Critically praised by Howard Skempton 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 Worcester Philharmonic Orchestra, Leamington Sinfonia, Midland Concert Orchestra, UKAC Proms Orchestra, Coventry & Warwickshire Youth Orchestra, and Ripieno Players, 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 Mozart's Così fan tutte, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and John Blow’s Venus and Adonis. Joe served 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 Bernstein's 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, Xhosa Cole, and Harry Baker. 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 has conducted premieres of works by Howard Skempton, Alex Ho, and Martin Bussey, while his dedication to new music has seen him create global composition competitions for the Worcester Philharmonic and Leamington Sinfonia.
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 then studied Orchestral Conducting at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, graduating with Distinction, where he studied under Michael Seal (Associate Conductor, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra). He regularly assisted Michael Seal on orchestral projects and worked closely with the head of opera, Paul Wingfield, on a production of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park. Joe has also studied with Paul Murphy (Principal Conductor, Birmingham Royal Ballet) and Ewa Strusińska (Principal Conductor, Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie). Recent and future conducting engagements include the Oxford Sinfonia, Winchester Symphony Orchestra, and Oxford University Orchestra.
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.
Download Joe's CV here.