David Arditti was born in 1964, of mixed Jewish and Austrian descent, and brought up in Christchurch, Dorset, on the south coast of England. He now lives in north London, but maintains links with both Dorset and the South Tyrol, where his mother was born. After training for a scientific career, during which time he studied music privately and spent an increasing amount of time singing, playing the piano and composing, he eventually took up music full-time and now principally composes, conducts, and promotes concerts.
He has studied the piano with Peter Bithell of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and conducting with Neil Thompson of the Royal College of Music, Gregory Rose and the late George Hurst. As a composer he is largely self-taught, though he acknowledges valuable advice and help down the years from composers W. F. Hutchinson, Paul Webster, Anthony Payne and David Matthews.
He frequently acts as accompanist to singers and instrumentalists in recitals of his own and other music, principally in London and Edinburgh, and has has conducted many choral and orchestral works, including the premieres of some of his own. He was for some time the regular conductor of the Chelsea Singers, a chamber group in London with a wide repertoire.
Important strands in his composing have been the long series of song-cycles to texts by classic English, Scottish, Irish, and American poets, which stem both from his love of the literature and his performing association with several fine singers, principally the baritone William Revels and the tenor Stephen Brown; and the many pieces for unaccompanied choir, in part deriving from his association with Camden Chamber Choir, a dedicated amateur group based in north London. Probably his most performed pieces, however, have been the piano miniatures Songs Without Words, which, playable by good amateur pianists, have been taken up by adults, children, amateurs and professionals on three continents.
Other major works have been for chorus with soloists and orchestra (Requiem and Mass in C); two string quartets and various shorter chamber works; several works for orchestra, sometimes descriptive and linked to British landscapes, such as the tone-poem Dursey Sound (Ireland) and the forthcoming Rhapsody for Strings (Dorset),but sometimes not; a suite for brass quintet, and a short film score.
His music has been widely performed in the UK and the USA, and in 2003 was first performed in Israel.
He is involved with several organisations that promote and perform new music, such as the London Composers Forum and the Dorset Composers’ Association.