Oliver Davis (b.1972) studied with Justin Connolly at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating in 1994. He has since composed and produced numerous albums, soundtracks, concertos and television scores and has worked with all the major London orchestras.
Oliver’s work in recent years has been centered on a trilogy of albums. Flight (2015) was recorded by Kerenza Peacock and the London Symphony Orchestra, it was premiered by Kerenza with Trafalgar Sinfonia at St Martin in the Fields. The album reached number 2 in the UK Specialist Classical Charts and number 16 in the US Billboard Chart and was made Classic FM ‘Featured Album of the Week’. It also features daily on radio stations worldwide from Germany to Australia. The ballet ‘Flight of Fancy’, choreographed by Ma Cong, featured a combination of pieces from Flight and was performed by Tulsa Ballet in September 2016.
The second album in the trilogy, Seasons (2015), is a concept album which includes the song cycle Anno. The lyrical content of the cycle are the four poems that inspired Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It was premiered at St Martin in the Fields in October 2015 by Grace Davidson, and Trafalgar Sinfonia conducted by Ivor Setterfield. The album, recorded by the same combination on musicians, reached number 10 in the UK Classical Charts and became Album on the Week on both Classic FM and the Mail on Sunday in addition to being featured on BBC Radio 3.
Oliver’s interest in ballet has led to several collaborations with choreographer Erico Montes. His work Within the Hours was performed by the Royal Ballet and reviewed by Debra Craine in The Times as ‘beautiful new music by Oliver Davis’. It was this interest in ballet that led to the creation of the third album in the trilogy, Dance. The album was recorded in June 2016 by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios (where the Beatles wrote and recorded their albums). Dance featured soloists Kerenza Peacock and Huw Watkins and was conducted by Paul Bateman, It too became Featured Album of the Week on Classic FM and reached no 5 in the UK Classical Charts. It was Chosen as the No.1 release of 2016 by Naxos Music Library, beating over 13,000 releases and is featured daily on American radio stations such as New York’s WQXR.
Davis also scored the music to Chris Shepherd’s film The Ringer for Canal Plus and worked with Oscar nominated director Sylvain Chomet on the opening ‘couch gag’ sequence for The Simpsons – reaching over 6 million views on YouTube. Davis is responsible for the soundtracks of 12 television series, 15 short films two Playhouse films for Sky Arts – City Hall(Dir Richard Loncraine) and Nelly & Melba (Dir Christine Gernon) – and feature film Seaview Knights. His music has also been used on two American independent features, An Unkindness of Ravens and Sleepwalk with Me. Works for stage encompass TV22 with words by Paul Gambaccini and Banksters with words by Penguin author Felix Riley. He also composed Song for Malala with words by Sandi Toksvig. Oliver teamed up with lyricist Andrew Brenner to write the songs for two feature films in the ‘Thomas and Friends’ series ‘The Great Race’ and ‘Journey Beyond Sodor’.
Choreographers around the world have chosen to choreograph to Davis’ music. Recent examples include Edwaard Liang’s 13th Heaven premiered by Singapore Dance Theatre and Secrets choreographed by Erico Montes and premiered by The Royal Ballet. 2018 has already seen performances of two new ballets including ‘Dance Odyssey’ choreographed by Peter Walker and premiered by New York City Ballet in February 2018. It was reviewed by Alastair Macaulay in the New York Times as ‘…charming, lyrical, Arcadian, reaching in its final section a melodious polyphony that recalls Michael Tippett’s beautiful Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli. (Mr Davis’s score evoke the tradition of all-strings works by British composers – Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and Tippett all wrote outstanding examples.) I find it affable, accomplished…’.
Still to come in 2018 is the premiere of the Infinite Ocean by Edwaard Liang for San Francisco Ballet. Commissioned by San Francisco Ballet, it will feature in their ‘unbound’ festival for several performances from April 20.
Oliver’s studios are based in the heart of Soho (London) where he has been writing and recording since 1998. Oliver is published by Eaton Music – part of the Music Sales group. He is also an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. For more information please visit his Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Davis_(composer).