British composer Oliver Davis’s works have been described as being ‘beautiful’ (The Times) and having ‘pulsating rhythmic energy’ (Classic FM), and has been heard the world over through his frequent collaborations with ballet companies, from Edwaard Liang’s 13th Heaven which premiered in Singapore to Secrets, choreographed by Erico Montes and premiered by The Royal Ballet.
In this new recording Liberty, Davis explores works for violin, soprano, strings and orchestra, working with a host of world-leading performers including violinist Kerenza Peacock, soprano Grace Davidson and cellist Katherine Jenkinson, all alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Paul Bateman.
Previous albums from Davis have been critically praised, entering in the top 10 in the UK specialist classical charts and becoming disc of the week on Classic FM and the Mail on Sunday and featuring in several ‘Best albums of the year’ listings.
Grace Davidson is an English soprano who specialises in the performance and recording of Baroque music. Winner of the prestigious Early Music Prize whilst studying singing at London’s Royal Academy of Music, she has since carved a successful international career working with the leading Baroque vocal ensembles of our day under the batons of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Paul McCreesh, Philippe Herreweghe and Harry Christophers. As a Baroque soloist Grace has appeared on many of the world’s most famous stages, from Purcell’s Come Ye Sons of Art at London’s Barbican to his Ode to St Cecilia and Bach’s Magnificat at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw to Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the Lincoln Centre, New York. Her discography includes a decade of CDs with The Sixteen, many of which feature her as a soloist: Handel’s Jephtha (as “Angel”) and Dixit Dominus, Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers and Pianto Della Madonna and the Lutheran Masses of Bach; she is also the soloist for a recording of Faure?’s Requiem by Tenebrae and the LSO: “Grace Davidson made Pie Jesu the simplest and most precious of gifts.” The Times.
Future solo performing engagements include a UK tour of Monteverdi’s Vespers with Harry Christophers, and performances of Purcell’s King Arthur in France and Germany for Paul McCreesh. Recording projects include Handel’s Silete Venti and Gloria for Signum Records plus a recording of Dowland lute songs.
Oliver Davis graduated from the Royal Academy of
Music in 1994 and has since composed numerous
concertos, ballet scores, albums, soundtracks and
television scores working with many of the major
Davis’ debut album Flight, recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra with soloist Kerenza Peacock, was released in March 2015 and quickly rose to number 2 in the UK Specialist Classical Charts with 5 star reviews in both the UK and US. In addition it was chosen as Featured Album of the Week on Classic FM and was broadcast daily on the station.
Several pieces from the album Flight have been used for a ballet choreographed by Ma Cong for the Tulsa Ballet Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
After the release of Flight came Davis’ second album Seasons in October 2015. This album featured his work Anno, a contemporary take on Vivaldi’s Quattro Stagioni. This album also charted in the UK top 10 and was Album of the Week on Classic FM and in the Mail on Sunday.
Following this release came Dance, recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road studios and released in September 2016. This too became Classic FM’s Album of the Week and featured in their ‘Best of 2016’ show. Various pieces from Dance and Flight were used to create the ballet Dance Odyssey, choreographed by Peter Walker and performed by New York City Ballet. Following the ballet’s premiere in January 2018, The New York Times described the music as ‘charming, lyrical, Arcadian’.
Davis’ fourth album, Liberty, was released in February 2018. This reached number 1 in the iTunes Classical Charts and was also Classic FM’s Album of the Week. Pieces from Liberty formed a new ballet Bacchus, choreographed by Matthew Neenan for Pacific Northwest Ballet and premiered in March 2019. Davis’ next album, Arcadia, featured a piano piece of the same name, which on its release achieved over a million streams on Apple Music. The album reached number 1 in the iTunes Classical Charts, number 4 in the UK Classical Charts and 15 in the US Billboard Charts. September 2019 saw the premiere of Edwaard Liang’s Lineage, set to music by Davis, at New York City Ballet’s prestigious Fall Fashion Gala. The ballet featured costumes designed by fashion icon Anna Sui.
Solace was released in 2021. It was a lockdown album which saw performers record remotely all around the world. It entered the US Billboard Charts at no.12 and was both Classic FM’s and Scala Radio’s Album of the Week. Interviews on both BBC Radio 3 and Scala Radio followed, with the title piece being selected by Sidra Bell for her choreographic debut at New York City Ballet’s Fall Fashion Gala 2021. The following year saw the release of the seventh album, Air. Its multi genre style included songs performed by Grace Davidson and Jeremy Budd, in addition to violin concertos performed by Kerenza Peacock and Benjamin Baker. Both violinists performed on the ballet The Veil Between Worlds, which was written for Edwaard Liang and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Air was Classic FM’s Album of the Week and Scala Radio’s Album of the Weekend. Several pieces from the album have now formed new ballets that have premiered in the US.
In April 2023 Davis collaborated with Celine Gettins, Principal with Birmingham Royal Ballet, to create Jubilate, a new ballet celebrating the coronation of King Charles III.