David Branson


David Branson was born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, on 13th July 1909 and died in Hastings on 18th April 1997.

At the Royal College of Music (1927-31) he studied the piano with Harold Samuel and composition with John Ireland. He then embarked on a career as a pianist, having made his London debut at the age of 11, and in 1921 played before the Japanese Emperor, Hirohito, then Crown Prince, and his Princess, when they made a State visit to the UK.  Of Spanish ancestry, Branson was among the first pianists to introduce the music of Mompou to the UK via concerts and radio broadcasts.

His writings include John Field and Chopin (London and New York, 1972), and among his pictorial works are the covers for his published compositions, most of them songs and piano pieces. He exhibited work at the Royal Academy, Royal Watercolour Society, other London galleries and provincially.  As a pianist he made recordings for Columbia and RCA and among his students are the composer and pianist Morgan Hayes. Dancing Bear was praised by the Bradford Telegraph and Argus for it's 'wry smile of pathos'.

His archive is housed at the Royal College of Music, London.

[adapted from the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians ed.1980, and the composer's own publicity material]                                                                                                                               

"One of the most attractive solos I have come across lately" Musical Opinion

 " One should not be mislead by the title of this composition: it is no mere statement of mock-Spanish tunes with an American accent. Mr.Branson has given us a pleasant piece which is undoubtedly the best of its kind since Arthur Benjamin's Jamaican Rumba appeared some years ago."             Music and Letters

"Scharwenka Concerto in Bflat minor...played in a gay and elegant manner by Mr. Branson" The Times

" A very capable and tasteful player"            Eric Blom