Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

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Davies, Sir Peter Maxwell

(dā`vĭs), 1934–2016, English composer and conductor, b. Salford, studied Royal Manchester College of Music and Princeton with Roger SessionsSessions, Roger,
1896–1985, American composer and teacher, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. Sessions was a pupil of Horatio Parker at Yale and of Ernest Bloch. He taught (1917–21) at Smith, leaving to teach at the Cleveland Institute of Music as Bloch's assistant.
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 and Milton BabbittBabbitt, Milton,
1916–2011, American composer, b. Philadelphia. Babbitt turned to music after studying mathematics. He studied composition with Roger Sessions at Princeton, and taught there from 1938 (emeritus from 1984).
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. He was co-founder (1967) of the Pierrot Players instrumental ensemble, later reinvented as the Fires of London (1970–87), which he directed and for which he wrote many pieces, e.g., the highly emotional Eight Songs for a Mad King (1969), probably his best-known work. He composed in numerous idioms and moods, from early expressionist and often dissonant works to later more lyrical and reflective pieces. His interest in medieval and Renaissance music is clear in Shakespeare Music (1964) and other compositions. Extremely prolific, Davies wrote choral works, e.g., O magnum mysterium (1960); operas, e.g., The Lighthouse (1980), The Doctor of Myddfai (1996), and Kommilitonen! (2011); ten symphonies, e.g., Antarctic Symphony (2002); and numerous concerti, vocal works, chamber music, works for solo instruments, theater pieces, and other compositions. He served as conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Glasgow (1985–94), as an associate conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London (1992–2000) and the BBC Philharmonic, Manchester (1992–2001), and as guest conductor of numerous other orchestras. From 2004 to 2014 he was Master of the Queen's Music. He was knighted in 1987.


See biography by M. Seabrook (1994) and bio-bibliography by C. Smith (1995); studies by S. Pruslin, ed. (1979), P. Griffiths (1981), R. McGregor, ed. (2001), and S. Craggs, ed. (2003).

References in periodicals archive ?
With the appointment of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies as his successor as Master of the Queen's Music only recently announced, it was timely to revisit the music of Malcolm Williamson last night, with Birmingham Conservatoire members presenting his Canticle of Fire.
Eight Songs For A Mad King was composed by Peter Maxwell Davies, with text by Randolph Stow and George III and dedicated to Steven Runciman.
Then Manchester's widely acclaimed contemporary music group Psappha brought the Maxwell Davies Double Bill, Eight Songs for a Mad King, and Miss Donnithorne's Maggot, with Kelvin Thomas and Jane Manning -- all productions that were widely praised nationally.
Composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has been appointed Master of the Queen's Music.
It will return to Leeds Town Hall next March with the British premiAre of Canticum Canticorum by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the recently appointed Master of the Queen's Music, was placed a respectable 76 in the chart with hisFarewell to Stromness.
It seems to count for very little, however, and the large-scale foxtrot for the Harrowing of Hell only serves to remind us that Peter Maxwell Davies did similar things with so much conviction 30 years ago.
This concert was a tribute to the current Master of the Queen's Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, which rather makes it sound as if the evening was safe and stodgy.
For the programme that they will sing that evening will include the premiere of Kestrel Road, composed by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for his 70th birthday.
A good start, but also celebrating the 60th birthdays of both Sir John Tavener and Michael Nyman and the 70th of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
At one point during the Benedictus Maxwell Davies even strays into Rutter territory, with an uncharacteristically sweet little solo; and in the Agnus Dei he pays generous melodic compliments to Faure.
The Golden Rule, written as a birthday tribute, was set to music by the Master of the Queen's Music Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and sung by the choir.