Tansy Davies studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Royal Holloway. In 2004 neon – a gritty collage of twisted funk written for the Composers Ensemble – quickly became her calling card. Since then her music has been championed internationally by ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Ensemble intercontemporain, and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and at festivals including Ultima, Présences, and the Warsaw Autumn.
Davies’s work has been inspired by sources as diverse as Zaha Hadid (Spiral House) and Anselm Kiefer (Falling Angel). Her fascination with the Troubadours finds expression in Troubairitz, the 2010 song cycle that gave its name to a portrait disc on Nonclassical. 2012 saw the premiere of Nature by Huw Watkins, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Oliver Knussen, as well as the release of ‘Spine’, an all-Davies disc on NMC.
Between Worlds, a response to 9/11 with a libretto by Nick Drake, was premiered by English National Opera in 2015 (directed by Deborah Warner) and resulted in a British Composer Award. Recent works include Re-greening for singing orchestra – for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain – and Forest, a concerto for four horns premiered by the Philharmonia under Esa-Pekka Salonen. Cave, a second operatic collaboration with Drake, was premiered by Mark Padmore, Elaine Mitchener, and the London Sinfonietta in 2018.
Davies is an Associate Professor of Composition at Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, USA.
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