Sir Peter Maxwell Davies is universally acknowledged as one of the foremost British composers of our time.
His theatrical works include his operas Taverner, Resurrection and The Doctor of Myddfai, chamber operas The Lighthouse and The Martyrdom of St. Magnus, his full-length ballets Salome and Caroline Mathilde, and five music-theatre works including Eight Songs for a Mad King and Miss Donnithorne's Maggot which have both become contemporary classics.
His orchestral works include eight symphonies. He has written concertos for violin, trumpet, piano, horn and piccolo, and the ten Strathclyde Concertos, as well as some lighter orchestral works.
Maxwell Davies is also active as a conductor and has recently finished ten years as Composer/Conductor of both the BBC Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, and is Composer Laureate with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has also conducted many orchestras in Europe and North America.
The Queen has appointed Sir Peter Maxwell Davies as the new Master of The Queen's Music for a 10-year period. The term of this position has been changed from life to ten years to give more composers the opportunity to take up this honorary position.
Davies was openly homosexual. In 2007, a controversy arose regarding his intended civil partnership when he was told that the ceremony could not take place on the Sanday Light Railway. He later abandoned his plans. He remained with his partner Colin Parkinson until their relationship ended in 2012.