David Campbell (composer)

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David Campbell
David Campbell Conducting.jpg
Background information
Birth name David Richard Campbell
Born (1948-02-07) February 7, 1948 (age 67)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Rock, pop, country, alternative, indie rock, hip hop, r&b, blues, jazz, punk, rock en español, metal, classical
Occupation(s) Arranger, composer, conductor
Instruments Viola, violin, piano
Years active 1971–present
Website davidmusic.com

David Richard Campbell (born February 7, 1948) is an arranger, composer and conductor. He has worked on over 450 gold and platinum albums including 21 (Adele), Futuresex/Lovesounds (Justin Timberlake), The 2nd Law (Muse), Invincible (Michael Jackson), Spirit (Leona Lewis), Aaliyah (Aaliyah), Fallen (Evanescence), Meteora (Linkin Park), B'Day (Beyoncé), Bangerz (Miley Cyrus), and various albums by his son Beck.[1][2][3]


Campbell was born in Toronto, Ontario. His father, D. Warren Campbell, was from Winnipeg, Manitoba, but was attending seminary in Toronto in order to become a Presbyterian minister. Campbell subsequently was assigned to a church in Pittsburgh, taking his family with him, before settling in Seattle when Campbell was 10.[4] Campbell took up the violin at age 9. At 12 he began venturing into orchestration, studying the works of Bartók, Schoenberg and Stravinsky.[3][5]

In the late 1960s, after studying at Manhattan School of Music, Campbell moved from New York to Los Angeles and began studying pop music. He studied the music of The Beatles, Leonard Cohen and The Rolling Stones, and he played bluegrass music for crowds in line for movies in Westwood Village.[3][5]

At the age of 23, Campbell played on his first major album, Tapestry, by Carole King. This led to his first arranger role, for King's Rhymes and Reasons album. Campbell also played viola on recording sessions such as Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" and Bill Withers' "Lean on Me".[3][5]

Since then he has gone on to arrange songs for such artists as Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Paul McCartney, Green Day, Avril Lavigne, Radiohead, Leona Lewis, Juanes, Dixie Chicks, My Chemical Romance, Enrique Iglesias, Neil Diamond, and Sheryl Crow.[1][3][5][6]

In addition to his pop music career, Campbell has composed, arranged or orchestrated music in over 80 films, some of the more recent ones being Annie (2014), Foxcatcher (2014), August: Osage County (2013), Rock of Ages (2012), Dreamgirls (2007), North Country (2005), and Brokeback Mountain (2005).[7] In 2010 he worked with Nigel Godrich on the score for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.[3][8]

In recent years, he has conducted at the Hollywood Bowl for Faith Hill, Death Cab for Cutie, Ray LaMontagne, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, and The xx. He collaborated with Muse for the performance of Survival, the official song of the London Olympics. He also collaborated with Beck for the Lincoln Motor Company ad campaign, "Hello, Again", which featured a live performance of Beck's Sound and Vision cover and included 167 live musicians playing simultaneously.[3][6][9][10] In February 2009 Campbell arranged Radiohead's "15 Step" for the band's collaboration with the USC Marching Band at the 2009 Grammy Awards.[11] He conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as arranged and orchestrated the music for Beck's Song Reader concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which featured many performers, including Childish Gambino, Juanes, Anne Hathaway, John C. Reilly, Jack Black and Jarvis Cocker.[12][13][14][15] He arranged and orchestrated for the Seattle Symphony and Pickwick's Sonic Evolution show on June 6, 2014.[16][17]

In 2003, Campbell served as conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra during their one night performance with Kiss, which was released on the album Kiss Symphony: Alive IV. During the concert, Campbell and the members of the orchestra wore the iconic Kiss makeup along with the members of the band.

He created song arrangements, dance arrangements, underscoring and orchestrations for the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.[6][18]

Personal life[edit]

Campbell has two sons and one daughter: musician Beck Hansen, artist Channing Hansen, and musician Alyssa Suede.

He is married to theatrical composer Raven Kane.[19][20]

His father was a Presbyterian minister but Campbell himself has been a Scientologist for over 45 years.

In 2012, he donated to Ron Paul's campaign in the US Presidential election.[3][21]

List of album arrangements[edit]


  • Dolly Parton - Rainbow
  • Emmylou Harris - Trio
  • Jennifer Warnes - Famous Blue Raincoat
  • Art Garfunkel - Scissors Cut
  • Rita Coolidge - Heartbreak Radio
  • Robin Williamson - Songs of Love and Parting

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "www.discogs.com". www.discogs.com. 1948-02-07. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  2. ^ Randy Lewis (2009-07-10). "Lewis, Randy, "David Campbell and Beck: father yields to the son*"". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Jim Fusilli (2014-05-20). "David Campbell, Arranger-Conductor to the Stars". e.wsj.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  4. ^ "Meet Beck's dad, David Campbell, who has helped sell nearly 1 billion records". Toronto Star. June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Neil Weiss (1999-01-16). "Weiss, Niel, "His Strings Really Zing"". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  6. ^ a b c Hollywood Bowl (2011-05-26). "Philpedia - About the conductor David Campbell". www.hollywoodbowl.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  7. ^ IMDb. "IMDb profile - David Campbell". www.imdb.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  8. ^ "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World | Original Score ~ Digital Release 10th August 2010". Edgar Wright Here. August 10, 2010. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ Hollywood Bowl. "Death Cab for Cutie Los Angeles Philharmonic". www.hollywoodbowl.com. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  10. ^ Lincoln Motor Company. "Hello Again". www.hello-again.com. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  11. ^ "USC Trojan Marching Band + Radiohead @ 2009. Grammys". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  12. ^ Randall Roberts (2013-11-25). "Review: Beck and friends celebrate 'Song Reader' at Disney Hall". articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  13. ^ Gavin Edwards (2013-11-25). "Beck Performs 'Song Reader' in L.A. With All-Star Guests". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  14. ^ Kory Grow (2013-11-01). "Beck Announces L.A. 'Song Reader' Concert, Teams With Warby Parker". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  15. ^ Laura Ferreiro (2013-11-22). "Conductor David Campbell Discusses His Son Beck's Upcoming 'Song Reader' Concert". music.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  16. ^ Brangien Davis (2014-06). "Sir Mix-A-Lot, Pickwick to Perform at Seattle Symphony's Sonic Evolution". www.seattlemag.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ seattlesymphony.org. "Pickwick /arr. David Campbell Composer". seattlesymphony.org. Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  18. ^ "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  19. ^ Lester, Paul. "Beck to basics". The Age. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  20. ^ Davis, John T. "SXSW review: Alyssa Suede". www.johntonline.com. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "Contributions from Celebrities to Paul, Ron (R)". 
  22. ^ "albumcredits.com". albumcredits.com. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  23. ^ www.allmusic.com
  24. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "Vengo Venenoso - Antonio Carmona : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-07-31.