David Stanhope is a freelance conductor and composer, joining the music staff of The Australian Opera in 1986; he has also conducted numerous film soundtracks.

He has written for all kinds of instrumental and vocal ensembles, but is especially known as a writer for wind band and brass. Wind band and brass band works of his have been competition test pieces both in Britain and Australia. His compositions include several items commissioned for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and 2006 Asian Games, a suite for string orchestra String Songs and a three-act opera The UN-DEAD.  Tall Poppies Records have released a CD of his wind band music, Little Ripper! (1997) and brass chamber music, Sydney Brass plays Stanhope (2008).