KRAM, IAN DAVID, PhD, Conductor

DAVID IAN KRAM, PhD(Monash), ARCM(London), FRSA(London) is a distinguished conductor who has worked in Australia and internationally in Germany, Italy, France, Malaysia, Switzerland, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic and China. He has a repertoire of over 200 works, has conducted more than 30 orchestras and has collaborated with Richard Bonynge and Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Mark Elder, Simone Young, Giancarlo Menotti and Lotfi Mansouri.

Born in London, David studied composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music (London), at Luigi Ricci (Rome) and at Adelaide and Monash Universities where he completed his PhD. Sporadic composition until 1995, thereafter many arrangements, adaptations and orchestrations. Lectured in Composition Ensemble and Orchestration at Victoria College of the Arts 2006-09. Since 2010, performed compositions increased. Dr Kram is focussing on composition alongside his guest conducting and freelance teaching work.

David made his first international conducting debut in 1969 at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. Shortly after, a series of full-time European engagements followed where David worked as repetiteur for the Grand Theatre de Genève, as Kapellmeister at the Stadttheater in Basel, and as Erster Kapellmeister, Nationaltheater in Mannheim.

In 1978 David came to Australia to take up the position of resident conductor at the Australian Opera, a position he held for the next eight years. He relocated to Adelaide where he was invited to be Music Director for the State Opera of South Australia.

Maintaining links with European houses during the 1990s, David had frequent guest conducting engagements in Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Karlsruhe, Nantes, and Wiesbaden.

In 2000 David was awarded his PhD by Monash university. A highly competent researcher and teacher, he held academic positions as a senior lecturer, at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) where he taught orchestration and was Head of Opera from 1999 – 2005. Leaving the VCA after 2009, he continues his association with the University of Melbourne as a Senior Fellow.

In 2000, David established More Than Opera to expand the reach of opera to many diverse audiences in the community.  More Than Opera continues to flourish with many projects realised through innovation and artistic excellence.

David’s first composition, a film score, was recorded in 1966. He has since written a range of music including incidental songs, orchestral overtures, a children’s opera and arrangements of existing works.  In 2013 he wrote Ring. Wagner. Animated, an adaptation of Wagner’s Ring Cycle for family audiences with instrumental ensemble, condensed from sixteen hours to one hour.

A deep respect for the life and work of Sir John Monash led him to compose PEACE – A Cantata for John Monash, premiered at Hamer Hall, Melbourne, in September 2017. In 2018, the 100th Anniversary of WW1, PEACE will be performed in Amiens, France in April and September.


1996 – “National Parks Song »

1999 – “Ariel’s Song of Hope” (song for soprano)

2001 – “Christmas-time in Melbourne (Choral song SATB)

2004 – A Postcard from Carlton (Una Cartolina da Carlton) – opera in one act (55 mins)

2004 – “From Heine” (song for tenor)

2006 – « Omaggio ai maestri di San Lorenzo » Piece for concert band (8 mins)

2008 – “Occhi di fuoco” (song for tenor)

2008 – “Paris, jadis” (song for soprano)

2008 – “I am Merline” (song for soprano)

2008 – “Painted on a Poster” (song for soprano)

2009 – “The Great Shanghai Fireworks Display” Concert Overture for Orchestra

2009 – “Victoria” (choral song SA)

2010 – Meraviglia – opera with dialogue in one act (55 mins)

2012 – “At the Game” Concert Overture for orchestra

2012 – The Ring.Wagner.Animated – Multimedia operatic production (100 mins)

2014 –  “Fill the Cup” (Choral song TTBB)

2014 – “Life’s Testament” (song for bass-baritone)

2015 – The Young Monash – From Melbourne to Gallipoli – major choral work (80 mins)

2016 – Brunnhilde Saves the World – Short version of Ring.Wagner.Animated for touring to schools

2017 – Peace – A Cantata for John Monash – major choral work (90 mins)


 1992 – “Für Mechthild” – Piano piece

1993 – “Hyperions Schicksallied” (song for mezzo-soprano)

2000 – “Kookaburra” (song)

2002 – “Christmas Sharing” (song)

2007 – “When You’re E-I-G-H-T-Y” (song)

2011 – Soap – Musical Theatre work (script by Hugh Stuckey), 200 mins

2016 – Monash Sinfonietta in four movements (25 mins) for orchestra 3333/4331/Timp. Perc/Str.


New libretto and lyrics for Lehár’s operetta Paganini (published by Glocken Verlag 1999)

Many new librettos/lyrics/adaptations for works including:

 The Love of Three Oranges for Children (Prokofiev – The Love of Three Oranges) – this was under licence by Boosey and Hawkes with the permission of the composer’s grandson and performed on tour in Victoria following Arts Victoria’s Showcase Victoria

 Fish ‘n Ships (Haydn – La Pescatrice)

Hotel Charles (Rossini – L’assedio di Rheims)

Bohemios (Vives – Bohemios)