Sir Andrew Davis

Sir Andrew Davis has served as music director and principal conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago since 2000. His contract with Lyric Opera was recently extended through the 2020-2021 season. In January 2013 Sir Andrew began his tenure as chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He is also conductor laureate of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (having previously served as principal conductor), conductor laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (his tenure as that ensemble’s chief conductor was the longest since that of its founder Sir Adrian Boult) and former music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera.


The English conductor begins his 2014-2015 season at Lyric Opera for the company’s new production of Don Giovanni , as well as Strauss’s Capriccio. Following Lyric Opera’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Gala, Sir Andrew heads to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for a series of concerts, and then to the Metropolitan Opera to conduct Hansel und Gretel and a new production of The Merry Widow directed by Susan Stroman.


In the New Year, Sir Andrew returns to Lyric Opera to conduct the monumental Tannhauser, and Lyric’s presentation of David Pountney’s production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger.  The rest of the 2014-2015 season includes returns to Melbourne for the continuation of Sir Andrew’s exploration of all the Mahler Symphonies with the MSO as well as performances of Britten’s War Requiem, and engagements with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The Toronto Symphony (Verdi’s Requiem), and performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Three Choirs Festival.  In addition, several recordings with Chandos Records are scheduled.


Sir Andrew’s schedule for 2013-2014 was similarly diverse, including Lyric Opera performances of Parsifal, Rusalka and La Clemenza di Tito, as well as the company’s Subscriber Appreciation Concert featuring Renée Fleming (Lyric’s creative consultant) and Jonas Kauffman. He led concerts with the symphonies of Melbourne, Toronto, Boston and Montreal, as well as the New York Philharmonic.   With the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew led a series of Elgar Oratorios: The Dream of Gerontius , The Apostles and The Kingdom (opening night of the Proms).  Other Elgar performances included King Olaf with the Bergen Philharmonic.  He wrapped up the summer leading the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on a tour of Europe, which included performances at the Proms and the Concertgebouw.


In addition to the BBC Symphony Orchestra (with which Maestro Davis has appeared at the Proms and on tour to Hong Kong, Japan, the U.S., and Europe) and the ensembles previously mentioned, he has led performances of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw, and every other internationally prominent orchestra. He has also triumphed not only at Lyric Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, but also at La Scala and the Bayreuth Festival.


Maestro Davis has documented his artistry in a massive discography on the Chandos, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics International, Capriccio, EMI, and CBS labels, among others. Sir Andrew currently records for Chandos Records, where he has been an exclusive artist since 2009.


Sir Andrew’s recording of York Bowen’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 was nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. In 2008 the Onyx Classics label released Elgar’s Violin Concertos, a collaboration between Sir Andrew, James Ehnes, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. This recording earned the coveted Gramophone  “Best of Category – Concerto” Award). Recordings in 2007 included Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Min-Jyn Kim and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Sony); a solo recital of operatic favorites sung by soprano Nicole Cabell with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Decca), which won the 2008 Solti Prize from the French Académie du Disque Lyrique; and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Yundi Li and the Philharmonia Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon).


In 1992, Maestro Davis was created a Commander of the British Empire for his services to British music. Seven years later he was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List. He was honored in 1991with the Royal Philharmonic Society/Charles Heidsieck Music Award.  He received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, in 2012.

Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. He rapidly developed an exceptionally diverse repertoire. In addition to his outstanding affinity for the gamut of “core” symphonic and operatic music, Sir Andrew is acknowledged internationally as an extraordinary proponent of twentieth-century works including those by Janáček, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten.


Maestro Davis and his wife, soprano Gianna Rolandi, reside in Chicago with their dog, Winnie (the Poodle).