Born in North Carolina, raised in Philadelphia and Chicago, and now resident in London, David Charles Abell conducts musical theatre, opera, symphonic music and pops in equal measure.
Seen on television worldwide leading the Les Misérables 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts, David also conceived and conducted the Sondheim 80th birthday celebration at the BBC Proms. Last season, he made his English National Opera debut with Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. His London West End credits include Show Boat, Martin Guerre and the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies - The Phantom Story Continues. He recently conducted two productions of his new critical edition of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate.
David conducted Porgy and Bess for Cincinnati and Cape Town Operas and maintains an active opera career in Europe and the US. Recent engagements include La Cenerentola at Munich’s Cuvilléstheater, Carmen in Kansas City, and Kevin Puts’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night for two US companies.
In concert, David has conducted most of the major British orchestras, notably the London Symphony for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics. With the London Philharmonic, he conducted Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as live accompaniment to the classic film Brief Encounter. International credits include the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, West Australian Symphony and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. In the US, he has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony, New York Pops and Philly Pops, among others.
A particular passion is the music of his mentor Leonard Bernstein. David has conducted several productions of West Side Story, Candide and Mass, all of which he helped to edit during the last years of Bernstein’s life.