Spanish/American hornist David Thompson was born in Ada, Oklahoma, into a family dedicated to music (his father a composer, and his mother an opera director). He studied at the Indiana University School of Music with Michael Hatfield, where he received the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with high distinction, as well as the prestigious Performer's Certificate. He was also the first hornist in 25 years to win the Brass Concerto Competition.
While at Indiana, he also studied natural horn with Richard Seraphinoff, and was very active in the area of early music, performing both as a soloist and as a member of several original-instrument chamber ensembles.
His distinctions in international competitions include the first prizes of the American Horn Competition (Michigan) and the Performance Competition of the International Horn Society (Munich), as well as the Festival Prize for the Most Artistic Interpretation at the International Competition for Wind Instruments (Leeuwarden).
He has performed regularly as a soloist with orchestras in Europe, North America, and Asia, with conductors such as Christopher Hogwood, Christian Zacharias, Dmitri Kitajenko, Samuel Wong, Franz-Paul Decker, and Barry Tuckwell.
He has long served as Solo Horn of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra. He also performed and recorded extensively for Harmonia Mundi as Solo Horn of the Teatre Lliure Chamber Orchestra and collaborated regularly with the modern music ensemble Barcelona 216. He has also served as Solo Horn and Director of Chamber Music for the Navarra Symphony Orchestra of Pamplona, and as Principal Horn of the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
As a pedagogue, he was professor of horn at the Escuela Superior de Música de Cataluña, and has served on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has presented masterclasses and workshops at institutions around Europe, the United States, Asia and Australia, and is the author of two pedagogical texts in widespread use: Daily Warm-Up and Workout (1994) and The Orchestral Audition Repertoire for Horn: Comprehensive and Unabridged (1995). In 2013, he assumed responsibility for the horn class at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music of the University of Sydney.