David Charles Abell is Principal Guest Conductor of The Philly POPS.
Classical music, opera, film music and musical theater all contribute to his diverse career, unified by a serious yet theatrical approach. He is widely known for conducting the two Les Misérables Anniversary Concerts (10th and 25th), both of which have become PBS fund-raising perennials. Now living in London, he regularly appears on radio and television in the UK, most notably at the BBC Proms, London’s annual music festival at the Royal Albert Hall.
No stranger to Philadelphia, David Charles Abell made his Philly POPS debut in 2013 and has conducted three Christmas concert series and 2017’s Blockbuster Broadway concert series. In 2018, he will conduct Lenny’s Revolution: A Centennial Bernstein Celebration as part of a citywide tribute to Leonard Bernstein planned to mark the centennial of his birth. A protégé of the composer, David made his professional conducting debut conducting Bernstein's Mass in Berlin, having previously sung in the original Kennedy Center premiere of that work as a member of the Berkshire Boy Choir.
David recently made his Opera Philadelphia debut conducting the Barrie Kosky production of The Magic Flute. He has conducted Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night to great acclaim at three U.S. companies, as well as two recent European productions of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate in his own critical edition. Following his successful English National Opera debut with Sweeney Todd in 2015, he returned with Carousel to rave reviews. David conducted the French premieres of four Sondheim musicals: Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods and Follies. In concert, he has worked with several French regional orchestras and will be making his debut with the Orchestra National de Lyon in December 2017.
His ever-increasing catalogue of recordings includes Something’s Gotta Give with baritone Simon Keenlyside, excerpts from La bohème and Madama Butterfly with the Royal Philharmonic, Jonathan Dove’s community operaTobias and the Angel on Chandos and complete recordings of the musicals Miss Saigon and Man of La Mancha. Forever, his 2013 EMI Classics recording with soprano Diana Damrau, was chosen as CD of the week by Norman Lebrecht.
David attended Yale University and studied at Conservatoire Américain in France and the Juilliard School. David has fond memories of growing up in Philadelphia: His mother came from a Chestnut Hill family, and he attended Germantown Friends School while living in Mt. Airy from age five to age 12.