"the musical performance under David Parry sweeps more or less everything before it"
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
"David Parry conducts with energy and elegance"
Robert Thicknesse, The Times
"David Parry conducted with exemplary sense of style"
Michael Kennedy, Sunday Telegraph
David Parry is acknowledged as an inspirational champion of operatic, concert and symphonic repertoire across a vast range. He is known both for the re-appraisal of important lesser-known compositions and for a consistently fresh approach to established repertoire.
Significant credits include the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio (in separate productions for Opera North and Staatstheater Stuttgart), Der Fliegender Holländer (for Portland Opera), Madama Butterfly (in Anthony Minghella’s production for ENO which earned him an Olivier Award), Così fan tutte and the premiere of Dove’s Flight (both for Glyndebourne Festival Opera) and Maria Stuarda (for Stockholm Royal Opera).
Much in demand from ensembles both in the UK and further afield, David Parry is regularly at the helm of orchestras including the London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham, Halle, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and English Chamber Orchestra.
He has an extensive discography for Chandos and Opera Rara. His recording of Rossini Ermione won a Gramophone Award for best opera 2011.
Recent highlights include Tales of Hoffman in Wuppertal, La traviata at Scottish Opera, Mose in Egitto at Oper Köln, Mansfield Park and Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Grange Festival. In 18/19 he conducts Tosca for Nederlandse Reisopera and the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Marx in London at Theater Bonn.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
Vaughan Williams: The Pilgrim’s Progress
Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (March 2019)
From the moment the quiet brass hymn-tune emerged from the pit, it was clear that David Parry had a true understanding of the work. His conducting was by turns highly dramatic and sensitive, spacious where necessary but always moving forwards, and with clear cues that gave his young singers maximum confidence. Parry’s account was both luminous and purposeful, underlining the work’s dramatic intentions.
Nigel Simeone, Opera Magazine
Mendelssohn, Chopin and Elgar with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Festival Hall (February 2019)
[Parry] was on fine form here. … Parry pressed the [Mendelssohn] forward, capturing dramatic urgency but allowing the moods to shift without sounding hurried. … Benelli Mosell’s lyrical playing was well-matched by the sensitive texturing that Parry drew from the LPO.
The main virtue of Parry’s approach to the Elgar was in his avoidance of anything approaching bombast; energetic, yes, there was plenty of vim from the opening bars, but as with the Chopin, there was a sense of lyricism to the LPO’s performance. The Larghetto can run the risk of sounding overly melancholy, but Parry gave us something more nuanced that eschewed the vulgar in favour of a calmer contemplation, epitomised by the depth of the oboe-playing. If the second movement was subdued, the third lacked none of the virtuosity that a good performance requires, the fluttering of the woodwind giving way to splendidly robust brass, the string colour beneath a rich gold. Perhaps best, though, were the dying strains of the finale; the richness of the horns and the precision of the strings standing out as the music ebbed away. It was a studied interpretation, but one that benefited from the detail and texture that Parry gave it.
Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack ****
Dove: Marx in London (World Premiere)
Theater Bonn (Dec 2018)
There is much richly challenging writing for the orchestra under the excellent David Parry.
Martin Kettle, The Guardian ****
The Beethoven-Orchester Bonn plays all this competently and transparently under the taut direction of David Parry.
Alexander Menden, Süddeutsche Zeitung
The zappy conversational tone of the piece is mixed up with more lyrical passages. The Beethoven-Orchester and the choir realise this excellently under the direction of Davie Parry.
Stefan Schmöe, Online Musik Magazin
The Londoner composer’s music is played virtuosically by the Beethoven Orchester under David Parry; it is brilliant, witty and eclectic in a good way and moves elegantly between Stravinsky, Britten and the composers of American minimalism.
Bernhard Hartmann, Generalanzeiger Bonn
The Beethoven Orchester Bonn under David Parry throws itself into proceedings and takes sumptuous pleasure in the sound; the choir sings magnificently.
Peter Krause, Concerti
“On the podium David Parry evinced great affection for the partitura and there was marked deference to the singers in keeping the orchestral decibels as restrained as possible. That said, there was plenty of roof-raising raucousness when required.”
Jonathan Sutherland, Operawire
Nederlandse Reisopera (October 2018)
It is because of ... the musical standard of this performance that it is rated with four stars in this review: The Orkest van het Oosten plays a great Puccini under the guidance of veteran David Parry: blazing where it should be, tender where it can. Parry knows how he needs to support his singers.
Peter van der Lint, Trouw ****
Under the direction of David Parry, the Orkest van het Oosten gives a sultry, rhythmically fine, well-done interpretation.
Persis Bekkering, Volkskrant
The Orkest van het Oosten, the stars of the evening, conducted by David Parry, developed a sound that was almost too perfect, and got the most out of all aspects of Puccini’s score. The solo passages were a treat and the accompaniment of the soloists could teach the big name orchestras a thing or two. No, the singers or the orchestra were not to blame…
Olivier Keegel, Opera Gazet ****
In Puccini's Tosca, a large part of the musical drama lies in the orchestra. You hear the aggressively teasing opening chords and you know: there will be trouble. Under the direction of conductor David Parry, the Orkest van het Oosten allows the tension that goes under your skin to become fierce with sharply drawn rhythmic motifs, virulent brass, impending percussion and smoky low wood.
Joep Christenhusz, NRC ****
Parry creates beautiful dramatic moments, often through quietness and delaying.
Jordi Kooiman, Place de l’Opera
Mosè in Egitto
Oper Köln (April 2018)
The Gürzenich-Orchester, which used to show weaknesses especially in Italian repertoire, offered a surprise: under British bel canto specialist David Parry the performance comes off with striking agility and buoyancy, drawing out the orchestral colours lushly (horn, clarinet) and also realising the lyric moments appropriately for this repertoire.
Markus Schwering, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger
Parry, experienced with Rossini, achieves a near perfect firework of verve, full-bodied [sound], flexibility and lyricism with the Guerzenich-Orchester and the impressive chorus.
Pedro Obiera, Westfälischer Anzeiger
The Gürzenich-Orchester Köln is captivating under the direction of David Parry, with fiery rhythms and homogenously presented, well-dosed kinetic energy, nuanced in tempo and dynamics.
Ursula Decker-Bönninger, klassik.com
The Gürzenich-Orchester Köln under David Parry played with a rhythmically effective and bubbly Rossini sound, carefully and affectionately accompanying the singers in their in very demanding roles. The problematic placement of the orchestra on the left-hand side of the stage in the interim venue was handled brilliantly by the ensemble under Parry.
Achim Dombrowski, Opera Online
The Gürzenich-Orchester Köln under expert Rossini conductor David Parry, positioned on the left side of the stage, negotiated the fiery and lyric passages … superbly.
Ralf Siepmann, O-Ton
David Parry completes the performance marvelously with his fresh sounding Guerzenich-Orchester, and there is much applause for everyone.
Thomas Molke, Online Musik Magazin
Scottish Opera (October 2017)
“The soprano and tenor leads were effectively counter-balanced … by David Parry’s seasoned conducting, always alert to Verdian legato and the dramatic shape of the score.”
Andrew Clark, Opera Magazine
“It’s a hugely involving production that propels you along with sheer emotion, and the Scottish Opera Orchestra is on broad and resonant form under conductor David Parry.”
David Kettle, The Scotsman ****
“David Parry’s stylish, Italianate conducting”
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times
“The orchestra, conducted by David Parry, was crisp and precise and often brilliant in the fuller textures”
George Forbes, Bachtrack ****
“In the pit, conductor David Parry and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera keep the momentum going”
Rowena Smith, The Guardian
“Conductor David Parry brings out the lightness and longing in the music and controls the sound of a very effective chorus.”
Catriona Graham, The Opera Critic
Il turco in Italia
Garsington Opera (June 2017)
David Parry conducts and plays fortepiano continuo with unflagging pep, and ... the evening zips along prettily.
Anna Picard, The Times ****
With dozens of Garsington Rossini performances under his belt, conductor David Parry displays the assured touch of an old hand: the pace is always lively without ever dissolving into frantic, there’s bounce and lift whenever it’s needed, and the lyrical passages are delivered with elegance. ... the overall musical atmosphere is so engaging.
David Karlin, Bachtrack ****
David Parry, a justly celebrated Rossinian, conducts a performance that is equally colourful and crisply pressed, adding further drama with his continuo playing at the fortepiano.
Edward Bhesania, The Stage *****
David Parry conducts a gleeful Garsington Opera Orchestra and muscular Chorus, enjoying the allusions to Mozart, whose Così Fan Tutte, an opera Rossini knew, Il Turco at times resembles.
Claudia Pritchard, Culture Whisperer *****
Tidily supported by the Garsington Opera Orchestra and a fabulous male chorus under David Parry.
Marc Valencia, Whats On Stage ****
David Parry conducted the Garsington Opera with his accustomed verve, adding witty continuo.
Melanie Eskenazi, musicOMH ****
David Parry conducted a well-paced account of the score, combining elegance and balance like a fine, bubbling prosecco, as this music should. He avoided the temptation simply to rush through it but secured from the Garsington Opera Orchestra the sense of a gradual acceleration and increasing tension which creates a genuinely exciting and dramatic effect, as well endowing the succession of ensembles with sufficient variety to sustain interest in the music from one to scene to another which can otherwise threaten to sound too similar. There were some finely shaded colours from the orchestra too, also bringing Mozart to mind such as in a wistful dialogue between clarinet and bassoon in one place, and a solo horn in another, reminiscent of that in Cosi fan tutte’s ‘Per pieta’.
Curtis Rogers, Seen and Heard International
La scala di seta
Scottish Opera (April 2017)
Parry, who produced a superbly balanced crisp sound from the orchestra, as well as supplying fortepiano continuo.
Keith Bruce, The Herald ****
The performance was put together by conductor David Parry, who kept the action rolling along nicely with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera a sympathetic partner.
Rowena Smith, The Guardian ****
Tales of Hoffman
Oper Wuppertal (September 2016)
The final apotheosis, for instance, is a feast for the ears. Conductor David Parry is mindful of the action on stage, is very attentive and breathing with the musicians. He guides through the evening with vigorous tempi. The Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal plays the music with a lot of nuance.
Hartmut Sassenhausen, Westdeutsche Zeitung
David Parry in the pit presses forward tirelessly and coaxes delicate colours out of the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal. In every regard a tremendous opening to the season.
David Parry and the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal play the highly romantic barcarolle sensitively…
The Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal under conductor David Parry deliver the musical side of things outstandingly, supporting the score, the drama and the surreal charm of the High Romantic work with filigree allure and mighty climaxes.
Viktor Jarosch, IOCO Kultur im Netz
Conductor David Parry held it all together with his taut tempi and sensual accents.
Stefan Keim, Deutschlandradio Kultur
The Wuppertaler Sinfonieorchester played with an inspiration it has not shown in a long time.
Pedro Obiera, Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung
For this [the premiere of Tales of Hoffman] David Parry had been engaged as the conductor; his expertise is not least demonstrated by his recordings for Opera Rara. This makes a noticeable impact on the orchestra, which played flexibly and with beautiful sound… it has been a long time since we heard this orchestra play with such precision and flexibility.
Christoph Zimmermann, Der Opernfreund
David Parry and the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal captures Offenbach freshness.
Thomas Molke, Online Musik Magazin
Out of countless versions and editions, the renowned British conductor David Parry has compiled his own one ... which he presents lively, with security and to great effect.
Andreas Falentin, Concerti
Adolphe Nouritt tribute concert
Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro (August 2016)
Returning to Pesaro ... the English conductor David Parry runs the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini: polished, measured, and fully at the service of the song.
Brigitte Cormier, Forum Opera
Under the sure hands of David Parry, the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini contributed two rare overtures by Pacini and Auber.
Carl Maria Solare, Opera Magazine
Kemal Yusuf: Cain (world premiere) / César Franck: Symphony in D minonr
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (May 2016)
... the whole [of Yusuf's work] coming together splendidly under the masterful conducting of David Parry.
To end, a splendid performance of Franck’s D minor symphony, with a reading by conductor David Parry that was strong and vital, without any trace of self-indulgence, and to which the orchestra responded magnificently in all departments...
Frank Cliff, Eastern Daily Press
L’oca del Cairo
London Mozart Players (April 2016)
David Parry conducted [the soloists] and the London Mozart Players with tremendous flair, and both the light of Mozart and the shade of Stephen Oliver were honoured.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph ****
Under the baton of David Parry, the orchestra delivered handsomely.
Sam Smith, musicOMH ****
David Parry’s conducting brought out the best from his orchestra, catching the many moods and coours of Oliver’s operatic curiosity.
Alexandra Coghlan, Opera Magazine
Volkstheater Rostock (March 2016)
Under the direction of bel canto expert David Parry, the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock presents an agile, appropriately light "Rossini sound". In the unusual overture ... he keeps string and wind players attentive throughout, making sure they keep the right balance and, carefully listening, respond to each other. You can tell Parry ... has intimate knowledge of Ermione. He gently keeps the [orchestra] on track where they are at danger of getting lost in the tiny details [of the work] ... and shows a passion for detail and an intuition for the calm, lyrical moments.
Werner Häußner, Der Neue Merker
[Parry] knows this style, he loves this music, and he guides the Norddeutsche Philharmonie, the Volkstheater's chorus and the Singakademie with a steady hand. He paid particular attention to bringing out the musical nuances of the instrumental parts. ... Parry accompanied [the singers] with care ... Thankfully this is a conductor who does not confuse tragedy with the Grand Guignol, unlike so many other HIP specialists conducting Rossini.
Michele C. Ferrari, Opera Lounge
The Norddeutsche Philharmonie was directed by David Parry's expert hand... Supported by the attentive chorus, Parry mastered the complex Rossini score with confident baton and an experienced approach; he highlighted the rhythms, colours and expressive nuances [of the score] and made sure that the solos and the ensembles had punch...
Fulvio Stefano Lo Presti, German Rossini Society
The musical side, too, is most successful. This is not least thanks to David Parry, who directs the orchestra in proper Rossini style and with panache.
Bernd-Rudiger Kern, German Rossini Society
The Pirates of Penzance
English National Opera (May 2015)
Using the pit-sized orchestra that Sullivan would have wanted, David Parry conducts the score beautifully.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
David Parry’s conducting does what it can with what there is – the orchestra plays superbly for him – and the cast is a good one.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
Conductor David Parry’s zippy tempi do the biz.
Michael Church, The Independent
The overture to Pirates, deftly played by the ENO orchestra under the baton of David Parry.
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
It’s certainly a delight to hear the ENO orchestra coaxed into full-moustachioed Victorian splendour by David Parry (who catches every sideways glance, every knowing musical wink on the page), giving Sullivan’s dexterous scoring its due.
Alexandra Coghlan, The Spectator
David Parry also does wonders with the orchestra, reminding us just how subtle Sullivan’s textures can be.
Barry Millington, Evening Standard
David Parry kept things buoyant in the pit, the orchestra responding with a spirited account of Sullivan’s frothy score.
Mark Pullinger, bachtrack.com
The ENO orchestra shone. The Overture was no pot-pourri of tunes to be dispensed with, but a miniature tone-poem. It became so because of David Parry’s obvious intent to underline Sullivan’s inherent lyricism. It was obvious he cares for this music deeply, just, indeed, as the audience clearly does.
Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International
Down in the pit, David Parry captures the ingenious orchestration and the loving spoofs of everything from Handel to Wagner, so not just the bel canto repertoire he knows so well, with the perfect mixture of élan and subtlety, guiding the best of choruses and a very classy line-up of soloists into fresh and nuanced takes on the score.
David Nice, theartsdesk.com
In the overture alone David Parry, one of the UK's most scandalously undervalued conductors, finds a fleck of emphasis here, a line of nuance there, that sets the tone for an evening of plush, upholstered delight.
Mark Valencia, whatsonstage.com
Elgar Symphony No.2
Freiburg Philharmonic (March 2014)
It was to the credit of the impressively moving interpretation of the Freiburg Philharmonic under its guest conductor David Parry that so many insights into the ground between these poles were revealed. It goes without saying that the British Parry has a special sensibility for the background of this music at the turning point; nevertheless the way he realised this through the Philharmonic Orchestra in a sold-out concert hall cannot be too highly praised. The heterogeneity of this composition could not be better, more sensitively and in turn sonically more luxuriantly captured. Its Bacchanalian, Apollonian spirit …. found its perfect echo in the excellent, brilliant strings. The masterly wind section deserved the highest praise too: here the majestically steely brass, there the wonderfully sensitive woodwind, which in the slow movement … achieved an incomparably beautiful pianissimo. The Presto developed such expressivity that a ripple of spontaneous applause broke out, and the conductor and musicians clearly delighted in this breaking of the rigid nineteenth-century concert situation.
Volkstheater Rostock (March 2016)
... David Parry, whose musical direction contributed much to the success of the evening. He set breathtaking tempi and the work simply swept across the stage.
Bernd-Rudiger Kern, German Rossini Society
Perth International Arts Festival (February 2015)
Conductor David Parry… drew a well-blended, grandly symphonic sound from the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. There were passages of great beauty.
Victoria Laurie, The Australian
Scottish Opera (October 2015)
David Parry conducts a chunky, pert-sounding orchestra. Contours are well defined, tempos are sturdy, all the big tunes are as clearly signposted as the thick red brush strokes that adorn the stage curtain.
Kate Molleson, The Guardian
The orchestra plays like a dream under conductor David Parry – light, lithe, punchy and powerful.
David Kettle, The Scotsman
With the Orchestra of Scottish Opera under David Parry playing the familiar overture in a light, swift and breezily theatrical fashion, the narrative flow of the tragic tale of love, fate and duty could hardly be bettered.
Keith Bruce, The Herald Scotland
English National Opera
Things get off to a good start with conductor David Parry’s punctilious account of the overture; bolstered by his vital handling of the score throughout, the pace never really lets up.
George Hall, The Guardian *****
...fine orchestral playing and light, springing pacing of David Parry’s baton.
Hilary Finch, The Times
…there was fine conducting from David Parry – elegant, nicely detailed and quietly reminding us that Sullivan’s orchestration is often more subtle and effective than we may assume. An outstanding revival of a great show.
Tim Ashley, Opera Magazine
L’Italiana in Algeri
Garsington Opera (June 2016)
Yet the wit in this show comes from the pit, where David Parry conducts a brisk, Mozartian interpretation with outstanding clarinet, flute and horn solos.
Anna Picard, The Times
David Parry returned to conduct with authority, charm and wit.
Andrew Green, Opera Now
Parry nicely judges the score's mix of lyricism and hard-edged wit. And that great first act finale is clockwork in its precision.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian
The conductor David Parry is a fine Rossinian… The frothy Act 1 finale … is even more glorious than that in Barbiere… The whole ensemble clicked into clockwork precision here and … the performance threatened … to take to the skies on the set’s flying carpet.
Mark Pullinger, Opera
At Garsington, the score is crisply and briskly conducted by David Parry.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
Parry nicely judges the score’s mix of lyricism and hard-edged wit. And that great first act finale is clockwork in its precision.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian
David Parry conducts with plenty of fizz.
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times
This is David Parry’s tenth Rossini opera for Garsington, and it shows in an assured musical performance that’s full of sparks and sparkle ... Parry makes the most of the grace and the deft touches in the score: the oboe phrases, the horn calls and the many delicate pizzicato string interludes all come through with grace.
David Carlin, bachtrack
David Parry ... drew tight discipline from the Garsington instrumentalists. The tautness of the pianissimos was striking, and the overture (the opera’s best music) was enlivened by surprising sforzandos. The woodwind relished their concertante roles in the drama and flute, oboe, bassoon and horn each enhanced the dramatic characterisation.
Claire Seymour, Opera Today
David Parry conducts a clean, brisk interpretation.
Alexandra Coghlan, The Spectator
Rossini veteran David Parry conducted the first night with flair, zip and lightness of touch...
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage
[Will Tuckett’s production] struck exactly the right note, amplifying Rossini’s dramatic and emotional intensity. As did the orchestra, conducted by David Parry, who has championed the composer’s unique style of playing at Garsington since 2002.
Bucks Free Press
Garsington's long-running relationship with the bel canto specialist and the conductor David Parry continues to earn dividends with crisp playing from Garsington's orchestra.
George Smart, Harpers Bazaar
Garsington has a handy knack for Rossini, and under conductor David Parry the orchestra has learned how to play this stuff with as much finesse and style as any band in the country. This performance ... was a pretty lovely example of how to perform this passingly elegant, refined, sophisticated, beautiful and highly entertaining score, full of delicacy and detail, wit and sprung rhythms. ... I took to watching Parry’s expressive and dramatic conducting...
Robert Thicknesse, The Critics Circle
... a mad finale which sees chorus, orchestra and principals working their socks off under conductor David Parry.
Christopher Gray, Oxford Times
L’Italiana in Algeri is David Parry’s twelfth Rossini for this company, and his affinity for this music shone in every bar, from the ‘surprise’ phrases in the overture to the rousing final chorus: once more he drew sparkling playing from the Garsington Opera Orchestra.
Melanie Eskenazi, musicOMH
David Parry's conducting is lively, bright, and exciting on all counts, with an impeccably precise ensemble.
Jean Michelle Pennetier, Forum Opera
David Parry’s orchestra was absolutely first-rate, making for a very enjoyable evening.
Paul Levy, Arts Journal
Celebrated interpreter of Rossini, David Parry, returns to Garsington ... with The Italian Girl in Algiers directed by Will Tuckett. It’s no surprise that Parry is loved by his singers as he conducts with infectious enjoyment, highlighting the charm and wit of this very funny piece, perhaps not so sophisticated as The Barber of Seville, but much more fun. ... The Act 1 Finale is a highlight, the polyphony miraculously wrought by the 21-year-old composer and delineated superbly by Parry and his singers. The ‘Sugar-Daddy’ Act 2 terzetto is brilliantly managed – real laugh-out-loud stuff.
Cary Gee, Tribune
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted with insistent tenacity and considerable force by David Parry, it captured much of the work's rage and neurotic ferocity
Tim Ashley, Guardian
David Parry conducted the LPO and the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir with a noisy ebullience that was determined to raise the roof
Richard Fairman, Financial Times
David Parry’s Repertoire and Discography