Established by the composer/conductor Ryan Wigglesworth and soprano Sophie Bevan MBE in 2017, The Davey Consort takes its name from John Davey who, in 1849, commissioned the building of the beautiful Catholic Church of St Birinus in Dorchester-on-Thames, where the consort is based.
The Davey Consort was founded to promote greater knowledge of, and wider access to the performance of Gregorian chant and sacred music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, both in concert and within the context of the Catholic liturgy.
In 2020 they will launch their annual Choral Pilgrimage – a concert tour of churches, both Anglican and Catholic, in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire. 2020 will also see the first St Birinus International Music Festival, based in Dorchester-on-Thames.
Central to the educational aims of the Consort is to establish fully-funded scholarships, the recipients of which would benefit from a rigorous training in the performance of the group's core repertoire. Successful candidates will probably, but not necessarily, be current or prospective holders of scholarships at a UK university or conservatory. Further details on how to apply for a scholarship will appear shortly.
Ryan Wigglesworth has established himself as one of the foremost composer-conductors of his generation. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra from 2015 to 2018 and Composer in Residence at English National Opera. He held the Daniel R. Lewis Composer Fellowship with the Cleveland Orchestra for the two seasons 2013/15 and 14/15 and was Composer-in-Residence at the 2018 Grafenegg Festival. As a conductor he is much sought after in repertoire ranging from the baroque to the present day.
Recent opera engagements include Birtwistle’s The Minotaur for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Cosí fan tutte, Carmen and Glanert’s Caligula for ENO, Oliver Knussen’s double bill and Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Aldeburgh Festival, and a widely acclaimed performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie with the BBC Symphony at the Barbican.
Recent concerts include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, DSO Berlin, Bergen Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the BBC Proms. Forthcoming engagements sees debut visits to the Finnish Radio Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, RSO Vienna, Tokyo, Melbourne and Seattle symphony orchestras, BBC Philharmonic, Frankfurt Opera for The Cunning Little Vixen, as well as a return to the Hallé and the BBC Proms with the Britten Sinfonia.
One of the leading composers of his day, his first opera, The Winter’s Tale, premiered at ENO in February 2017 in a production directed by Rory Kinnear and conducted by the composer. Other recent works include commissions from the Royal Concertgebouw and Cleveland orchestras, BBC Symphony (BBC Proms), song cycles for Sophie Bevan (Wigmore Hall/Grafenegg) and Mark Padmore (Aldeburgh Festival/Wigmore Hall). Further performances of his works have been directed by, amongst others, Sir Andrew Davis, Edward Gardner, Pablo Heras-Casado, Vladimir Jurowski, Oliver Knussen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Franz Welser-Möst. Current projects include a song cycle for Roderick Williams (Barbican), a piano concerto for Paul Lewis (BBC Proms), and a large-scale work for chorus and orchestra.
Born in Yorkshire, he studied at New College, Oxford and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Between 2007-9 he was a Lecturer at Cambridge University where he was also a Fellow of Corpus Christi College. In January 2019 he took up the position of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett Professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
Sophie Bevan MBE
Sophie Bevan studied at The Royal College of Music where she was awarded the Queen Mother Rose Bowl Award for excelling. She was the recipient of the 2010 Critics’ Circle award for Exceptional Young Talent, The Times Breakthrough Award at the 2012 South Bank Sky Arts Awards and the Young Singer award at the 2013 inaugural International Opera Awards.
Her operatic roles include, most recently, Ilia Idomeneo and Sophie Der Rosenkavalier, Susanna Le nozze di Figaro and Pamina Die Zauberflöte at the Royal Opera House, title role The Cunning Little Vixen for WNO, Hermione in Ryan Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale for ENO, Melisande Pelleas et Melisande for Dresden SemperOper, Freia Das Rheingold at Teatro Real, Madrid and Governess The Turn of the Screw for Garsington Opera. She made her debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Michal Saul and at the Salzburg Festival and Metropolitan Opera as Beatriz in Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel.
Sophie performs regularly with conductors such as Elder, Gardner, Nelsons, Jurowski, Christiphers, Curnyn and Bicket, most lately with the Philharmonia singing Strauss’ Four Last Songs at the RFH, Haydn’s The Seasons and Ryan Wigglesworth’s Augenlieder with the LPO, Britten’s Les Illuminations with the BBC Phil and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Utrecht. She has made appearances as a recitalist both on the concert platformand on disc with pianists including Julius Drake, Malcom Martineau and Graham Johnson at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and The Wigmore Hall in London.
Sophie was awarded an MBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2019.
Dominic is a graduate of the Royal College of Music where he was awarded a Sir Gordon Palmer scholarship. He studies with Timothy Evans-Jones. Dominic’s undergraduate degree was in English and French Law, part of which he studied at the Sorbonne in Paris where he lived for many years. After five years working in financial services, Dominic decided to embrace a career as a tenor soloist in 2015.
The list of Dominic's solo performances has grown rapidly since he moved to London to study opera. As well as being involved in the Royal College opera productions and singing chorus work for Opera Holland Park, Dominic has been the featured tenor soloist in many notable oratorio performances such as the Mozart Requiem at St Paul's Covent Garden, and Haydn's Creation in Norwich, Monteverdi Vespers with His Majestys Sackbutts and Cornetts, and performances of Orfeo with Brighton Early Music Festival. Recent opera roles include Camille de Rossillon for Canterbury Cathedral Garden Opera in The Merry Widow, and Tamino in Zauberflöte for Westminster Opera in August 2017. Other title roles include Orphée for Opera de Baugé’s production of Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers, Lenski for The People’s Opera in 2019, Conrad for Tête à Tête Opera directed by Bill Bankes, and Rodolfo in La Bohème for Westminster Opera. In June 2019 Dominic covered the role of Fenton in The Grange Festival's highly acclaimed (5 star) production of Verdi's Falstaff. Dominic will portray Turriddu for Aylesbury Opera’s production of Cavalleria Rusticana in February 2020.
British bass-baritone Daniel Tate can be heard performing regularly in oratorio, concert and recital across the country. Recent appearances include Monteverdi Vespers, J. S. Bach’s Johannes Passion and Magnificat, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, requiems by Mozart, Duruflé and Fauré, and Vaughan Williams’ 5 Mystical Songs. Daniel's recent recital programme of English Song from the time of the First World War was performed at Steinway Hall (New York, USA), St Michael's Highgate (London, Highgate Music Festival) and on three separate occasions in Oxford - with excerpts viewed by more than 25,000 people on Classic FM. Opera roles include the Pope in Philip Glass' Galileo Galilei (New Chamber Opera), and Smirnov in The Bear, Walton (NCO). He is a named soloist on New College Choir’s recent recording of Parry released in the Armistice Centenary year.
Daniel enjoys an active career in Oxford and London as a professional choral singer and director. He has sung professionally with New College and Christ Church Cathedral Choirs, and many distinguished choirs in London including BBC Singers, Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, St Clement Danes, St Bride's Fleet Street, Chapels Royal at Hampton Court and Tower of London, Oxford Consort of Voices and Ex Cathedra.
Daniel also teaches singing and music theory at leading schools in Oxford, and when not singing enjoys playing squash for the New College team and performing as the bass guitarist for the blues-funk band Reverend Blue.
Francis Bevan (alto) is an editor of early music who has prepared liturgical, concert, and recording programmes for a huge number of professional vocal ensembles, cathedral choirs and amateur groups around the world. He is currently associate editor with Stile Antico, Alamire, and Siglo de Oro, as well as The Davey Consort.
In 2012 he won an international editing prize awarded by the Chalice Consort and was later appointed affiliate editor to the AHRC funded Tudor Partbooks Project. In 2014 he founded The Polyphony Database, a detailed online catalogue and repository of early sacred music resources.
Francis was also the lead guitarist for the rock band Rocketeer and leads a busy career as a web developer.