Carl’s Union Jack waistcoat, 2010
Today, BBC Radio 3 are recording a special 80th birthday performance for Carl Davis. Carl will discuss his career in film and conduct some of his best loved scores including his music for The World at War, The Far Pavilions and Pride and Prejudice.
Victoria Patience, Assistant Curator of Community History tells us a bit more about Carl's life and connection to Liverpool:
Conductor and all-round musician, Carl Davis CBE was born in New York in 1936. He is known internationally for his contribution to classical music and has a long association with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO).
In 1993 he was invited to be Artistic Director and Conductor for the RLPO’s Summer Pops Season. The event was created to give the RLPO somewhere to play during the summers of 1993 - 1995 whilst the Philharmonic Hall was being renovated. However the event proved so popular that it continued year after year with musicians other than the RLPO. Along with Carl’s informal approach the Summer Pops made classical music accessible to a wider audience. This is one of Carl's lasting legacies; not only to classical music but also to the Liverpool music scene.
As part of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's 150th anniversary celebrations, Carl collaborated with Paul McCartney on a piece of music called ‘Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio’. It was first performed and conducted by Carl at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral in 1991 and then in many countries around the world.
Carl has been honoured here in Liverpool for his work as a conductor. In 1992 he was given an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University and in July 2002 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Liverpool for all of his work with the RLPO.
Here in the Museum of Liverpool’s Wondrous Place gallery we have honoured Carl by including his famous Union Jack waistcoat in our Philharmonic Hall display. He wore this waistcoat for Last Night of the Proms at the Philharmonic Hall in 2010 whilst celebrating his 250th concert performance with the RLPO and kindly donated it to the Museum.
To celebrate his 80th birthday (28 October 2016), Carl will return to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to conduct a concert which will include some of his favorite music from film and TV.