Philippa Davies BMus ARCM

Key details:

Department:
Chamber Music | Wind, Brass & Percussion
Role:
Flute (Wind, Brass & Percussion); Chamber Music Coach (Chamber Music)

Biography

Philippa Davies has established a world-wide reputation as one of the finest flautists currently performing. A ‘first-rate virtuoso,’ with ‘exceptional eloquence’ she has been noted for an ‘almost electrical response to technique’. As a recitalist, Philippa performs and broadcasts throughout the world at international festivals from Delft, to Kuhmo. She gives master classes and recitals as far a field as China, and the USA. She has performed concertos with the New Stockholm Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and the London Mozart Players.

She began her career as principal flute with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where she studied with Douglas Whittaker and was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal Prize .She subsequently studied with William Bennet and went on to win several awards; the National Federation of Music Societies award, the Mozart Memorial Prize and was a Park Lane Group Young Artist. Earlier in her career she was the flute player with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s ensemble Fires of London, principal flute in Kent Opera and London Mozart Players and a member of the ensembles Capricorn and Albion.

Philippa’s current schedule includes many performances with her chamber groups, the Nash Ensemble and London Winds. She made her debut in the 1977 BBC Proms, and in the BBC Proms ‘88 season gave a highly successful performance of the Mozart D major Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She was the soloist for the World Première (BBC Proms ‘99) of Havoc by Giles Swayne composed with her in mind as solo flute and commissioned by the BBC to mark the 75th season of the BBC singers. During BBC Proms 2000 she gave a much admired performance Copland’s Flute Duo. Philippa’s commitment to contemporary music has attracted commissions and dedications from leading composers: Sir Peter Maxwell Davies,Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Robert Saxton, Jonathan Harvey and Giles Swayne.

Her duo partnerships are with Jan Willem Nelleke (piano) and Maggie Cole (harpsichord). She has appeared regularly with Marisa Robles, Julian Bream, Michail Pletnev, Pascal Rogé, Barry Douglas, Yo Yo Ma and Stephen Kovacevich. Repeated requests have resulted in the recent formation by Philippa of her own group, Philippa & Friends, a flexible ensemble with a line-up ranging from a duo or trio to six or more players.

Philippa’s numerous recordings include Mozart’s entire original concertos and quartets and Bach's Flute Sonatas with Maggie Cole. Her Romance of the Flute and Harp with Thelma Owen and Poulenc’s Flute Sonata (Hyperion) are extremely popular. She recorded Giles Swayne’s Winter Solstice Carol for the King’s College Choir Her recording of all William Alwyn’s flute music including the flute concerto was released in 2005 (Dutton) and during the next season she plans to record Paul Reade’s Flute Concerto .

Future solo performances include the Wigmore Hall, as well as Mexico, Brazil, Spain and in Netherlands with her duo partner Jan Willem Nelleke. She regularly plays guest principal flute with many of the main London orchestras: the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, the English Chamber Orchestra and the BBC symphony Orchestra.

Philippa is a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. In 2014 she qualified as an Andover Educator and has since been presenting courses and giving individual lessons in Body Mapping. She is part of the Body Mapping and Alexander Technique team running the "Move Well, Play Better" which is a 10-week course for students at Guildhall.

Each summer she runs her own highly regarded International Flute Course in Cubertou , France. In 2019 Philippa was appointed the main wind tutor for the EUYO.

“Davies is an intrepid, inquiring and a superb flautist. We hang upon her every note: her playing is warm, fluid, various and as richly vocal as could be.” (June 2003 - Financial Times).