Critically praised as an ‘inspiring’ conductor with a ‘substantial future ahead of him’, Joe Davies is a Conductor based in the Midlands but working around the UK. He is Musical Director of the Ripieno Players, Worcester Philharmonic Orchestra, Leamington Sinfonia and Abney Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Cumbria Opera Group and CoMA East Midlands, and a Musical Director for Barricade Arts and SLAM Theatre.
A Cumbrian-raised musician with a passion for bringing music to areas of rural isolation, Joe founded the Cumbria Opera Group in 2016 with the aim of bringing high-quality opera closer to the county. Joe’s opera credits with the group include Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and a new version of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis which Joe arranged and edited. Joe is set to serve as Artistic Director of the inaugural Cumbria Opera Festival in 2021, involving artists such as Roderick Williams OBE and Joan Rodgers CBE. Joe’s other theatrical credits include serving as Musical Director for a production of Candide at the Oxford Playhouse.
Joe founded the Ripieno Players, an orchestra which specialises in ‘contemporary music, varied artistic collaboration, and modern programming’. Praised as representing the ‘cream of the crop’, the group have a close relationship with cellist Laura van der Heijden and have also collaborated with Jess Gillam and Xhosa Cole. Joe conducts the CoMA East Midlands ensemble, a group with the mantra of bringing ‘contemporary music to all’, and has also worked with Belfast’s Hard Rain Ensemble.
Joe graduated with a First Class Degree in Music from St Peter’s College, Oxford, where he was awarded the Paul and Fiona Geddes Award for Academic Excellence and conducted the Oxford University Chorus, the Oxford University Symphonic Band, and the Choir of the Wesley Memorial Chapel. He now studies Orchestral Conducting at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire under Edwin Roxburgh, Daniele Rosina, and Michael Seal (Associate Conductor, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra). He regularly assists Michael Seal on orchestral projects and has worked closely with the head of opera, Paul Wingfield, on a production of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park.
A keen composer and arranger, Joe’s comic operetta How to use a Washing Machine toured the UK in the Summer of 2019, and there have been recent performances of his arrangement of Clara Schumann Songs (part of her double centenary celebrations) and extracts from Berg’s Wozzeck.