Davies, Peter Maxwell
- John Warnaby
- , revised by Nicholas Jones
(b Salford, Greater Manchester, 8 Sept 1934; d Orkney, 14 March 2016). English composer. His finest achievements have a depth of symbolism and historical reference rarely encountered elsewhere in contemporary music. He cultivated various styles, from the unbridled Expressionism of his music-theatre pieces of the late 1960s to the majestically unfolding landscapes of his later orchestral works. He gained considerable popularity with his lighter pieces, many of them inspired by the folk traditions of Orkney, where he settled in 1971. He also made a significant contribution to music education in Britain.
Davies demonstrated an early inclination towards music, which his parents encouraged by arranging piano tuition. Composition rapidly became an extension of his piano studies, his earliest juvenilia dating from 1942. At Leigh Grammar School music was not recognized as an academic subject, but Davies pursued further studies independently of his general education, obtaining entry to both the RMCM and Manchester University. He took parallel courses there between ...