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Davies, Victor (1939– )

Proper Title

Victor Davies fonds

Dates of Creation

1974, 1995, 1996; predominantly 1995

Physical Description

45 cm of textual records and two audio tapes

Biographical Sketch

Born in Winnipeg in 1939, Victor Davies studied piano from the age of five. As a teenager, he continued his studies as well as singing in church and school choirs, university musicals, and leading and playing in rock and jazz bands during his high school and university years.

While in pre-medicine at the University of Manitoba, he studied composition full time. Enrolling in Indiana University in 1960 he graduated with a B.Mus in composition in 1964. He returned to Winnipeg where he began his varied career as a composer, pianist and conductor. His works include two children’s musicals, two contemporary dance scores, three symphony works, a rock musical and many other works.

Through connections with Ben Horch, who was an influential Mennonite musician, and through funding of the B.B. Fast Foundation, Davies composed The Mennonite Piano Concerto which premiered in 1975. It was subsequently recorded in 1983 with pianist Irmgard Baerg and the London Symphony Orchestra. Some years later, William (Bill) Baerg, of Concord College recruited Davies to produce an oratorio for the Mennonite community. The B.B. Fast foundation was again asked to help fund this project. The fruit of Davies labor was realized in 1996 when Revelation made its world premier with the Mennonite Oratorio Choir, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, all under the direction of Bramwell Tovey in Winnipeg.

Since moving to Toronto in 1977, Victor Davies has received commissions from the Oxford String Quartet, Famous People Players, CJRT radio, CBC radio, the National Film Board, Canadian Piano Trio, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Fanfare Records. He has served as President of the Canadian League of Composers and on the board of the Canadian Music Centre.

Custodial History

The material in this collection has come from Victor Davies. He sent the material via Greyhound Express on July 2, 1996. The one item that deals with the Mennonite Piano Concerto came through the hands of William Baerg who received it from Davies.

Scope and Content

The Material in this collection contains items regarding the genesis of the oratorio Revelation by Victor Davies. It premiered in Winnipeg in 1996, preformed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Mennonite Oratorio Choir under the direction of Bramwell Tovey. Included is the original score orchestral score used by the copyist to extract the orchestral parts. This score should not be used for performance since it contains some errors. Also included is an audio tape of the first performance, posters and reviews. There is also one file that deals with the beginning of the Mennonite Piano Concerto by Davies.

Notes

  • Volumes 1137–1138.
  • Title based on contents of the fonds.
  • Described by Conrad Stoesz September 27, 1999, updated by Conrad Stoesz August 28, 2008.
  • Accession nos. 1996–039.
  • Related material: Original scores: Variations for Orchestra, From Harmony, 3 Songs by Walter Whitman, see volume 1241, files 2-7.

File List

Volume 1137

  1. Victor Davies photograph, Revelation program, articles and reviews re: Revelation, letter from Davies to A. Dueck. – 1974, 1996.
  2. Materials outlining the genesis of the Mennonite Piano Concerto. – 1974.
  3. Revelation, part 1 original score. – 1995.
  4. Revelation, part 2 original score. – 1995.
  5. Audio tape of Revelation: An Oratorio by Victor Davies World Premiere Choral Concert CBC-FM Radio. – March 3, 1996. – 1996.

Volume 1138

  1. Revelation: Flute I & II. – 1995.
  2. Revelation: Oboe I & II. – 1995.
  3. Revelation: Clarinet I & II. – 1995.
  4. Revelation: Bassoon I & II. – 1995.
  5. Revelation: French Horn I – IV. – 1995.
  6. Revelation : Trumpet I – III. – 1995.
  7. Revelation : Trombone I-III & Tuba. – 1995.
  8. Revelation : Timpani & Percussion. – 1995.
  9. Revelation : Harp & Keyboard. – 1995.
  10. Revelation : Violin I & II. – 1995.
  11. Revelation : Viola. – 1995.
  12. Revelation : Cello. – 1995.
  13. Revelation : Bass. – 1995.
  14. Revelation : An Oratorio, vocal score. – 1995.
  15. The Mennonite Piano Concerto.  For Piano and Orchestra, for 2 pianos and 4 hands/ Victor Davies, 1986.  Signed by author.  See also Ben Horch fonds for original score, Volume 1241, files 1-4.
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