Sir Andrew Davis
“His view of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 in F Major, which opened the program, could not have been more radiant. He led without a baton, emphasizing the lyrical quality of this music. His sense of joy was evident from the opening. There was a clarity to his direction that allowed each inner theme and orchestral solo to emerge, and each musical phrase to breathe.”
“Conducting the fourth opera of his Lyric podium marathon this fall, Davis summons incisive playing from his well-prepared orchestra and full-blooded singing from director Michael Black’s finely disciplined chorus.”
“Andrew Davis’s gloriously pliant conducting evinces total conviction”
Chicago Classical Review
“While Chicago audiences know Davis primarily for his Lyric Opera work, the conductor is often just as inspired in orchestral programs. Such was the case here, with Davis drawing resplendent, multihued playing from the CSO musicians.”
Sir Andrew Davis has served as music director and principal conductor of the Lyric Opera of Chicago since 2000. He began his tenure as chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in January 2013. Through his prolific recordings, his many international tours, and guest appearances and relationships with several of the finest orchestras and opera companies in Europe, North America and Australia, Sir Andrew is one of today’s most recognized and acclaimed conductors.
In the 2019-20 season, Maestro Davis conducts three full cycles of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Lyric Opera, in a new production by David Pountney. Also at the Lyric Opera, he conducts Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame. In addition to his regular performances with the Melbourne and Toronto Symphony Orchestras and annual appearances with the BBC Symphony and BBC Philharmonic, this season Sir Andrew also conducts the National Symphony Orchestra in his own arrangement of Handel’s Messiah, and appears as a guest conductor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Maestro Davis’s career spans over forty years in which he has been the artistic leader at several of the world’s most distinguished opera and symphonic institutions, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra (conductor laureate and chief conductor from 1991-2004, the longest tenure since that of its founder Sir Adrian Boult), Glyndebourne Festival Opera (music director 1988-2000), and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (conductor laureate and principal conductor from 1975-1988), where he will also serve as interim artistic director for two seasons from 2018-2020. He in addition holds the honorary title of conductor emeritus from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir Andrew has led performances at many of the world’s most important opera houses, among them the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, Bayreuth Festival, and the major companies of Munich, Paris, San Francisco, and Santa Fe. In addition to those ensembles, he has appeared with virtually every other internationally prominent orchestra, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and all the major British orchestras.
A vast and award-winning discography documents Sir Andrew’s artistry, with recent CDs including the works of Berlioz, Elgar, Grainger, Delius, Ives, Holst, Handel (nominated for a Grammy in 2018 for Best Choral Performance), and York Bowen (nominated for a Grammy in 2012 for Best Orchestral Performance). He currently records for Chandos Records, where he has been an exclusive artist since 2009.
Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Maestro Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up conducting. His diverse repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary, and spans the symphonic, operatic and choral worlds. Sir Andrew is a great proponent of twentieth-century works including those by Janáček, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten, in addition to the core symphonic and operatic works. As chief conductor, Sir Andrew has always participated in the creation and premieres of new repertoire and new compositions, personally conducting a great number of them.
In 1992, Maestro Davis was created a Commander of the British Empire, and in 1999 he was designated a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.