Studio Symphony Orchestra

Principal Conductor

Principal Conductor, David Openshaw

David Openshaw

David Openshaw came to Northern Ireland as Principal Timpanist with the Ulster Orchestra in 1972.  Shortly afterwards, on the retirement of  Dr Havelock Nelson, he took over as Principal Conductor of the Studio Symphony Orchestra.  He has always tried to follow the example Havelock set in bringing both new and relatively unknown works, and indeed young and upcoming soloists, to the attention of Northern Ireland audiences.

Northern Ireland premières have included the 6th, 11th and 12th Symphonies of Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams' Symphonies No.2, the London, and No.7, the Antartica, Beethoven’s complete Incidental Music to Egmont, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas, and Saint-Saëns Symphony No.3 “The Organ”.  David is now the Studio Symphony Orchestra’s longest serving conductor.

Following the success of his Verdi Requiem performance, he hopes that in the future he can bring before his audience more major choral works, such as the Grande Messe des Morts of Berlioz, or if not that huge masterpiece, then perhaps the Te Deum.

David was awarded the MBE for services to music in the 2018 New Year Honours list.


Associate Conductor

Philip Walton studied Music at Sheffield University, graduating with a B Mus. before joining the Ulster Orchestra as a viola player in 1983. He has been the Associate Conductor of the Studio Symphony Orchestra since 2002, and also coaches the string section. In 2002 he conducted the Ulster Orchestra on BBC 2 Northern Ireland and on national Radio 3, stepping in at short notice to replace the indisposed Vernon Handley for the BBC Jubilee Concert at the Ulster Hall.

He has also performed as a viola soloist, performing Rubbra's Viola Concerto in Belfast with the Studio Symphony Orchestra, and in Sheffield with the University Orchestra. In 2006 he released a CD of his own music entitled "Reason to Live" and is working on his next album.