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Peter Maxwell Davies

Peter Maxwell Davies

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is Peter Maxwell Davies.

He is one of Britain's greatest living composers. His career has seen him go from enfant terrible and champion of new music, writing pieces such as Worldes Blis and Eight Songs for a Mad King, to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen's Music. Peter Maxwell Davies was born in Salford, near Manchester, in 1934. Whilst studying at Manchester University and the Royal Manchester College of Music he formed the key friendships which were to influence his musical career - with Harrison Birtwhistle, Elgar Howarth, Alexander Goehr and John Ogdon. It was during the 60s that Peter composed some of his most influential works - including often cacophonous, expressionist pieces like Vesalii Icones, St. Thomas Wake and Worldes Blis. Music-theatre pieces like Eight Songs were groundbreaking in their use of drama, as well as music. He is fascinated by the mathematical structures and patterns that exist in nature - and tries to replicate