2017 Honorary Fellow Event

Carl Davis CBE is teaming up with his long-standing friend John Suchet, the broadcaster and writer, to present a journey through his extraordinary career as a composer, conductor and pianist. Using footage from film, television, ballet, opera and concerts, John will guide Carl through definitive moments from a continuing career that started as an accompanist for the Robert Shaw Chorale in the mid ‘50s before his move to Europe in 1959.
The watershed moment was the music he wrote as a live accompaniment to Abel Gance’s Napoleon in 1980, having already built a highly successful career composing for theatre and television. The momentous success of this project led to a continuing association with Thames TV and many more scores for silent films. Live Cinema simply would not have happened without Carl. His feature films include The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Champions, Scandal and Topsy-Turvy. The TV work is no less impressive starting with The Snow Goose, The World at War, Hollywood and Pride and Prejudice. Ballet has also been very much at the heart of Carl’s musical journey and one of his first jobs upon arriving in the UK was as rehearsal pianist for Western Theatre Ballet in Bristol. A Simple Man, which won a BAFTA in 1987, marked the beginning of a sequence of successful ballets including Cyrano and Aladdin with David Bintley and Fire and Ice written for Torvill and Dean. His concert works include his collaboration with Paul McCartney on the Liverpool Oratorio and Last Train to Tomorrow, a cantata for children’s choir and instrumental ensemble based on the Kindertransport, the rescue operation for Jewish children mounted in the aftermath of Kristallnacht in 1938.
His work as a conductor has very much focused on “Pops” concerts, notably in Liverpool and Kent introducing repertoire to new audiences broadening the reach of music. Having worked with Billy Connolly on McGonagall’s legendary Tay Bridge Disaster, the high point of this aspect of his career has to be The Last Night of the Poms collaboration with Barry Humphries and his alter egos, Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.
Curated and conducted by John Suchet, the evening promises to visit as many as possible of the myriad, glittering dimensions to this amazing musician’s career. Given a BAFTA Special Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and made CBE in 2005, Carl, celebrating his 81st year, is showing no signs whatsoever of slowing down. It will be a very special event and I can only encourage you to come and join us and share in the fun.

Drinks will be served from 18.30 and the event will begin at 19.00. Please contact the Clerk’s office if you would like to attend.  Members, please book via the Members’ Area.

Chris Lawrence
Court Assistant