Born in Birmingham in 1962, David Brain won a scholarship to the Birmingham School of Music at the age of 14. In 1984, he graduated with a B Mus (Hons) from the University of Manchester, where he studied piano with Charles Hopkins and Gordon Fergus Thompson.

He went on to study for a further three years with John Bingham at Trinity College of Music in London, where he won the college's John Ireland competition and the British Music Society Piano Awards of 1988. He made his Purcell Room debut the same year, playing contemporary British music. After completing his formal studies, David moved to Redbridge, where he set up his own private teaching practice.

David has an intense and uniquely focused relationship with the composers whose music he performs. He believes you have to look into every corner of the vast piano repertoire to find the best works and that the greatest work by a relative obscurity is often greater than the poorest from a household name. His concerts frequently contain rare works, as well as the better-known staples of the keyboard repertoire.