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Andrew Davis was born in Ashridge in Hertfordshire to Robert J. Davis and his wife Florence J. (née Badminton), Davis grew up in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, and in Watford. He studied at the Royal College of Music, King's College, Cambridge where he was organ scholar, and in Rome with Franco Ferrara.
In 1970 he took his first important job: associate conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. In 1975, he took the job of principal conductor with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He gave up this job in 1988, but has continued to be called their Conductor Laureate (honorary conductor).
In 1988, Davis became music director at Glyndebourne, where he met the American soprano Gianna Rolandi, whom he later married. Davis returned to the BBC in 1989 to become chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, where he held the post until 2000.
Queen Elizabeth II made Davis a CBE in May 1992. In January 1999, she appointed him a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours List. In 2002, he conducted the Prom at the Palace concert, held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace as part of the celebrations for the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
Davis has conducted lots of music. He is especially fond of music by British composers such as Michael Tippett and Harrison Birtwistle. He was a great favourite at the BBC Proms during his years with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He often conducted the Last Night of the Proms and made a witty speech.
Sir Andrew Davis is not related to the conductor Sir Colin Davis
- International Who's Who in Classical Music, Europa Publications Limited (2003; ISBN 1-85743-174-X), p. 176.
- John Walsh (1997-09-13). "Conductor of hope and glory". The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/conductor-of-hope-and-glory-1238820.html. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- "Does he have what it takes?". Telegraph. 1997-06-28. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4709392/Does-he-have-what-it-takes.html. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
- Humphrey Burton (2006-09-08). "Obituary: Sir John Drummond". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/sep/08/radio.bbc. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- Cairns, David (March 1998). "Images of beauty: Michael Tippett 1905–1998". The Musical Times 139 (1861): 4–5. http://www.musicaltimes.co.uk/archive/obits/199803tippet.html. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
|Music Director, Glyndebourne Opera Festival
|Principal Conductor, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
1995–1998 (with Paavo Järvi)
|Music Director, Lyric Opera of Chicago