Born in Elgin, Scotland, David Riddell was educated at various schools in North East Scotland before studying music at St. Andrews University, Edinburgh University, and conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Now resident in Denmark, he is currently artistic director of both Randers Chamber Orchestra and Aarhus Sommeropera.
He has conducted Madama Butterfly, La Cenorentola, La Perichole, Paganini, Farinelli, The Pirates of Penzance, Orphée aux enfers and Candide at the Danish National Opera, and his orchestral work includes frequent guest appearances with Denmark's leading orchestras: Odense Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Århus Symphony Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Sønderjyllands Symphony Orchestra, and Danish Radios Light Orchestra. He has conducted numerous radio broadcasts with various orchestras and TV-productions of Don Giovanni and Farinelli for Danish Television.
At Aarhus Sommeropera, he has conducted their much acclaimed productions of Don Giovanni, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Pasquale, Mozart and Salieri, Falstaff, The Turn of the Screw, The Rape of Lucretia, Albert Herring, L’elisir d’amore, Die Entfürung aus dem Serail, and La Clemenza di Tito, as well as the world premieres of John Frandsen's Tugt og Utugt i Mellemtiden, Erik Bach’s Olympias Hævn, Svend Hvidfeldt Nielsen’s Edens Gave, and Andy Pape’s Kærligheds Dampe. During his tenure as artistic director, Aarhus Sommeropera has been nominated for a Reumert award for best opera four times, winning the award in 2001.
In Britain, his conducting activities have included appearances with The Northern Sinfonia, English Touring Opera (Eugene Onegin), The Garden Venture (world premiere of The Standard Bearer with the contemporary opera unit of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden), Scottish Opera (La Forza del Destino), the RSAMD in Glasgow (Mozart and Salieri by Rimsky-Korsakov), and The Little Angel Theatre Company in London (L'Histoire du Soldat). He has also conducted in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Russia, France, Island, Syria and has recently had considerable success conducting several concerts with the Nova Amadeaus Orchestra in Rome.
David Riddell is also active as a composer/arranger and has also taught at the University of St. Andrews, The Guildhall School of Music, The Royal Danish Conservatory, The North Jutland Academy of Music, and the Royal Opera School in Copenhagen. Together with Randers Chamber Orchestra he has recorded numerous CD’s and has contributed several recordings to the collected works of H. C. Lumbye with The Copenhagen Philharmonic.