Tansy Davies studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Royal Holloway. In 2004 Neon – a gritty collage of twisted funk written for the Composers Ensemble – quickly became her calling card and since then her music has been championed internationally by the likes of the New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra, and at festivals including Ultima, Présences, and the Warsaw Autumn.
Davies’s work has been inspired by sources as diverse as Zaha Hadid (Spiral House) and Anselm Kiefer (Falling Angel). Her fascination with the Troubadours finds expression in Troubairitz, the 2010 song cycle that gave its name to a portrait disc on Nonclassical. In 2011, Davies’s anthem Christmas Eve was performed at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in King’s College, Cambridge and broadcast worldwide. As With Voices and With Tears – a setting of Walt Whitman for choir, string orchestra and electronics – was nominated for a 2011 South Bank Show Sky Arts Award. 2012 saw the premiere of the piano concerto Nature by Huw Watkins, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Oliver Knussen, as well as the release of ‘Spine’, an all-Davies disc on NMC.
Between Worlds – a bold response to the events of 9/11 to a libretto by Nick Drake – was premiered by English National Opera in 2015 in a production by Deborah Warner, and was awarded a British Composer Award for Stage Work. Recent projects include Re-greening for large singing orchestra – premiered by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain – and Forest, a concerto for four horns and orchestra. Cave, a second operatic collaboration with Nick Drake, was premiered by Mark Padmore, Elaine Mitchener, and the London Sinfonietta in 2018. The 2018/19 Season sees Davies in residence at the Concertgebouw, (Amsterdam), writing a new work for the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble.
Davies lives in Rochester and is an Associate Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music, London.