B i o g r a p h y
David Shenton is an English born pianist, violinist, composer, and arranger based in New York City. David became a joint citizen of the UK / USA in 2015.
Born in Rotherham in 1975, David was drawn to the beauty of musical scores, which he preferred to read over books with words. It wasn't soon after he started playing the violin at the age of 7 that he wrote his first music. Since then David has composed hundreds of works from small piano pieces to full-length operas.
As pianist/music director David has worked with renowned members of the music profession in all genres, including Vanessa Williams, Tony Bennett, Zach Levi, Sierra Boggess, Denyce Graves, Alfie Bøe, Renée Fleming, Sherrill Milnes, Marilyn Maye, Liz Callaway, Sir André Previn, Michael Feinstein, Amanda McBroom, Katie Couric, Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz and many more.
David's proficiency in multiples genres has allowed him to work at prestigious venues, in various guises, all over the world. He gave his Carnegie Hall début in 2014 when he conducted (from the piano) his own orchestra/big band in front of a sold out house. David's Jazz @ Lincoln Center début was at The Rose Theater as jazz pianist in 2008, and two years later he gave his classical piano début at Lincoln Center's Rubenstein Atrium performing Schumann and Chopin as part of the 200th year anniversary celebrations of these two composers. As a jazz pianist he continues to perform frequently at jazz clubs and larger venues in the USA.
In 2014 Christine Steyer, as librettist, and Shenton, as composer, began writing Bellissima Opera’s Tales of Transcendence, an award-winning series of new operas exploring our shared humanity. The first, On Call: COVID-19 honoring healthcare workers, premiered in April. Future Perfect is the second, co-created with 1,300 local students.
David is one third of the popular musical group Empire Trio, that was commissioned by Lincoln Center to create a new show (to premiere at Lincoln Center) about the history of Italian popular music. Since that concert in 2010, Empire Trio has continued to tour extensively in the US, Canada and Europe with over 250 performances to date. In addition to creating Empire Trio, David and with his wife, soprano Erin Shields, created Uptown Girls, a dynamic vocal ensemble that also tours extensively around the USA.
In 2013 David began a close working relationship with the late lyricist/composer Martin Charnin (creator, Annie). David co-created more than a dozen reviews/shows with Mr. Charnin which have been performed frequently by Broadway stars.
A prolific arranger, David has worked at Abbey Road & CTS Studios (London), on Hollywood movies, West End & Broadway shows. He arranged/orchestrated the music for Howard Blake's The Snowman, which has run in the West End since 1998, and has orchestrated several shows in Germany, as well as the newest musical by the 'Annie' team, "Robin Hood' The Untold Story." In August 2013 David created and orchestrated the original arrangements for a new and exciting group, Opus X, whose début album featured special guest, trumpeter Chris Botti.
David began writing music at the age of 9 and has written hundreds of pieces including a symphony, 2 piano concertos, 2 violin concertos and 2 string quartets, all composed before the age of 11. Recent works include a double jazz violin concerto, two, operas, several songs, and 5 musicals, all of which have premiered in New York.
David’s CDs are widely available and his solo piano CD, Sunnyside Blues, has won high acclaim as well as several awards. David’s ballet, Ascension, was commissioned by The Pendulum Aerial Dance Company in Portland (OR), who performs this work frequently. David wrote his first film score for Franc Reyes' drama, Beauty, which was screened in Hollywood, Miami and New York.
David teaches extensively and, as a coach, accompanist and teaching professor, has been on the faculties of NYU, The New School, The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, was visiting professor of violin and piano at St. Thomas Choir School for 4 years, and is entering his sixth year as the Music Director at Grace Church School in Manhattan. He is also a composer in residence in the advanced class of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.
Born in Rotherham (South Yorkshire), England, David studied violin and piano at The Royal College of Music, London from where he graduated with the highest honours.