Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

David Riley


David is now retired as a long-standing member of the orchestra of Opera North, where he held positions as both sub-principal and principal in the first violin section. He previously played with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Scottish Baroque Ensemble. He also spent time in West Germany as guest Co-principal second violin in the Staatsteater Orchester, Kassel.

For many years David was the violinist of the Ridings Piano Quartet, performing many concerts in Yorkshire and further afield, with programmes covering much of the piano quartet repertoire. He also has a lasting interest in the violin and piano repertoire, and has given numerous recitals in the north of England ranging from Bach to Bartok, with a particular passion for the great 18th and 19th century German composers. He has performed as soloist in concertos by Bach, Mozart, Bruch, and Mendelssohn. A recent interest is his collaboration, with his pianist wife, in theatre pieces, written by Vanessa Rosenthal, which have been staged extensively in the north of England, at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and as far afield as London, Edinburgh ( festival fringe ), and Jerusalem festival .

Throughout his career David has had a continued interest in teaching; he teaches privately, and on the instrumental staff at the University of Leeds. He has had many successful exam candidates at all levels, with a significant number continuing on to gain distinction at diploma level.

In addition to his musical activities, David has a degree in history. He also trained and worked for a number of years as a voluntary bereavement counsellor. He loves serious walking, visiting galleries, reading, opera, and the cinema. He continues to be in demand as a free-lance player, and occasional soloist and chamber music player.


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