David Owen Norris

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David Owen Norris, FSA (born 1953) is a British pianist, composer, academic, and broadcaster.


Norris was born in 1953 in Northampton, England.[1] He studied music at Keble College, Oxford where he was organ scholar; he is now an Honorary Fellow of the college.[2] After leaving Oxford, he studied composition, and worked at the Royal Opera House as a repetiteur. As a pianist, he has accompanied soloists such as Dame Janet Baker, Larry Adler and John Tomlinson, and his solo career has included appearances at the Proms and performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has also presented several radio series – his Playlist Series for BBC Radio 4 has recently finished its second series – presented for television, and appeared in a number of television documentaries. He is a professor at the Royal College of Music and also teaches at the University of Southampton, where he is Head of Keyboard.[3] He has also been Gresham Professor of Music and a professor at the Royal Academy of Music (having earlier been a student there).[4]


Norris has enjoyed success as a composer in a wide range of musical styles. His Piano Concerto and Symphony were first performed at Dorchester Abbey by the English Music Festival, as was his oratorio Prayerbook, which has been frequently performed and studied subsequent to its premiere. His song cycles Think Only This (settings of war poetry) and Tomorrow Nor Yesterday (settings of the poetry of John Donne) have been released on a disc entitled Fame's Great Trumpet. His operas and operettas, including Die! Sober Flirter and The Jolly Roger, have been performed on BBC Radio and around the UK and Europe, as have several pastiches of Mozart.


On 12 November 2015, Norris was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA).[5]


(* = Premiere recordings)

Piano Concertos

Constant Lambert Rio Grande (Gilmore Festival Records) Yoshimi Takeda KSO 1996

Constant Lambert Piano Concerto (ASV CD WHL 2122) Barry Wordsworth BBCCO* 1999

The World's First Piano Concertos [on Square Piano] (Avie AV0014) Sonnerie 2003

Elgar Piano Concerto realised Walker (Dutton CDLX 7148) David Lloyd-Jones BBCCO* 2005

Joseph Horovitz Jazz Concerto (Dutton CDLX 7188) Horovitz Royal Ballet Sinfonia 2007

Richard Arnell Piano Concerto (Dutton CDLX 7184) Martin Yates RSNO* 2007

Montague Phillips Piano Concertos in F# minor and in E (Dutton CDLX 7206)*Gavin Sutherland BBCCO 2008

Victor Hely-Hutchinson Jazz Concerto 'The Young Idea: cum grano salis’ (Dutton CDLX 7206)* 2008

Solo Piano

Elgar/Karg-Elert First Symphony (AVM AVZ-3024)* 1990

Elgar Sketches for Third Symphony (NMC D052)* 1998

Peter Maxwell Davies Farewell to Stromness (MPR 203) 1998

Elgar Complete Piano Music (Elgar Editions EE 002)* 2003

Dyson Complete Piano Music (Dutton CDLX 7137)* 2004

Elgar Songs & Piano Music played on Elgar's 1844 Broadwood (Avie AV2129) Amanda Pitt, Mark Wilde, Peter Savidge (Two world premieres*) 2007

Audio-guide to the Cobbe Collection of Composer-related instruments at Hatchlands, playing pianos formerly belonging to JC Bach, Charles Dibdin, JB Cramer, Chopin, Thalberg, Liszt, Bizet, Elgar etc. 2008

Elgar/Karg-Elert/Norris Symphonic Study Falstaff, Pomp & Circumstance (Elgar Editions EECD009)* 2009

Giles Easterbrook The Moon Underwater Chamber music and piano solo (Prima Facie PFCD002)* 2010

Roger Quilter Complete Piano Music (EMR CD02)* 2011

Mendelssohn Complete Songs without Words (not yet released)


Roger Quilter Songs (Hyperion A 66208) David Wilson-Johnson

Percy Grainger Songs (Pearl SHE 572) David Wilson-Johnson

Schubert Winterreise (Hyperion A66111) David Wilson-Johnson 1984

Somervell Songs (Hyperion CDA 66187) David Wilson-Johnson 1986

Britten The Turn of the Screw (Collins 70302) Bedford, Lott, Langridge 1993

Gerald Finzi Songs (GMN CO116) David Wilson-Johnson 1996

Britten Saint Nicholas Steuart Bedford, Philip Langridge Naxos 8.557203 1996

Schubert Songs by Kosegarten and Goethe [including the only recording of Schubert's first song-cycle] (Dogstar DS001) Ian Partridge, Jennifer Bates, Ruth Peel* 2000

Bantock Songs (Dutton CDLX 7121) Jean Rigby, Peter Savidge 2002

London Pride (Song Recital) Catherine Bott (Hyperion CDA67457)* 2004

Roger Quilter Complete Duets and Traditional Song Arrangements (Naxos 8.557495) Amanda Pitt, Joanne Thomas, Philip Langridge, David Wilson-Johnson* 2005

Elgar Songs & Piano Music played on Elgar's 1844 Broadwood (Avie AV2129) Amanda Pitt, Mark Wilde, Peter Savidge (Two world premieres*) 2007

Music of the Pleasure Gardens (Signum Classics SIGCD101) Philip Langridge 2007

Trevor Hold Song Cycles (Dutton CDLX 7213) Amanda Pitt, David Wilson-Johnson* 2008

Herbert Songs (Linn CKD335) James Gilchrist* 2009

Priez pour paix War-Songs (Prelude CDPR2550)* Philip Langridge, Jennifer Langridge 2010

Entertaining Miss Austen (Dutton Epoch CDLX 7271) Amanda Pitt, John Lofthouse * 2011

Britten in Scotland (Naxos 8.572706) Mark Wilde 2011

Mr. Hook's Original Christmas Box (Dogstar DS010) Highcliffe Junior Choir* 2011

Chamber Music

Arnold Bax Piano Quintet (Chandos CHAN 8795) Mistry Quartet 1990

Elgar Piano Quintet (Argo 433 312–2) Mistry Quartet 1991

Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals (Chandos 9244) I Musici di Montreal

Norris All Together Now (Gilmore Festival Records)* 1996

Bridge Viola Music (ASV CD DCA 1064) Louise Williams 1999

Dyson Complete Chamber Music (Dutton CDLX 7137)* 2004

Beethoven Viola Arrangements (Toccata TOCC 0108)* Paul Silverthorne 2010

Poulenc Babar the Little Elephant Saint-Saëns The Carnival of the Animals (the latter with David Coram at the Organ of Romsey Abbey, and both with narration by Richard Briers) Cathedral Classics CCCD101 2011

Percy Sherwood Music for cello & piano (Toccata) Joseph Spooner *Feb 2012

McEwen &Bax Viola Sonatas (EM Records) Louise Williams* Feb 2012

Rawsthorne, Leighton, Maconchy, Jacob Viola Music (EM Records) Louise Williams* Summer 2012

Radio Programmes

A History of Private Life (BBC Audio 2010 ISBN 978-1-4084-6745-9. – 6 CDs)


  1. ^ "Norris, David Owen". Who's Who 2009. Oxford University Press. December 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2009. (subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ Archer, Ian W; Whalley, Simon. "Keble organ scholars". Keble College, Oxford. Retrieved 14 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "David Owen Norris". Royal College of Music. Retrieved 14 October 2009. 
  4. ^ "David Owen Norris". Hyperion Records. Retrieved 14 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "12 Nov Ballot Results". Society of Antiquaries of London. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 

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