Sir Peter Maxwell Davies 1934 – 2016

With deep sadness we report that Sir Peter Maxwell Davies died on Monday, 14 March. The BKA has been honoured to have him as one of our Patrons.

Sir Peter was a great composer of music for children. From 1959 he taught music for three years at Cirencester Grammar School, where he wrote specific pieces for the pupils.

In 1981 the International Kodály Society commissioned Sir Peter to write for the centenary of Kodály’s birth. The resulting set of songs, to texts by the composer, was given its world première performance in Budapest on 13 December 1982, by a Hungarian children’s choir conducted by Janos Remenyi.

On that occasion Sir Peter’s description of his songs included homage to Kodály:

“Seven Songs Home was commissioned by the International Kodály Society and first performed in 1982 in Budapest on the occasion of the Kodály centenary. The work is a tribute to the great composer of music for children. It is scored for unaccompanied children’s voices, and the story line concerns events and adventures experienced by an island child between leaving school and arriving home for tea.”

For more details on Sir Peter’s life please visit his website at