival also delivered an ambitious education outreach programme in partnership with the City of York Council.

In 2007 he was awarded the St Hugh’s Fellowship to write two new pieces and to found a new classical music festival in NE Lincolnshire. This Festival was held at St James Church (now Grimsby Minster) in Grimsby in September 2008. It was a significant success and, consequently it became an annual event running until 2011. 

In 2012, his Eight Evening Songs was included on the acclaimed Songs Now: British Songs of the 21st Century CD on the Meridian label. His music was used extensively in the soundtrack of Annabel McCourt’s latest film Delphine which had its first showing at the Bathing Beauties Festival in Lincolnshire. He is a member of the Sounds Lyrical Project which brings together poets and composers with a strong York connection with a view to jointly creating new classical songs and bringing the songs to new audiences. 

As a writer he has published two short books – David Lindsay’s Vision - introduction by Colin Wilson - (Paupers’ Press 1991 and republished in the USA in 2005 by Maurice Bassett Publications) and David Bowie: A Sense of Art (Paupers Press 2003). He also contributed a chapter to Around the Outsider – Essays Presented to Colin Wilson on the Occasion of his 80th birthday which was edited by Colin Stanley and Published by 0 Books in 2011. He has also had numerous articles and reviews plublished in a number of periodicals including The new Statesman, London magazine and Tempo.

In 2018 his Shades 3 and his Bowie arrangement Three Berlin Instrumentals appeared on the Delta Saxophone Quartet's CD Bowie Berlin and Beyond. His Eight Piano Miniatures appeared on the CD A Hundred Years of British Piano Miniatures recorded by Duncan honeybourne and released on the Naxos Grand Piano label.

Also in 2018, he curated two projects for the York Late Music Concert series. The first was a day of three concerts and a talk devoted to twentieth century piano music played by Ian Pace. The second was 'Ten New Debussys' in which ten composers ranging from Errollyn Wallen and Robin Holloway to emerging young composers were each asked to take a Debussy solo piano piece, leave the first minute as it was and then develop it away and into a new piece of their own. The project was featured on BBC Radio 3's In Tune and mentioned on BBC 2's 'Proms Extra' programme

Future plans include a CD of all the Ten New Debussys including his own piece The Engulfed Cathedral