Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
New York-born and England-based composer/conductor Carl Davis has delivered ear-catching symphonic music for more than four decades. His dramatic scores have been performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theater while the pieces he composed for ballet have been utilized by the London Contemporary Theater Company, the Sadler Wells Royal Ballet, the Northern Ballet Theater, and the English National Ballet Company. A master at composing scores to accompany silent films, Davis has provided soundtracks for Napolean, Flesh and the Devil, Ben-Hur, Thief of Baghdad, Greed and Intolerance, and Phantom of the Opera. His work in television includes composing scores for Pride and Prejudice, which received a BASCA Ivor Novello Award for "best music for a television production" in 1996. His score for the film The French Lieutenant's Woman received BAFA "original film score" and Ivor Novello Awards. Davis' collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney on his symphonic piece "Liverpool Oratorio" attracted worldwide attention in 1991. He conducted the piece's premier at Anglican Church.
Born to a Jewish family, with roots in Poland and Russia, Davis began studying piano at the age of seven. He attended his first opera three years later.
After attending the New England Conservatory of Music and graduating from Bard College, Davis worked with the New York City Opera and toured with choral conductor Robert Shaw as accompanist. He relocated to England after marrying British actress Jean Boht in 1971.
Appointed artistic director and conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's summer pops season in 1993, Davis serves as vice chancellor of the University of Liverpool.
Davis was made a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French ministry of culture.