Dennis Russell Davies

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Dennis Russell Davies (2013)

Dennis Russell Davies (born April 16, 1944 in Toledo, Ohio , USA ) is an American conductor and pianist.

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He studied piano with Lonny Epstein and Sascha Gorodnitski and conducting with Jean Morel and Jorge Mester at the Juilliard School of Music in New York ; at this university he also received his doctorate . Davies founded the Julliard Ensemble with Garrett List . He was active as a sponsor of contemporary composers such as Hans Werner Henze , William Bolcom , Lou Harrison , Alan Hovhaness , John Cage , Philip Glass , Gija Kantscheli , Arvo Pärt , Virgil Thomson and Aaron Copland . He commissioned numerous works, directed the world premieres and recorded them on phonograms. Worth mentioning is the 1979 recording of Coplands Appalachian Spring with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra , for which he was awarded the Grammy Award , as well as Arvo Pärt's Fratres and Miserere as well as Philip Glass' operas and symphonies. Glass dedicated his 5th symphony to him, as did Lou Harrison his 3rd symphony.

Davies was Music Director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (1972-80). Together with the composer Francis Thorne , he founded the American Composers Orchestra in New York in 1977 , which he directed until 2002. From 1991 to 1996 he was Music Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic .

From 1980 he was general music director of the Württemberg State Opera in Stuttgart (until 1987). There he directed a. a. the productions of the operas Akhnaten and Satyagraha by Philip Glass and performed standard repertoire in often innovative and unusual productions. He worked with many directors, including a. with Robert Altman for a performance of Salome in Hamburg and held positions with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra , the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn (1987–1995) and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (1996–2002). From 2002 to 2017 he was chief conductor of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and the opera of the Landestheater Linz . Between 2010 and 2016 he was also chief conductor of the Basel Symphony Orchestra . Davies has been chief conductor of the Brno Philharmonic since 2018 .

Davies has also directed numerous festival orchestras, e.g. B. at the Aspen Music Festival , the Cabrillo Music Festival , the Saratoga Music Festival and from 1978 conducted the Flying Dutchman for three seasons at the Bayreuth Festival . As a guest conductor he directed the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, among others . In Europe he works with the Munich and Berlin Philharmonic and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. In 1998 he opened the Salzburg Festival with a new production of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny .

From 1997 Davies held a professorship for conducting at the Salzburg Mozarteum . In 2009 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .


  • 2014 Awarded the professional title of General Music Director by the State of Upper Austria and the Theater- und Orchester GmbH

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Uměleckým ředitelem a šéfdirigentem Brno Philharmonic depending Dennis Russell Davies. - Brno Philharmonic
  2. General Music Director Dennis Russell Davies