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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1934–2016)


Two days of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies celebrations with The Hogboon world premiere & memorial concert

04 July 2016

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was celebrated over two days on 26 and 27 June, with the world premiere of his final opera, The Hogboon, at the Barbican Centre followed by a memorial concert at St John’s Smith Square.

Written for students, children and amateurs alongside professional musicians, The Hogboon was performed by LSO Discovery Choirs, the London Symphony Chorus, the Guildhall School Singers, London Symphony Orchestra and members of the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and with chorus director Simon Halsey. The Times called it “poignant, uproarious and a marvellous testament to Max’s vision of music as an essential creative force." Read more of the reviews below.

On 27 June, friends, colleagues and members of the public attended Max – A Celebration. The event featured the London premiere of The Golden Solstice and the world premiere of his final composition: a string quartet movement, Op.338, performed by the Behn Quartet. Fellow musicians and friends spoke movingly of Max and his role in British musical life. After speaking vividly about Max’s Tenth Symphony, Sir Antonio Pappano brought the event to a close with a performance of Farewell to Stromness. The Observer wrote that the piece “acquired new, sorrowful colours in the hands of a virtuoso.” Read Classical Source’s report from the memorial here.

Reviews of The Hogboon world premiere:

The Hogboon is a 55-minute drama of extreme colour and bustle.. in a happily, proliferating blend.. The skill with which Davies has integrated diverse age groups and abilities, and fused the cheeriest choral and vocal writing with orchestra invention of real substance, is manifest.."
Sunday Times, June 2016

"’s poignant, uproarious and a marvellous testament to Max’s vision of music as an essential creative force."
Times, June 2016

"The spirit of the late Peter Maxwell Davies blazed in the Barbican Hall.. this brooding, mobile tapestry of a work which seems to internalise the rhythms of a storm surge, swirling, thunderous and strange. We move from cataclysmic, antiphonal fanfares as The Hogboon emerges from his mound to the sweet tenderness of the monster’s plea.."
The Arts Desk, June 2016

"The music finds Maxwell Davies at his most inclusive and celebratory, but also satisfyingly weird and dissonant. The overture – hovering strings then an abrupt brass fanfare – evoked the ominous maritime music of Peter Grimes, as did the LSO Chorus entering in mufti as the voice of the local community."
Daily Telegraph, June 2016

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' The Hogboon receives world premiere from the London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Simon Rattle

12 June 2016

External Links:
London Symphony Orchestra
Max: A Celebration

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ final large-scale work, children’s opera The Hogboon, receives its world premiere from the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle at the Barbican Centre on 26 June 2016. The world premiere will be followed on Monday 27 June by a major commemoration of Maxwell Davies' life, ‘Max - A Celebration’, at St. John’s Smith Square. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. Click here for more information.

The Hogboon is co-commissioned by the LSO, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and Philharmonie Luxembourg. Sir Simon Rattle, the LSO, LSO Discovery children’s choirs and London Symphony Chorus join together with students from Guildhall School to give the sold-out world premiere performance.

The opera is based on a Scottish legend from the Orkney Islands, where Maxwell Davies lived for the last four decades of his life, and tells the story of a boy, Magnus, who must save his family and community from Nuckleavee, a "vengeful and terrible sea-monster who lives in the waters around them." Magnus is taunted by his brothers for refusing to help on the farm but when the sea monster Nuckleavee threatens to destroy the village unless he is fed six young ladies and the Princess. Magnus and the friendly spirit, the Hogboon, devise a plan to scare off Nuckleavee and save the ladies and the village.

Maxwell Davies has written several small and large scale works for children. Speaking of The Hogboon, the LSO's managing director Kathryn McDowell said:

"Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' works for children are amongst the finest of his entire output – creative, imaginative and always pitched at a level which both inspires and stretches his participants and enables them to achieve their best. When the LSO and Sir Simon Rattle developed the idea of commissioning a series of three children’s' operas it seemed completely natural that one should be from Max. He responded with characteristic enthusiasm – even writing his own text on the Orcadian legend of the Hogboon – and completing the work in the final months of his life."

Sir Simon Rattle commented:

"The LSO has always been a ground-breaker in music education, and believes that we all have a responsibility to share our art with as many people as possible. Max’s last piece is a magical addition to that canon."

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Max - A Celebration: official memorial for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies to take place on 27 June 2016

08 June 2016

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Max - A Celebration

On Monday 27 June at St John’s Smith Square, a major memorial will be held for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies who died on 14 March 2016.

The free morning event, Max: A Celebration, will comprise a mixture of musical performances and spoken tributes and present an opportunity for everyone, from friends and colleagues to the general public, to pay their respects to the late composer.

The programme will include Maxwell Davies’ Seven Brightnesses, Lullabye for Lucy and Farewell to Stromness as well as a previously unheard work String Quartet Movement 2016 and The Golden Solstice which received its world premiere last month as part of the Battle of Jutland celebrations. Performers include Centre for Young Musicians Chamber Choir conducted by Lynda Richardson, the Behn Quartet and clarinettist Charlie Dale-Harris.

Speakers will include Royal Opera House Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano (who will also perform Farewell to Stromness), composers Robert Saxton, Sally Beamish, Alexander Goehr, actor Andrew Branch and architect Giuseppe Rebecchini.

Other forthcoming events in memory of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies include ‘Remembering Max’, featuring the composer’s works for the schools and choirs of Orkney (18 September, St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall); and English Chamber Orchestra’s ‘A Concert for Max’, presented by BBC Radio 3’s Tom Service (4 November, Kings Place).

Tickets are free but must be reserved - visit the St John's Smith Square website for more information.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: World premiere of The Golden Solstice at St Magnus Cathedral

17 May 2016

One of the final works completed by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, The Golden Solstice, receives its world premiere on 31 May 2016 at St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall. The Golden Solstice is specially commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for the centenary celebrations of the Battle of Jutland.

As part of a commemorative service to honour those who served at sea during the First World War, the anthem will be performed by the choir and organist of St Magnus Cathedral in the Orkney Islands, Sir Peter’s home for the later years of his life.

In June Sir Peter's final large-scale work, his children’s opera The Hogboon, receives its world premiere at the Barbican Centre with  the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CH CBE (1934–2016)

14 March 2016

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, at the age of 81.

One of the foremost composers of our time, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies made a profound contribution to musical history in the UK and beyond through his wide-ranging and prolific output.

Recognised as a successor to the avant-garde generation of Ligeti, Lutosławski, Berio and Xenakis, as well as a composer of a distinctly British hue, Sir Peter’s output embraces every conceivable classical genre from symphonies and concertos to opera, music theatre, ballet, film, choral and more.

He was also an experienced conductor, holding the position of Associate Conductor/Composer at both the BBC Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic orchestras for 10 years, and guest-conducting orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus and Philharmonia. He enjoyed a particularly close relationship with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as Composer Laureate.

Born in Salford, Lancashire on 8 September 1934, Sir Peter attended Royal Manchester College of Music (now Royal Northern College of Music) where he was part of the so-called Manchester School with contemporaries Harrison Birtwistle, John Ogdon, Elgar Howarth, Richard Hall and Alexander Goehr. He later secured a Fellowship at Princeton where he studied with Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt. The 1960s were an especially formative decade, establishing him as a leading contemporary musical figure.

In 1971 Sir Peter moved to the Orkney Islands, the place which would be his home for the rest of his life. The landscape and culture had a deep impact on his music and in 1977 he founded the St Magnus Festival, an annual event with Orkney residents at its heart.

Sir Peter had a lifelong commitment to community outreach and education, writing much music for young people; his children’s opera The Hogboon will receive its world premiere in June 2016 with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO at the Barbican. His keen sense of social responsibility was threaded through many of his works, touching on major issues such as war, the environment and politics.

Sir Peter held the post of Master of the Queen’s Music from 2004–2014. He was knighted in 1987 and made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the New Year 2014 Honours List. In February 2016, Sir Peter was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal, the highest accolade the society can bestow, in recognition of outstanding musicianship.

Max (to all who knew him) passed away of leukaemia on 14 March 2016 at his home in Orkney. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.


"Max was a truly unique musician. A remarkable composer who created music theatre works of searing power, great symphonies, intense chamber music, works of truly universal popularity. A fierce fighter for music in the community and in education, and on environmental issues. And a man of invincible integrity, a true friend and a teller of truth to power. He lived in the world, even though he seemed far away in Hoy or in Sanday, and he put his beliefs into action. He loved life – and particularly the food and culture of Italy. The last years, even when battling against the leukaemia which came on him so suddenly, were an Indian Summer of wonderful, richly imagined works."
Sally Groves
Former Creative Director, Schott Music Ltd.; and close friend

More tributes are available to download from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' profile.


Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was managed by Intermusica, and his works published by Boosey & Hawkes, Chester Music & Schott Music.
- Intermusica
- Boosey & Hawkes
- Chester Music
- Schott Music Ltd.
- Sir Peter Maxwell Davies website


Please send any tributes or comments to

Press enquiries

Please visit Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ profile page at to download a full press release (including tributes), images, video material and a complete biography. For further information, contact Intermusica Head of Communications & Marketing Fabienne Morris: / 020 7608 9908.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies awarded The Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal

20 February 2016

External Links:
Royal Philharmonic Society

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has been awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal, the highest accolade the Society can bestow, which is awarded for the most outstanding musicianship. Maxwell Davies joins an outstanding list of previous recipients including Martha Argerich, Janet Baker, Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Placido Domingo, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, György Kurtág, Thomas Quasthoff, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, András Schiff, Sir John Tomlinson and Mitsuko Uchida.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies commented:

“I am absolutely delighted and couldn't be more honoured to receive the RPS Gold Medal. That’s the one I wanted!”

The RPS have said of the award being bestowed:

“Max is our foremost champion of creative music education, drawing on his early teaching experience and demonstrating that all children can compose music and perform given the minimum of opportunity…..Peter Maxwell Davies has redefined what it means to be a composer and inspired new generations of musicians. We applaud him for his generosity of spirit and are proud to present him with the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal.”

Click here to read more about the RPS Gold Medal.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: Music for Brass released on Nimbus Records

15 February 2016

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Nimbus Records

Nimbus Records has released a CD of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ compositions for brass to critical acclaim. Th collection was recorded by The Wallace Collection in 2000, but has never been released until now. Featured works include March: The Pole Star, Litany for a Ruined Chapel between Sheep and Shore, Sea Eagle, Tallis: Four Voluntaries, Fanfare for Lowry and Brass Quintet.

“..the trumpet duo of Fanfare for Lowry and solos for trumpet (Litany for a Ruined Chapel) and horn (Sea Eagle) are appealing, but the end piece is on another plane. Devised as authentic chamber music for instruments essentially outside that tradition, the Brass Quintet, especially in its immensely measured central adagio, has a searching introspective quality hardly to be found elsewhere.”
Sunday Times, March 2016

“This is an impressively performed programme of some of the best music for brass the late 20th century has to offer. These are pieces which invite exploration, revealing their secrets at their own pace but also delivering spaces in which the listener’s own reflections play a large role.”
MusicWeb International

“Haunting miniatures for solo instruments (a Litany for trumpet, Sea Eagle for horn) rub shoulders with ensemble pieces, chief among which is the 1981 brass quintet: cast in three huge movements, and taking up over half the well-filled CD, it casts a lasting spell in this definitive performance.”
Five stars, Classical Music

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: world premiere of A Torrent of Gold

01 January 2016

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ new work for all female voices, Epiphany carol A Torrent of Gold, receives its world premiere at Hurstpierpoint College, Sussex on 15 January 2016. A Torrent of Gold, a setting of George Mackay Brown’s poem Kings and Shepherds, is specially commissioned by Hurstpierpoint College as part of their celebrations of 20 years of coeducation.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Symphony No.10 released on LSO Live

26 October 2015

External Links:
LSO Live

LSO Live has released the London Symphony Orchestra's live recording of Maxwell Davies’ Symphony No.10 'Alla ricerca di Borromini' to great critical acclaim. Max’s 10th Symphony was written as a tribute to the baroque architect Francesco Barromini and was premiered at the Barbican in February 2014 by the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Antonio Pappano with the London Symphony Chorus (directed by Simon Halsey) and Markus Butter as baritone soloist.

“It’s a big, deeply reflective statement… the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform it brilliantly”.
Sunday Times

"The divergence between the character of the vocal writing and the more complex style of the purely orchestral movements is just one of the ways in which the work challenges conventional understanding of what is symphonic, but it coheres as a profoundly personal musical statement, bringing together some of the most fundamental ideas and issues to have concerned Maxwell Davies throughout his long career"

“…a persuasive performance under Pappano’s energising baton. Vocal writing is punchy and effective, whatever its challenges met with gusto by soloist and chorus”
Classical Music Magazine

"This recording of the work’s premiere (Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Symphony No 10) is notable for the degree to which all involved – especially the galvanising conductor Antonio Pappano and the properly operatic soloist Markus Butter – manage to convey so much of the music’s dramatic sweep as well as its symphonic substance..."

"It’s the brilliance of the writing (Maxwell Davies Symphony No 10) that keeps the ear engaged… In [Panufnik's] tenth and last symphony, past and future collide in a surreal catharsis of serene beauty and austere geometry. It must be heard twice to be believed. The London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus put body and soul into these performances, conducted with tremendous verve and conviction by Antonio Pappano… Both warrant serious attention."
Album of the Week, Sinfini Music, September 2015

"The interplay between Mark Butter’s singing of Borromini’s own words and quiet choral interjections is beautifully judged here, and is matched by superlative orchestral playing throughout."
BBC Music Magazine

"A highly charged fervour animates the symphony’s discourse on creativity in this live recording of the premiere (Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Symphony No 10)."
Financial Times

‘This is a well-prepared and satisfying performance and remarkably accurate for such a complex work… The chorus and orchestra are quite brilliant… We should be grateful to the sponsors and to the LSO for making these performances available and hope there will be many more.’
MusicWeb International#

Click here to watch Sir Peter talk about the genesis of the symphony.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: A Sea of Cold Flame world premiere at North York Moors Chamber Music Festival - read more:

08 August 2015

External Links:
North York Moors Chamber Music Festival

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ new work for string quartet, cello and baritone, A Sea of Cold Flame, has its World Premiere at the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival on 22 August 2015. The work was written in memory of Tony Fell, who was managing director of Boosey & Hawkes for 22 years, and is performed by the Cremona Quartet, David Stout (baritone) and Jamie Walton (cello).

The music of Maxwell Davies, the festival’s patron, is performed in five concerts during the festival. The festival’s opening concert on 16 August includes a performance of Two Dances from Caroline Mathilde and the festival’s closing concert on 29 August includes a performance of A Welcome to Orkney.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Symphony No.10 wins a South Bank Sky Arts Award

08 June 2015

External Links:
South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has won the Classical Category at the 2015 South Bank Sky Arts Awards for his Symphony No.10 'Alla ricerca di Borromini'.

At a ceremony held at The Savoy on 7 June 2015, Maxwell Davies was presented his award by Tasmin Little, having been selected as winner from a panel of judges over fellow nominees the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Arditti Quartet.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on Sky Arts on 10 June at 8pm.

Maxwell Davies’ Symphony No.10 was co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra and Choir of the Accademia of Santa Cecilia and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra. The symphony received its world premiere performance in February 2014 at the Barbican, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus directed by Simon Halsey and Sir Antonio Pappano, with Markus Butter as baritone soloist, to great critical acclaim.

Hear an excerpt from the symphony on Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' profile.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: world premiere of String Quintet at Wigmore Hall

04 March 2015

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' String Quintet receives its world premiere by the Nash Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall, London, on 18 March.

The piece was commissioned by the ensemble for its 50th anniversary series, which ends with this concert, and features in the programme alongside another new quintet by Richard Causton and music by Carter, Holt, Birtwistle and Anderson.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies: 80th birthday celebrations

23 July 2014

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies turns 80 years old on 8 September 2014, a milestone to be celebrated widely across the year both in the UK and abroad.

The year of celebrations began with the world premiere of Maxwell Davies’ Symphony No.10: ‘Alla ricerca di Borromini’ by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Antonio Pappano, with Markus Butter as baritone soloist. The orchestra was joined by the London Symphony Chorus, directed by Simon Halsey, in a performance lauded as “music functioning as liquid architecture: monumental, certainly, but lightened by a grace and brilliance worthy of the buildings that inspired it" (New York Times) and “one of the most movingly personal of Davies's recent scores, and a major new symphony” (Guardian). Symphony No.10 was co-commissioned by the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, who gave the Italian premiere at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, in June 2014, again with Pappano conducting and Markus Butter as soloist. The third and final co-commissioned performance will be performed in October 2014 by the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev.

In summer 2014 Maxwell Davies attends five BBC Proms where his 80th birthday is celebrated with a host of his works performed throughout the Proms season. The Lapland Chamber Orchestra performs Sinfonia at Cadogan Hall conducted by John Storgards and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales performs the Concert Suite from Act II of Maxwell Davies’ Caroline Mathilde at the Royal Albert Hall under Thomas Sondergard. The BBC Philharmonic performs Symphony No.5 at the Royal Albert Hall conducted by John Storgards, which is preceded by a Maxwell Davies Composer Portrait at the Royal College of Music performed by the London Sinfonietta Academy. The London Sinfonietta then performs an all-Maxwell Davies programme at Cadogan Hall. Finally, the celebrations culminate in an all-Maxwell Davies late night concert at the Royal Albert Hall on the day of his 80th birthday, 8 September, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ben Gernon.

Maxwell Davies’ 80th birthday is also celebrated at festivals throughout the year; in May 2014 he travelled to Bath to attend a performance of his Piano Trio: A Voyage to Fair Isle by the Gould Trio at the Bath Festival, where local schoolchildren also performed his Kirkwall Shopping Songs. At this year’s St Magnus International Festival, which Maxwell Davies founded in 1977, concerts throughout the week by ensembles including the BBC Singers and musicians from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra championed his music. Maxwell Davies also gave his annual talk to young composers on the St Magnus Festival Composers’ Course and attended a performance of three of his pieces for children’s choirs, performed by pupils from several primary and secondary schools in the Orkneys.

In 2014 Maxwell Davies also travels to two Italian festivals who celebrate his birthday; at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Contempoartensemble gave the world premiere of his Trojan Games at Florence’s Teatro Goldoni. In October, Maxwell Davies returns to Italy to attend for the Biennale di Venezia for an 80th birthday concert also performed by the Contermpoartsensemble, including the world premiere of his Sonata for Violin Alone.

Elsewhere in 2014, Maxwell Davies attended a special birthday portrait concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Maida Vale Studios, including his violin concerto A Spell for Green Corn: The MacDonald Dances with soloist Chloe Hanslip. In September he attends a day of concerts entitled Max at 80: A Celebration at Glasgow’s Concert Halls with performances by the Hebrides Ensemble, Sean Shibe and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra who perform the Scottish premiere of Last Door of Light. Psappha Ensemble performs a birthday concert at Hallé St Peter’s in Manchester which closes with the UK premiere of the Trojan Games, and also marks their special birthday release on LP of their recording of Eight Songs for A Mad King, recorded in 2012 under Maxwell Davies’ supervision, the first recording of the work to have had the direct involvement of the composer since the 1971 recording by The Fires of London.

Maxwell Davies’ longstanding connections with educational institutions are also celebrated throughout the year, for example at the Royal Northern College of Music where students perform his string quartets in October, and a day of events at Canterbury Christ Church University including a performance by the Maggini Quartet.

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies receives his Companion of Honour & relinquishes post as Master of the Queen’s Music

22 July 2014

On 22 July, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies attends a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace with the Queen in which he receives his Companion of Honour and relinquishes his post as Master of the Queen’s Music in the presence of his successor, Judith Weir.

At the ceremony, the Queen will invest Maxwell Davies with the insignia of a Companion of Honour, awarded to him in the New Year 2014 Honours List. On his appointment earlier this year, Maxwell Davies said “I am delighted to be joining such distinguished company in receiving the Order of the Companions of Honour. It is vital that society acknowledges the importance of the arts and related fields, and, for me, this honour is recognition for the art of composition and classical music in general. Anything that raises the profile of our art form is both wonderful and most welcome.”

During the same ceremony, Maxwell Davies will relinquish his post as Master of The Queen’s Music. As Master of The Queen’s Music from 2004 – 2014, Maxwell Davies sought to raise the profile of music in Great Britain, as well as writing many works for Her Majesty the Queen and for Royal occasions, including an annual Christmas carol. On the ending of his ten-year appointment, Maxwell Davies said:

“My appointment as Master of The Queen’s Music came as a great surprise, but I seized the opportunity as it offered the possibility to explore fields of communication I had not hitherto entered – for example, in large-scale works suitable to mark The Queen’s eightieth birthday, or the anniversary of the outbreak of peace in 1945. A particular pleasure has been the chance to compose occasional anthems and fanfares for specific ceremonies. An innovation which gave me personal satisfaction was the establishment of the annual Queen’s Medal for an outstanding contribution to the musical life of Britain, serving to enhance the perception of serious music of all kinds. The Queen and The Royal Family have always offered unstinting and smiling support beyond the call of duty, and I wish Judith Weir, my successor, the stimulus, challenge and pleasure in her new position that I have enjoyed throughout my ten years.”

Click here for more information about Judith Weir’s appointment as Master of the Queen’s Music.

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London Symphony Orchestra premieres Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Symphony No.10

20 January 2014

On Sunday 2 February, the London Symphony Orchestra gives the world premiere performance of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Symphony No.10 at the Barbican Hall, under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano. The orchestra is joined by the London Symphony Chorus and baritone soloist Markus Butter.

Maxwell Davies’s Symphony No.10 was co-commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra.

The symphony, scored for orchestra, chorus and baritone soloist, tells of the story of the life and death of seventeenth-century Italian architect Francesco Borromini, a leader in the Roman Baroque style, and his rivalry with Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The text of the symphony is drawn from Borromini’s own Opus Architectonicum and poetry by Giacomo Leopardi.

Maxwell Davies has had a lifelong love for, and connection with, Italy having lived and studied there in his twenties under Goffredo Petrassi. Much of his music is inspired by Italian art, architecture and landscape, and his Naxos Quartet No.7 was also inspired by Borromini.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was hailed as a "master symphonist" in the Daily Telegraph in 2011. The tenth symphony is premiered at the beginning of the composer's 80th birthday year.

Click here for further information about Maxwell Davies’ Symphony No.10 on the Schott Music website.

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Mark Simpson


HK Gruber


Tim Mead

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles