Celebrating Peter Maxwell Davies's 90th Anniversary
The 90th anniversary of Peter Maxwell Davies’s birth falls on 8 September 2024, offering opportunities to celebrate this major international contemporary composer and his rich catalogue of works.
Rising to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s ‘Max’ (as he universally became known) was at the vanguard of contemporary music in the UK, embracing international influences at a time when new British music was considered to be parochial and insular. His music theatre works defined a new genre, cutting edge in subject matter and soundworld, and suitable for touring by small groups of skilled specialist musicians. In the 1970s he became an adoptive Scot, living in the Orkneys, and readily embracing aspects of the local culture. As conductor he toured his music with The Fires of London, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Philharmonic, and was an enthusiastic teacher of and advocate for other composers at the Dartington Summer School, the St Magnus Festival and beyond. His final decades before his death in 2016 saw him turn his inquisitive gaze on symphonies, concertos, string quartets and choral music, learning from the classical masters and reinterpreting each form for the modern age.
For full information including biography and worklist visit www.boosey.com/maxwelldavies. The following selection of works with audio clips offers an introduction to Maxwell Davies's musical world, suitable for exploration in preparation for his 90th anniversary year.