David Firman studied at Trinity College London, and Magdalene College Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar and also Musical Director of Footlights. His professional career began in the orchestral pits of numerous West End theatres – he was Musical Director for the original productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Singin’ in the Rain, La Cage aux Folles, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Pirates of Penzance, and more recently the revival of Carousel. In tandem with theatre work he developed studio experience as a session recording keyboard player, performing on the soundtracks of Return of the Jedi, the Superman series, Legend, Tombstone, and Basic Instinct, along with television recordings for Carl Davis, Nigel Hess and Jim Parker. As an arranger and orchestrator he worked on the West End productions of My One and Only, Metropolis, and Enter the Guardsman, and for the regional productions of The Wiz and Good Fun, where he first met its writer, Victoria Wood. He later went on to be arranger and Musical Director for 3 BAFTA award-winning series “Victoria Wood as Seen on T.V.”, “Dinner Ladies”, “Christmas with all the Trimmings” and Parkinson – featuring Victoria.
Increasingly now David was in the concert hall and recording studio, conducting such orchestras as the London Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic – for whom he conducted their inaugural concert in their new home, Cadogan Hall. He was also conducting abroad, not only in Europe (Budapest, Prague, Zurich, Hannover, Hamburg) but also further afield (Tokyo, Nagoya, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Bangkok, Adelaide, San Diego, Perth). In particular he is Principal Guest Conductor with the Danish National Concert Orchestra, with whom he has worked for two decades – highlights include the celebration marking the royal opening of the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, a royal marriage, numerous film and television recordings, Hans Andersen’s televised centenary celebration with Jean Michel Jarre, concert performances of The Lord Of The Rings, and the premiere of the Hobbit, with Sir Christopher Lee – these last two David also arranged and orchestrated.
His career also came to include new writing commissions – a 40 minute symphonic soundtrack for a Danish production “A Mother’s Story”, and a new ballet for the Danish Royal Ballet, which proved particularly successful, being recorded for DVD and TV transmission. A special joy for David has been working with an infinite variety of musical disciplines and styles – concerts, film, theatre, television – across several continents, and in a multiplicity of venues – recording studios, concert halls, open air festivals, renowned theatres, opera houses, and intimate performing spaces. Above all he is grateful for the inspiration received from collaborations with soloists Bryn Terfel, Harolyn Blackwell, Elaine Paige, Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Jerry Hadley, Victoria Wood, Gary Brooker, Sir James Galway, Sir Tim Rice, Sir Trevor Nunn, Glenn Close, Leo Andrew, Claire Moore, Jean Michel Jarre and many others, along with partnerships with groups such as the Danish National Concert Orchestra, the Odense Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and freelance ensembles all over the world.
Recently he has developed a specialism conducting live orchestral (and choral when appropriate) performances of soundtracks to films projected onto big screen. These have included the world premiere of Frozen, the European premiere of Beauty and the Beast, and worldwide performances of Fantasia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Amadeus, Titanic, Casino Royale, and Star Wars.
Music in all its forms continues to excite and enchant him.