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Peter Maxwell Davies: Freedom of London

(October 2013)

CityofLondon.jpg City of London honours Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies will receive the Freedom of the City of London, having been nominated by Alderman Roger Gifford, Lord Mayor of the City of London and Catherine McGuinness.

A ceremony will be held on Friday 25 October at The Mansion House, wherein Maxwell Davies will read aloud the Declaration of a Freeman and then be greeted as a ‘Citizen of London’ by the Chamberlain of London, Chris Bilsland, and presented with a framed parchment certificate.

The Freedom of the City of London is believed to have first been granted in 1237, enabling recipients to carry out their trade within the city walls. Today, people are nominated or apply for the Freedom because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and its ancient traditions. The Freedom is offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to help celebrate a significant achievement or pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life or public life.

Although Maxwell Davies has strong geographic associations with Manchester, where he grew up, and with the Orkney Islands in Scotland, where he has lived since 1970, London has provided a central focus for his performing life. Major premieres hosted in London have included Eight Songs for a Mad King (1969, Queen Elizabeth Hall), his opera Taverner (1972, Royal Opera House), Symphony No.5 (1994, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall) and the Antarctic Symphony (2001, Royal Festival Hall).

Forthcoming Maxwell Davies premieres include Concert overture: Ebb of Winter, receiving its first performance by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Oliver Knussen in Glasgow on 8 November, and Symphony No.9 given by the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Antonio Pappano at the Barbican on 2 February, launching the composer's 80th birthday year.

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