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'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, Orion Orchestra, 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. He has been commissioned by the British Library, Centre of the Cell, Cambridge University Communications Department, and many other private classical music enthusiasts.
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 is 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 Psappha Composers' Bursary, a Friends of Musicfest Aberystwyth Bursary, a Vale of Glamorgan Music Festival Bursary, a Fletcher Players Funding Grant, an Endelienta Artists' Stipend, and a Sound and Music Composers' Bursary.