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Vale, Maestro: Sir Andrew Davis (1944–2024)

By Michael Vincent on April 22, 2024

Sir Andrew Davis
Sir Andrew Davis (Photo courtesy of the TSO)

The classical music world mourns the loss of Sir Andrew Davis, renowned conductor and music director, who passed away unexpectedly at 80. Diagnosed with leukemia, Sir Andrew’s condition became critical in recent weeks.

Beloved for his jovial and compassionate spirit, Sir Andrew’s career was a testament to his musical prowess and generous mentorship.

From Hertfordshire beginnings to prominent roles with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, his influence spread globally. He was the esteemed principal conductor for the Toronto Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, and Lyric Opera Chicago.

His talent for fostering solid relationships within the music community was unparalleled, as was his skill in navigating the delicate balance of singer’s needs.

Sir Andrew’s wide-ranging repertoire and profound competence were evident in rehearsals devoid of any pretense and performances marked by a sheer passion for his calling.  His genius for music and ability to alleviate rehearsal tensions with humor were legendary.

Post-BBC and TSO, he resided in Chicago, leaving behind a legacy of respect for the arts and endearing bonhomie.

We raise our glasses in tribute to Sir Andrew Davis, a life of music exquisitely lived.

As Andrew Davis would have wanted, we will leave you with a smile. Watch his reaction as the Toronto Symphony surprised him on his 75th birthday. (Read the full story here.)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuy0FxlBfU0?si=d_4vy3oC6yg9Q5qn]

Michael Vincent
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