Maxwell Davies was one of the most significant figures in post-War European music, with over 200 published works. He first rose to prominence in the late 1960s with a series of striking neo-expressionistic music-theatre pieces. His music often enjoys taking fairly disparate material - medieval, baroque, modernist, even Scottish folk - and wedding them successfully together (though some of his works also thrive on the clash of these idioms instead).
He spent the latter half of his life in the isolation of the Orkney Islands, and in 1997 he visited the Antarctic, in order to produce his 'Antarctic Symphony' - the eighth of a series of symphonies which The Times called “the most important symphonic cycle since Shostakovich”. Maxwell Davies composed many works for young performers.
"...vivid theatricality and a musical idiom that combines medieval mysticism, modernist rigour and happy accessibility.” — New York Times
Works by Peter Maxwell Davies include: 'Eight Songs for a Mad King' (1969) Music-theatre work for male singer and ensemble 'An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise' (1985) for orchestra or chamber orchestra and Highland pipes 'Symphony No5' (1994) for orchestra