New Perspectives on the Music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

Saturday 3 March 2018, Canterbury Christ Church University
(and 2 March 2018)


Call for Paper and Performance Presentations


The School of Music and Performing Arts at Canterbury Christ Church University is pleased to announce a study day on the music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies on 3 March 2018. The keynote talk will be given by Dr Nicholas Jones (Cardiff University), and titled: ‘For the Islands I Sing: Composing the Orkney Landscape. Dr Jones is the author of many publications on the music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and the editor of his forthcoming selected writings.


Sir Peter Maxwell Davies passed away in 2016 at the age of 81. Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time, he was appointed Master of the Queen’s Music in 2004. ‘Max’ was a great friend to Canterbury Christ Church University, regularly working with our Music and Performing Arts students in his role as Visiting Professor and, latterly, Honorary Doctor. We were privileged to enjoy a long and fruitful relationship with Max over many years. His legacy endures, not only in the building named in his honour but also in the many staff and students whose lives and understanding of music were enriched by his teaching, inspiration and the extraordinary enthusiasm with which he shared his considerable talents and experience. This study day will explore Sir Peter’s music and influence within and beyond Christ Church.


Maxwell Davies’s ten Naxos Quartets (2001–07) were commissioned by Naxos Records and composed specifically for the University’s Quartet in Residence, the Maggini Quartet (whose viola player, Martin Outram, is Senior Lecturer in Music at Christ Church and conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra). The Naxos Quartets were rehearsed here, in the St Gregory’s Centre for Music, with the composer present in creative collaboration. The Maggini Quartet recorded all ten of the Naxos Quartets for the record label.


We welcome proposals for twenty minute papers exploring any aspect of the music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Topics that could be explored include:

▪     Analysis of the music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies;

▪     Reflections on performing the music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies;

▪     Collaborative relationships in and around the music of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies;

▪     Sir Peter’s contribution to music education in the UK and beyond.


In addition, we welcome proposals for chamber performances that might be included in a lunchtime concert, or lecture recitals. These will be staged in St Gregory’s Centre for Music, the University’s flagship chamber music concert hall. The hall has Yamaha and Steinway C grand pianos. If your performance proposal contains anything out of the ordinary, please contact us to see if we can provide what you need. Unfortunately we cannot provide financial support to pay performers for the presentation of works.


Paper proposals should be for 20 minute presentations with 10 minutes of questions.

Lecture recital proposals should be for 30 minute presentations and performance proposals may be of any length.


Please send proposals to Dr Lauren Redhead <> by 5pm on Friday 1 December.


The study day will be preceded by a musical celebration on Friday 2 March which will include a lunchtime concert and afternoon workshop. (Full confirmed concert and workshop details will appear here in due course.) Delegates at the study day are very welcome at both events. During the study day, works by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies will be presented, and a specially commissioned installation will present further responses to his work