Born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1970, David Bruce grew up in England and now enjoys a growing reputation on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US, his third Carnegie Hall commission Steampunk (2011), follows Piosenki (2006), and Gumboots (2008) which have both gone on to be widely performed by leading ensembles around the world. His song-cycle The North Wind was a Woman was commissioned by the Lincoln Center for Dawn Upshaw for the gala opening of the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center's 2009 season. In the UK, Bruce has a new chamber opera in development with the Opera Group and the Royal Opera House's ROH2, based on Philip Pullman's story The Firework Maker's Daughter. He was also recently selected as one of 20 leading composers chosen to represent the UK as part of the Cultural Olympiad 20x12 initiative.
Bruce's music draws inspiration from folk-traditions from around the world. He particularly enjoys collaborating with musicians who have strong connections with both classical and folk/world traditions, such as accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman, mandolinist Avi Avital and clarinettist David Orlowsky. In August 2011 Bruce will be collaborating with world-renowned violinist Daniel Hope, the David Orlowsky Trio and cellist Vincent Segal on a new co-commission inspired by Irish folk music from the Mecklenberg-Vorpommern festival, Germany and the Savannah Festival, USA. In 2012 he will be collaborating with Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Project on a new commission. Bruce also enjoys close working relationships with some of the finest musicians of the younger generation including Ensemble ACJW; harpist Bridget Kibbey; the grammy-nominated Metropolis Ensemble in New York; Chroma in the UK; and Art of Elan in San Diego (whose commission The Eye of Night was premiered in Jan 2011 and will shortly be recorded).
Bruce's work in opera has also attracted considerable attention. A series of short operas for Tete a Tete in London culminated in the Genesis Foundation commission Push! (2006) which was Critic's Choice for 2006 in both The Telegraph and Classical Music Magazine and received universal critical acclaim. In 2008, Dawn Upshaw instigated the commission for his one-act opera A Bird in Your Ear (2008) for Bard College, NY. After its successful premiere the opera has had performances by New York City Opera as part of the 2009 VOX festival; as a finalist in the National Opera Association's Chamber Opera competition 2008; and with students at NYU. The New York Times said the opera, "rich with imagined folk tunes, undulant accompaniment patterns and vibrant choral writing, is delicate, tartly tonal and lucidly orchestrated."
Bruce's music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize (2008) and the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Competition (1994). He studied at Nottingham University, the Royal College of Music, London, (with Tim Salter and George Benjamin); and completed a PhD in Composition at King's College, London (1995-9), under the supervision of Sir Harrison Birtwistle.
Complementing his work as a composer, Bruce runs the music and technology company Red Balloon Technology Ltd whose sites include the popular sheet music site 8notes.com and the composers' site CompositionToday.