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Sir Colin Davis dies at the age of 85

The conductor, President of the LSO and former Music Director of The Royal Opera has died after a short illness.

By Royal Opera House

15 April 2013 at 12.13pm | 5 Comments

<Added 16/04/13: Read our feature on Sir Colin Davis, including tributes from leading singers, directors and musicians>

The Royal Opera House is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Colin Davis, who was Music Director of The Royal Opera (1971–86), Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra (1995–2006) and President of the LSO from 2007.

Antonio Pappano, current Music Director of The Royal Opera said:

‘The loss of Colin Davis for the Royal Opera House is a huge blow.  We had future plans with him in place but more importantly, his passing represents an end of an era, where grit, toil, vision and energy were the defining elements of a leading international opera house.The warmth and excitement of his music-making will be terribly missed.  He was a giant.  A very sad moment for British music.’

President of the LSO and Honorary Conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle, Colin Davis recorded extensively for leading companies, including the LSO Live Label. Recent engagements with The Royal Opera included Così fan tutte (2012), Le nozze di Figaro (2010) and Die Zauberflöte (2011). His many awards included a knighthood (1980), Companion of Honour (2001) and the Queen’s Medal for Music (2009).

David McVicar’s production of Die Zauberflöte opens tomorrow night (Tuesday 16 April 2013) at the Royal Opera House, and the run will be dedicated to the memory of Sir Colin Davis.

This article has 5 comments

  1. John responded on 15 April 2013 at 1:34pm Reply

    So many great evenings but I count among my greatest life affirming experiences a performance of Fidelio conducted by Sir Colin which blazed with courage and hope. . RIP Sir Colin.

  2. The decision to dedicate the forthcoming run of Die Zauberflöte to Sir Colin is an admirable and just one

  3. Poliart Michelle responded on 15 April 2013 at 1:59pm Reply

    I am very deeply sorry. I hope he will fly with the music to heaven.

  4. John Petley-Jones responded on 15 April 2013 at 2:22pm Reply

    Our thoughts of Colin and his wonderful work for the Royal Opera will fly on wings of gold as we listen to "Va, pensiero" this evening. His stirring Les Troyens and Peter Grimes with Vickers stand out of course and I particularly valued both the charm and menace he brought to Hansel and Gretel a few years ago.

  5. Peter Erdos responded on 16 April 2013 at 11:14am Reply

    I am deeply saddened by the passing of Sir Colin. We have enjoyed many of his music at the ROH and with all the orchestras, particularly the LSO under his baton.It is a fitting tribute to dedicate the Zauberflote run to his memory, although during his first year of musical directorship he did a run of performances of Nabucco in 1972.,
    We shall miss Colin Davis, his wonderful Mozart and Berlioz performances a great deal!

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