David Francis Urrows (b. Honolulu, 1957) grew up in New York, where he was trained as a chorister and studied piano and organ with Allen Sever. He was educated at New York University, Brandeis University, the University of Edinburgh, where he studied composition under Kenneth Leighton, and Boston University, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1987. From 1976 to 1984 he studied composition privately with Randall Thompson.
Urrows composes primarily on commission. Works of his many genres–choral pieces, orchestral works, compositions for vocal and instrumental soloists, music for chamber ensembles, and scores for the theater–have been performed in the United States, Europe, Great Britain and Asia. He has published many scholarly articles, a critical edition of the music of German-American composer Otto Dresel (1826-90), and has written and edited a number of books, the topics ranging from contemporary choral music to word and music studies, and to East-West musical intersections including a history of the organ in China (Keys to the Kingdom), and a forthcoming book on the Roman Catholic musical culture of nineteenth-century Shanghai.
Urrows has served on the teaching faculties of Boston University, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Eastern Mediterranean University, Hong Kong Baptist University, and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. During his years in Hong Kong he was also conductor of the Hong Kong Bach Choir, and the Cecilian Singers. He now lives in Manila, Philippines, where he continues his research and composition.