David Owen Norris’s optimistic temperament has led him to sample many facets of the musical world. He’s been a repetiteur at the Royal Opera House, Artistic Director of the Cardiff Festival, Chairman of the Steans Institute for Singers at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Gresham Professor of Music in the City of London, a presenter of many musical series on BBC Radios 3 and 4, and – thanks to a mishearing on the telephone – harpist for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He was an organ scholar at Oxford University, which he left with a First, a composition scholarship and a funny accent.
He studied in Paris and Vienna, and he spent eighteen years as student, scholar and professor at the Royal Academy of Music. Resigning by accident, he spent the better part of a decade in America as the first Gilmore Artist, a ‘stealth’ award that crept up on him all unbeknowing. The twenty-first century finds him a Research Fellow at Southampton University (where he discovered that the World’s First Piano Concerto was written by the Fattest Man in England) and a Professor at the Royal College of Music.