Maxwell Davies, Peter

| Maks-well Dei-veez |


1934 – 2016


Nationality British

Composer and conductor well-known for radical, modern works as well as more subtle and traditional chamber and choral music. Very outspoken about environmental and political issues.

Most Notable Works

Eight Songs for A Mad King, a startling depiction of insanity, 1969

Taverner, an opera based on the life of British composer John Taverner, 1972.

Life in brief

1934 – Born in Salford to father Thomas, a manufacturer of optical instruments and mother Hilda, an amateur painter.

1953 – Begins his formal studies at the Royal Manchester College of Music having initially started to compose at the age of eight.

1960 Takes up Head of Music post at Cirencester Grammar School, writing O Magnum Mysterium for its pupils.

1971 – Settles in the Orkney Islands and founds St. Magnus Festival often premiering new works using local school orchestras.

1987 – Begins association with fellow composer James MacMillan helping to bring his second Strathclyde Concerto (of ten) to children in Ayr.

2004 – Appointed Master of the Queen’s Music.

2009 – Made an honorary fellow of Homerton College, Cambridge.

2014 – World premiere of his Symphony No. 10 at the Barbican Hall, London.