Dr David Önaç – MA(Cantab), MPhil, MMus, LRSM, PhD

ANNOUNCEMENT: David Önaç's solo piano piece 'Beauty of the Bride' has been included in the ABRSM's new Piano ARSM repertoire list (June 2024 onwards). A digital download is available to order from the EVC Music website

David A T Önaç is a versatile composer, pianist, musical director
and educator based in Manchester (UK) specialising in concert music,
jazz and gospel.


Award-winning composer of notation-based concert music

Accomplished, virtuosic pianist of diverse concert repertoire

  • Many premieres of David’s works feature him as a solo pianist.
    Four Etudes – for solo piano.
  • Piano soloist in concertos by Gershwin, Grieg, Rachmaninov and Schumann.
  • Dedicated piano tutor – LRSM in piano performance, distinction, 2009.

Experienced Jazz & Gospel composer, arranger, director and practitioner

  • Voices Beyond Gospel Collective, new single ‘Freedom’, 2022
  • MJF ‘Hothouse’ artist development scheme 2018.
  • BBC Songs of Praise, finalists, 2016.
  • UGCY, winners, 2012, 2013, 2018.

Highly qualified educator of diverse age ranges

  • PhD in Composition, University of Manchester 2013.
  • Teaching Fellow in Music, University of Birmingham 2013-17.
  • Academic Tutor in Composition, Arrangement & Jazz, JRNCM 2018-present.
  • Private tuition at all levels  from primary to postgraduate


David's patience and teaching approach is absolutely outstanding. He ensures that all students understand before moving on to the next topic even if this means repeating himself in several different ways. His knowledge and passion of the subject is clear to see and his enthusiasm is infectious. You never feel nervous asking a question in his seminar and know that you will be supported through any difficult topics that arise…”

— Module Evaluation Questionnaire, Student Feedback, Tonal Harmony & Counterpoint

...but if you’re looking for something new, then David Önaç’s ‘A Distant Star in the Stillness’ may have become my standout piece of the new [2023-24 ABRSM] syllabus. Perhaps visually straightforward, it requires careful voicing of the chords, effective pedalling and a real feel for the sonorous nature of the piano. It’s a piece that is as much about the capabilities of the instrument, as it is about the notes themselves. It’s an outstanding composition from a name I’ve not come across before. I hope he’s someone we’ll see and hear lots more from in the future