Born in New York in 1936‚ Carl Davis studied composition with Paul Nordoff and Hugo Kauder‚ and subsequently with Per Nørgaard in Copenhagen. In 2005 he was awarded a CBE (Hon).
Engagements for this season include concerts with all the major UK orchestras and numerous leading orchestras and festivals in Europe and the US. Abel Gance’s 1927 silent movie Napoleon received its US debut with Davis’ score at the San Francisco Film Festival in 2012, to huge critical acclaim. Current commissions include a new series of Upstairs Downstairs (BBC) and a large-scale choral work for children’s choir and the Hallé Orchestra, Last Train to Tomorrow‚ on the subject of the Kindertransport.
Carl’s work as composer includes numerous scores for Ballets, Operas and many concert suites derived from film scores‚ vocal music‚ choral works‚ instrumental and chamber music. Popular concerts (available on CD) include The Beatles for Orchestra and Carl’s War. His collaboration with Paul McCartney on his “Liverpool Oratorio” has been performed worldwide and received record sales (available on EMI). Film and Television scores include The World At War‚ The Snow Goose, Champions‚ The French Lieutenant’s Woman (winner of BAFTA and Ivor Novello awards), Pride and Prejudice (nominated for a BASCA Ivor Novello award for Best Music for a Television Production), and Cranford (also BBC). Scores for more than fifty silent films include Ben-Hur‚ The Thief of Bagdad and The General, and Chaplin's Mutuals - a cycle of 12 shorts all with original Davis music. His score for The Phantom of the Opera was the first silent film to be performed at the Royal Opera House (2006), conducted by Davis.