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Composer Tansy Davies joins IU Jacobs School of Music faculty

July 2, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Tansy Davies as associate professor of music in composition, effective Aug. 1, 2019.

Davies is currently an associate professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and was composer-in-residence at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw during 2018-19, a position that culminated in the premiere of her major new ensemble work “Soul Canoe,” written for Dutch chamber orchestra Asko|Schönberg.

In 2004, “neon”—a gritty collage of twisted funk written for the Composers Ensemble—quickly became Davies’ calling card. Since then, her music has been championed internationally by ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Ensemble intercontemporain and Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and at festivals including Ultima, Présences and Warsaw Autumn.

“Professor Davies has established herself as a highly individualized voice in composition today,” said Gwyn Richards, David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean. “Her music doesn’t reside in an airtight box, but is, rather, out on the street, friendly, aggressive, mingling with rock. She blends classical, contemporary and rock elements, oft times influenced by art, architecture and ritual. Her arrival at Indiana University is highly anticipated.”

“It is truly a coup to welcome internationally renowned composer Tansy Davies to our thriving community at the Jacobs School,” said David Dzubay, chair of the Composition Department. “She will bring a fresh infusion of ideas, enlivening all that we do here in Bloomington and beyond. We are thrilled that she will be joining us!”

Davies’ work has been inspired by sources as diverse as Zaha Hadid (the trumpet concerto “Spiral House”), Anselm Kiefer (“Falling Angel” for ensemble) and the Troubadours (the song cycle “Troubairitz”). “Between Worlds,” a response to 9/11 with a libretto by Nick Drake, was premiered by English National Opera in 2015 (directed by Deborah Warner) and won a British Composer Award.

Her recent works include “Re-greening” for singing orchestra—for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain—and “Forest,” a concerto for four horns premiered by the Philharmonia under Esa-Pekka Salonen. “Cave,” a second operatic collaboration with Drake, was premiered by Mark Padmore, Elaine Mitchener and the London Sinfonietta in 2018.

Davies studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and at Royal Holloway, University of London.

“I’m delighted to accept this position at the IU Jacobs School of Music,” said Davies. “I felt an instant affinity with the school when I visited a couple of years ago and enjoyed a stunning performance of my piano concerto ‘Nature.’ I have the strongest impression of the Composition Department, as people, musicians and teachers, and I look forward to working together to support the creation of amazing new music.”

Linda Cajigas
Assistant Director of Communications
IU Jacobs School of Music
812-856-3882 |