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Dennis Russell Davies (born 16 April 1944, Toledomarker, Ohiomarker, U.S.marker) is an Americanmarker conductor and pianist. He studied piano and conducting at the Juilliard School of Musicmarker where he received his doctorate. He is a noted champion of living composers and modern music including Hans Werner Henze, William Bolcom, Lou Harrison, Alan Hovhaness, John Cage, Philip Glass, Giya Kancheli, Arvo Pärt, Virgil Thomson, and Aaron Copland. He has commissioned, premiered and recorded numerous pieces by living composers, along with the standard classical works. Of note are the recordings of Copland's Appalachian Spring with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in 1979 for which he won a Grammy Award; Arvo Pärt Fratres and Miserere; and many of Philip Glass's operas and symphonies including his 5th symphony which is dedicated to Davies. Lou Harrison's 3rd Symphony is also dedicated to Davies.

Davies served as Music Director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (1972-80). Together with the composer Francis Thorne he founded the American Composers Orchestra, New York in 1977 and conducted that orchestra until 2002. Davies served as music director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic from 1990 to 1996.

In 1980, he moved to Stuttgartmarker, Germany when he became the General Music Director of the Baden-Württemberg State Opera House (1980-1987). There he premiered two Philip Glass operas along with many standard operas, often in productions with innovative and unusual staging. He has worked with many directors, including Robert Altman in a collaboration on Salome in Hamburg. He has also held permanent posts with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn (1987-1995), and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is currently chief conductor of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and Linz Opera since 2002, and his current contract in Linz is through 2014.

Davies has also led many festival orchestras including the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Music Festival, the Saratoga Music Festival and he conducted The Flying Dutchman at the Bayreuth Festivalmarker as the second American to ever conduct there and one of the youngest (1978-80). Davies is a Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the Salzburg Mozarteummarker.

Davies has had a long-standing and fruitful association with the great jazz pianist Keith Jarrett. He has conducted Jarrett in classical concerto repertoire (including Mozart and Lou Harrison) as well as himself performing some of Jarrett's own composed music for piano, "Ritual" (ECM Records, 1977), and conducting some of Jarrett's orchestral music (featuring Jarrett as soloist as well as saxophonist Jan Garbarek).

Davies conducted with the Bruckner Orchestra Linz 2 concerts with legendary British singer Marianne Faithfull in Linz (June 5, 2009) and Paris (June 6, 2009).

In March 2008, Davies was named the next music director of the Baselmarker Symphony Orchestra, effective with the 2009-2010 season, for an initial contract of 5 years.


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