Homerton alumnus to write a piece for the Cheltenham Music Festival

Photo: David Onac

Since reading music at Homerton College, Cambridge from 2002-2005, David Ӧnaç has focussed on composition.  He remained at Homerton for an additional year to complete an M.Phil in Composition (with Robin Holloway, 2005-6), then completed an MMUS in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music (with Adam Gorb, 2006-7) and has recently completed his Ph.D in Composition at the University of Manchester (with Camden Reeves). 

Pieces written during David’s compositional studies have received high profile performances, including renowned pianist Peter Donohoe’s performance of Four Études (for solo piano) in Brussels, and the performance of Beginnings (for flute, viola and harp) by principals from the BBC Philharmonic.  Three of the pieces written for David’s Ph.D (an orchestral piece entitled From Different Places, a work for violin and piano named after his goddaughter Ayla, and his piano concerto Newton’s Cradle) also received the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize 2012.  This award takes the form of a commission to write a piece for this year’s Cheltenham Music Festival.  The new work, David’s sixth string quartet, will be premiered by the Carducci Quartet on 8th July 2013. 

Whilst pursuing his academic studies, David has also maintained his performance activities as a pianist.  He plays an established classical repertoire - he completed his LRSM in piano performance with distinction whilst pursuing his Ph.D - and frequently premiers those of his compositions which feature piano, such as his piano concerto in March 2012 at the New Music Northwest Festival in Manchester.  Additionally, he has been pursuing his interest in jazz and gospel.  In the past few years, he has been the Musical Director for several gospel choirs in Manchester, and one of these (Manchester Harmony Gospel Choir) won the University Gospel Choir of the Year 2012 competition in London.  David has also written for gospel choir, and subsequent to the competition, his piece The Heavens Declare was broadcast on BBC Radio 2.