Director of Orchestral Activities and Conducting Studies
Conductor David Searle has forged a dynamic career on both sides of the Atlantic through an array of orchestral, opera, and contemporary music performances. He is one of the few Americans to have received the Diploma in Conducting with Highest Honors from the Sibelius Academy in Finland. The Capitol City News of Helsinki has described Mr. Searle as "… an excellent conductor; interpretively decisive, expressively generous…" The Savo News described Searle's conducting as "a wonderful combination of authority, warmth and vision."
From 2003-2007, David Searle was Chief Conductor of the Helsinki University Symphony Orchestra, being only the second foreigner to hold that title in the orchestra's 80-year history. Under his direction, the orchestra garnered critical acclaim for its concerts in Finland and its international tours.
Searle's guest conducting appearances have included engagements with such Finnish orchestras as the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Oulu Symphony, the Joensuu City Orchestra, the Pori Sinfonietta and the Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra. Other Scandinavian engagements have included appearances with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. David Searle made his United States professional debut with the Sioux City Symphony.
As an opera conductor, he has appeared at the Royal Stockholm Opera (Sweden), the Oulu Opera (Finland) and the Lahti Opera (Finland). Of his Lahti performance of Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore the Helsinki News wrote:"The performance's real central character was conductor David Searle, who held the opera's entirety outstandingly well in hand ."
Mr. Searle's advocacy of contemporary music led to his founding of the Helsinki University Symphony Orchestra's SävellYS competition for young composers. He has also collaborated with Canada's Ergo Ensemble and has conducted at the Helsinki Musica Nova and Ung Nordisk Musik (Young Nordic Music) Festivals. Mr. Searle also conducted the world premiere of American composer Alex Freeman's cantata The River Between.
In 2007, David Searle was appointed Director of Orchestral Activities and Conducting Studies at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music of the Catholic University of America, where he serves as Music Director of the University Symphony Orchestra and oversees the graduate conducting program.
David Searle was awarded the Diploma in Conducting with Highest Honors from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where his teachers included Leif Segerstam, Atso Almila and Jorma Panula. He holds a Master's degree in conducting from Northwestern University, where he studied with Victor Yampolsky and Don Owens. Searle earned his Bachelor's degree in trombone performance from New England Conservatory, where he studied under Douglas Yeo and John Swallow. Searle has also studied conducting with Cliff Colnot, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gunther Schuller and Robert Spano.