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Victor Davies - Composer Information

Born in Winnipeg, Victor Davies attended the University of Manitoba, Indiana University, and studied conducting with Pierre Boulez. During his career as a composer, pianist and conductor, he has created works for The Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Winnipeg Symphony, Contemporary Dancers and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and has written film scores for dramas and documentaries in a variety of styles, for CBC, CTV, the National Film Board of Canada and many independent producers. He composed for and performed with his own jazz group and was commissioned to write the first major score for planetarium production, The Beginning and End of the World, recorded with Skitch Henderson.

Davies’ best known work, The Mennonite Piano Concerto, commissioned by Winnipeg's Fast Foundation was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra with pianist Irmgard Baerg and conductor Boris Brott. His music ranges from children’s songs - he wrote music and lyrics for over 600 songs for the CTV series Let’s Go! and The Rockets - to his major oratorio Revelation for soloists, chorus and orchestra. His theatre works include Beowulf, staged in New York; the musical Especially Babe for the Toronto Theatre Festival; The Musical Circus, performed at the Zagreb Biennial; The Big Top, commissioned by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (with 52 performances and TV special seen world wide, and available on CD); the theme song Colours in the Dark, for Famous People Player’s Broadway show and American tour; and scores for the international award-winning films The Last Winter (Fox Video), The Nutcracker Prince (Warner Bros) and For the Moment (20th Century Fox), recorded with musicians of the Czech Philharmonic. Davies has conducted the Winnipeg, Edmonton and Kitchener-Waterloo symphony orchestras and has been the conductor of his own film and television scores. He was musical director and composer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1999 Pan American Games working with well known Winnipeg performers Tracy Dahl, Henrietta Schellenberg, Fred Penner and the WSO conducted by Bramwell Tovey.

Davies’ music, aimed at a wide audience, is melodic, brilliantly orchestrated and has a sense of drama. Equally at home in the concert hall, theatre or recording studio, his music is heard around the world, live, via recordings, and film and television (he won a Gemini Award for best documentary score in 2002), and is sought after by artists such as Wayne Marshall, Bramwell Tovey, The Boss Brass, Ofra Harnoy and the Canadian Trio, to create works for them. In 2005 Silhouettes (Piano Trio No.) 1 was performed by the Vandermark Ensemble at Carnegie Hall and his comic opera The Importance Of Being Ernest was given an inaugural concert performance at Stratford Summer Music.

Recent works include Transit of Venus, a full length opera commissioned by Manitoba Opera, premiered in November 2007, Earnest, The Importance Of Being (adapted from the chamber opera The Importance Of Being Ernest as an operetta) premiered February 2008 by the Toronto Operetta Theatre and Concerto for Tubameister and Orchestra commissioned for tubameister Jc Sherman of Cleveland premiered on September 26th 2008 in Vancouver. The orchestral premiere took place January 16th 2009 with tubist Chris Lee and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

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Audio clips from Victor Davies