David Macfarlane studied organ at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, and musicology at the University of Sydney where he was the organ scholar. From early in his studies, David has been particularly interested in historically informed performances of keyboard and choral music from the earliest manuscript sources through to the music of contemporary composers.
After graduating, David moved to Austria, where he studied in and graduated from the church music and performance departments of the University for Performing Arts, Vienna. There, his teachers included Michael Radulescu (organ and improvisation), Gordon Murray (harpsichord), Erwin Ortner (choral and ensemble conducting), Hermann Fortmoser (voice training and choir training) and Augusta Campagna (continuo). Masterclasses gave David the opportunity to work with other leading European musicians, including Ton Koopman, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden, Susan Landale, Peter Hurford, Rudi Meyer and Marie-Claire Alain.
David was active as a performer and repetiteur whilst based in Europe. He was the Director of Music at Salvator am Wienerfeld where he officiated on the historically classified 1741 Dacci organ. He has recorded and performed live for a number of national broadcast companies.
Since returning to Australia, David has continued to follow his passion for organ and harpsichord performance and choir training. David has conducted and developed two major choirs. David is the organist at Newman College, as well as organist and harpsichordist for Past Echoes and is on the staff of the University of Melbourne both for the Early Music Studio and as organist. David also works as an instrumental teacher and accompanist at Methodist Ladies College and St Michael's Grammar School.
In recent years, David has directed the choir at All Saints' Anglican Church, East St Kilda, (2002-2011), presented recitals for the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields (English romantic organ music and its influences), the Past Echoes Autumn Festival (organ music of Buxtehude; cello and organ music of the high romantic and 20th Century with Josephine Vains; Viola da Gamba and harpsichord; and many concerts as a continuo player), the Organ Society of South Australia, Christ Church, Brunswick (to celebrate their 150th anniversary and the 35th anniversary of the organ), St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne (music of Vierne, Heiller and Fleury) and Adelaide Town Hall. David was chosen to perform the winning entries of the New Organ Music of Australia competition for the awards ceremony in 2008 and to perform for the launch of The Southern Cross Collection - Organ Music by Australian Composers in 2009. In 2010, David joined with a star-studded cast for the inaugural Lord Mayor's Command Performance Support Act at the Melbourne Town Hall. In 2011, David was the only Australia to be invited to perform a solo concert in the Scot's Church, Melbourne Internation Organ Series, performing music of Alain, Couperin, Franck and Vierne. He was the organist invited to perform the 2011 Celebrity Recital at Avondale Memorial Church in NSW which helped raise funds to provide Suzuki Organ scholarships.
David enjoys jogging in a park where he is accompanied by numerous kangaroos and native birds, a few echidnas, foxes, water dragons and even the occasional snake.
A number of publications and presentations to international symposiums date from engineering times. He was part of the team that won the inaugural Melbourne Business School's Melbourne University Entrepreneurs Challenge in 2000, and subsequently established Dynamic Hearing after attracting funding of several million dollars to commercialise the DSP algorithm for hearing aids that he implemented on research and commercial platforms.