With over 200 published works in every medium which are performed worldwide, Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016) is acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time. He lived much of his life in the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland where he wrote most of his music.
His major theatrical works include the operas _Taverner_, _The Martyrdom of St Magnus_ and _The Doctor of Myddfai_; the full-length ballet _Salome_; and the music theatre works _Eight Songs for a Mad King_, _Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot and_ _Vesalii Icones_. His large output of orchestral works includes ten symphonies and seventeen concertos, as well as the highly popular _An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise_ which was written as a commission for the Boston Pops Orchestra, and seen by millions of TV viewers all over the world at the Last Night of the Proms. He also wrote a large repertoire of works for performance by children.
Maxwell Davies was also active as a conductor. He was Associate Conductor/Composer of the BBC Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras for a ten-year period, and was Composer Laureate of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, for whom he wrote a series of ten _Strathclyde Concertos_. He conducted many major orchestras in Europe and North America, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Russian National Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Maxwell Davies works from recent decades included the music-theatre work _Mr Emmet Takes a Walk_ which has received over 50 performances to date, the _Antarctic Symphony (Symphony No.8),_ jointly commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra and the British Antarctic Survey, and _Sea Orpheus_ (2009) commissioned for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's Brandenburg Project. From 2000 the composer placed a special emphasis on music for chamber ensembles and choirs, including _Seven Skies of Winter_ (2003) for the Nash Ensemble and a _String Trio_ premiered at the St Magnus Festival in 2008. From 2012 Naxos embarked on a major project to reissue the composer's recordings originally made for Collins Classics in the 1990s, including his symphonies.
In 1987 Maxwell Davies was knighted and was Master of the Queen's Music between 2004 and 2014, in which role he 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.
Music by Peter Maxwell Davies is published by Boosey & Hawkes.