David took up the trumpet aged nine following in the footsteps of his grandfather who was a bandmaster in the North East. His early days were spent playing the cornet in Loughborough Band under the great task master Bud Fisher. He eventually took up the trumpet inspired by another member of the band who had gone on to study at the RAM, David Archer. His school music teacher, David Fisher, was also a trumpet enthusiast and introduced him to famous recordings from great trumpeters, including albums by the one and only Maurice Andre.
David was taught the trumpet by Don Blakeson and played in the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra before going on to study with Michael Laird at the Royal College of Music. This is where he first started to learn about the Natural Trumpet. After intensive practise, he performed the Brandenburg Concerto there in his final year, which was the first time the concerto had ever been performed on a period instrument at a Music College in London.
After a season as guest principal trumpet with Scottish Opera he joined the English Baroque Soloists and Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique as principal trumpet under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and also became principal trumpet with the Academy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood. During this time he performed extensively at major concert venues throughout the world and took part in numerous recordings for CD, radio, TV and video.
In 1993 he formed the groundbreaking group Blackadder Brass which quickly became the resident educational ensemble at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, playing to over 40,000 children there in its first three years and going on to perform at major venues throughout the UK. David is also principal trumpet with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and is renowned as a soloist having performed and recorded many of the great trumpet masterpieces with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Roger Norrington, Franz Brüggen, Vladimir Jurowski and Stephen Cleobury.
He has performed the Haydn Trumpet Concerto to great acclaim at major venues across Europe including at the Edinburgh festival, Kings College Chapel and the Esterhazy Palace in Hungary.
He has also played and recorded new works specially composed for him by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Sir John Tavener. His recordings of Handel arias with singers such as Reneé Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa and Elin Manahan -Thomas have received particular critical acclaim and he has also recorded the second Brandenburg Concerto three times, most notably with Trevor Pinnock, in a recording that received the best Baroque instrumental award at the 2008 Gramophone Awards.
In 2009 David devised and scripted a concert programme with his colleague Benedict Hoffnung celebrating the life of Handel entitled “Divine Music for Trumpets and Voices” It has been performed at St Martin-in the Fields, The Mansion House for the Lord Mayor of London’s appeal and in Marlborough Chapel in the presence of HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.
David’s most recent projects have been the formation of a new and unique group “The London Trumpet Choir” which will play choral music in four parts on SATB trumpets and as a music consultant, teacher and player for the latest album of royal music to be released by Alison Balsom.
He is a professor of Natural Trumpet at both Birmingham Conservatoire and the Royal Northern College of Music and is also Head of Brass at Rugby School He also had the honour of performing as a soloist at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.