top of page

David John Roche has composed pieces for vacuum cleaners and orchestra, epic planetarium shows, customised Dutch street organs, rock bands, video games, films, theatre shows, international orchestras, and anything beyond and in between. His music tends to inhabit one of two worlds. It is either celebratory and bright, consciously in opposition to the world in which it was written, or manic, detailed, and violent in response to the poverty and politics of our time. Roche’s compositions have been broadcast, televised, written about, and performed internationally to millions of people. He is the recipient of over 30 academic and professional awards.

Roche has been commissioned to write music for The Vale of Glamorgan Festival (pieces for Jan Willem Nelleke and Jose Zalba Smith, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and Siwan Rhys), The Royal Observatory Greenwich, Centre of the Cell, The British Library, Cambridge University Communication Department, the Orion Orchestra and Dyson, Hear and Now in conjunction with Psappha, Psappha, Ty Cerdd and Hijinx Theatre, NAFTA Ensemble, The National Library of Wales, and Giovanni Albini. He is a 2020 Tanglewood Music Centre Fellow. He has been asked to attend performances and festivals in Japan, Singapore, The Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, America, Lithuania, and many other countries. 

Roche's music - described as 'exhilarating', 'the highlight of the evening', and 'awesome' - has been performed by an array of different musicians and ensembles; BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orion Orchestra, Brazilian National Orchestra, UniCamp Orchestra, Dolomiti Symphonia, London Graduate Orchestra, Cambridge Graduate Orchestra, BBC Singers, Grand Band, Britten Sinfonia, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, The Assembly Project, Notes Inegales, Ensemble ISIS, Dr. K Sextet, Magnard Ensemble, Galliard Ensemble, Carducci Quartet, Gildas Quartet, Bute Clarinet Quartet, Darragh Morgan and Mary Dullea, Psappha's Benjamin Powell, Richard Casey, Lisa Nelsen, Richard Watkins, Huw Watkins, and many others.

Roche studied Music at Cardiff University and graduated with First Class Honours. He was also the recipient of 4 Cardiff University Scholarships including 2 consecutive awards from 'best academic performance' and the Morfydd Owen Prize for 'exceptional academic performance'. Studies continued at Brasenose College, University of Oxford. Roche's study was fully funded with an AHRC Studentship and he was also first runner up for the inaugural Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Scholarship, recipient of an HCR Service Award for his 'contribution to postgraduate life', and his essay Cultural Rootlessness in the Music of Unsuk Chin was held as an example of 'excellent academic work'. Roche now resides in Cambridge where he was the first person to read for a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Cambridge (based in Downing College). He has received 7 Seton Cavendish Travel Grant Awards, a William Barclay Squire Fund Award, a Downing College Alumni Student Fund Award, and a Downing College Bursary. He has also been shortlisted for an Arts Council of Wales Advanced Study Scholarship and a MPA Richard Toeman Scholarship. Roche's music making has been generously supported by a Theatr Clwyd Micro-Bursary, an Equal Sound Organisation Award from the Impulse New Music Festival, the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Foundation grant, a grant from the The Lithuanian Arts Council, a Help Musicians UK Transmission Fund, a São Paulo Contemporary Composers Festival Scholarship, a scholarship to attend Longy's Divergent Studio at Bard College, a Vale of Glamorgan Festival Composers' Bursary, and many other sources of funding.

D Roche 4.jpg


Finalist | 2022 Red Jasper Award

Honorable Mention | 2022 2021 European Film Scoring Academy Call for Scores

Semi-Finalist | 2022 Cipriani Composition Award


Finalist| 2021 European Film Scoring Academy Call for Scores

First Prize | 2021 Dante 700 Composition Competition for Orchestra

Second Prize |2021 She Lives Rome Award

Third Prize| 2021 Artinno Award for Orchestral Music

Finalist | 2021 European Film Scoring Academy 

Seventh Prize | 2021 Gilgamesh International Composition Competition

Award | 2021 Sound and Music COVID Composer Award

Winner | 2021 Solem Quartet BBN Call for Scores

Winner | 2021 New York Contemporary Piano Symposium Call for Scores

Second Prize | 2020 Toru Takemitsu Composition Competition

Finalist | 2020 Composition Competition TGMUSIC.IT


First Prize | 2020 Composition Competition Dante Moro

First Prize | 2019-20 Guild of St. Teilo Composition Competition 

First Prize |2019 International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition (IADCC)

Special Prize, 'Best Orchestral Music' | IADCC 2019

First Prize | 2017-18 Orion Orchestra / Dyson Composition Competition


Second Prize |IADCC 2018

Special Prize , 'Best Composition' | IADCC 2018

Third Prize | IADCC 2017

Honourable Mention | An Art Artisty Contemporary Piano Composition Competition 2017

Finalist | 2018 Future Blend Project Composition Competition



2022 | New Hong Kong Philharmonia Composers' Retreat (scholarship)

2022 | Mostly Modern Festival Fellow

2021 | Artist in Residence with Intercut Labs

2020 |Tanglewood Music Centre Composition Fellow

2020 | New Amsterdam's Composer's Lab

2020 | Fellow of the Guild of St Teilo's

2019  |Ty Cerdd's CoDI Sound

2018 | Shortlisted for ISCM World Music Days (Wales)

2018 | Composers+ Studio in Lithuania 

2017 | Sound and Music's New Voices (Portfolio Residency)

2017 | Composers' Residency with Endelienta 

2016 | Wales Arts Review Artist in Residence

bottom of page