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Cedric Thorpe Davie

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Cedric Thorpe Davie


Cedric Thorpe Davie (30 May 1913, Lewisham, South London – 18 January 1983) was a Scottish composer, music educator, conductor, organist and hornist.

Thorpe Davie studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow, among others by William Gillies Whittaker and R. Harold Thomson. Caird with a scholarship he was able to both the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music in London studying under another piano with Harold Craxton, Eric Thiman and horn with Audrey Brain. He did further studies at the Royal College of Music Composition at Reginald Owen Morris, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gordon Jacob, which he entered in 1935 the Sullivan prize and Cobbett won the prize for composition. Thorpe Davie completed his studies with Egon Petri, a German composer and pianist of Dutch descent, at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, with Zoltán Kodály at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and at Yryö Kilpinen at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

In 1936 he returned to Glasgow, was organist at a church and taught at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD). In 1945 he became professor of the music department at the University of Saint Andrews in Saint Andrews (Scotland) and also organist at the University of Saint Andrews Chapel. Saint Andrews University Orchestra he conducted. In 1973 he became professor appointed. Altogether he has 33 years at the University of Saint Andrews worked in 1978 and went into retirement.

Thorpe Davie sometimes was the conductor of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.

As a composer, he has written for many genres. He gained his first success with the Fantasy no. 1 on Scottish Tunes, which with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Ian Whyte was aired by the broadcaster in 1938. In 1945 he won a second prize in a composition contest of the newspaper Daily Express with his Symphony in C, which he dedicated "In Honour of My Brother." As a consequence of the success of this symphony, Thorpe Davie was commissioned to compose the music for the film The Brothers. He also wrote an opera, Ganuner Gurton's Needle, which is based on a scene from the 15th century.

In his lifetime, Davie composed more than 200 pieces of music, including scores for films, radio, and theatre. Some of his film works included scores for The Green Man, The Dark Avenger, starring Errol Flynn, and Kidnapped, a Walt Disney film. His radio credits included The King of Nowhere and A House is Built. In 1953, he wrote the score for the Walt Disney production Rob Roy: the Highland Rogue. Davie also worked with Tyrone Guthrie and Robert Kemp to develop theatrical productions, including Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaites, which opened the second Edinburgh Festival in 1948. In addition to his musical compositions, Davie authored several books, including Musical Structure and Design and Scotland’s Music.

In 1955 he became an Officer in the Order of the British Empire (United Kingdom) distinct and could add OBE the acronym of his name. Thorpe Davie was a board member of the Scottish Arts Council and the Scottish Certificate of Education Music Panel.

Works for Winds