University of Surrey 

For Alumni and Supporters

Shard features graduate’s soaring soundtrack

Visitors to the tallest building in Western Europe are accompanied wherever they go by specially-created music by Tonmeister alumnus David Mitcham, who graduated in 1979. He has composed Shard Symphony, an exciting soundtrack to entertain tourists as they travel up to floor 72 to take in the 40-mile view across London.

David said he was delighted to be asked to compose for such an iconic project. “I hope the work is uplifting. The music played in the lifts as people travel to the top has upward rising motifs, but, once on the viewing floor, it is more ethereal and heavenly.  Four choirs answer each other across the space. My music is used as a soundtrack for films played in various parts of the building.”

David credits his time at Surrey as a major influence on his career. “The most important thing about my course was the balance between the technical and the artistic. The combination influenced me very strongly in the way I think about things, and, on a practical level, every composer now has to be their own sound engineer too so the skills I learned have helped enormously. Surrey, together with the National Youth Orchestra, changed my life completely. They broadened my mind.”

You can listen to David’s music at


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