Carl Davis Obituary, Bafta-winning Composer and Conductor Carl Davis Dies at 86

Carl Davis Obituary, Bafta-winning Composer and Conductor Carl Davis Dies at 86

Renowned composer and conductor Carl Davis has passed away at the age of 86, leaving the world of music in mourning. With an illustrious career, Davis has left an indelible mark on the industry, creating mesmerizing scores for iconic films and beloved television dramas. Let’s delve into the life and achievements of this musical maestro.

The Loss of a Legend

Carl Davis (CBE) has left us, leaving his family heartbroken after succumbing to a brain haemorrhage. The family expressed pride in Davis’s astonishing impact on music. He was not only a conductor and composer of symphonic works but also the driving force behind reviving silent movies for the modern generation. His notable contributions to British television dramas and ballet compositions earned him widespread acclaim and recognition.

A Legacy of Melodies

Carl Davis’s compositions resonated with audiences across the globe, earning him a Bafta and an Ivor Novello Award for his iconic score in the 1981 classic, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman.” His music adorned other notable productions, including the BBC’s 1995 drama “Pride and Prejudice” and 2007’s “Cranford.” The list of his impressive works extends to films such as “Champions,” “Scandal,” and the ever-memorable “The French Lieutenant’s Woman.”

Harmonizing with British Classics

The melodies of Carl Davis have become synonymous with British classics, gracing productions like “Up Pompeii!,” “Widows’ Peak,” and “The Trial.” He was commissioned to create awe-inspiring scores for popular TV series, including “The World At War” and classic serials, showcasing his exceptional talent and versatility as a composer.

A Multifaceted Musician

Born in New York in 1936, Davis embarked on his musical journey, co-authoring the music for the Emmy-winning revue “Diversions” before moving to London in 1960. His passion for silent films led him to reconstruct scores for over 50 of them, featuring legendary stars like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Besides his prowess as a composer, Davis was an accomplished conductor and ballet writer, debuting mesmerizing ballets like “The Great Gatsby” and “Chaplin: The Tramp.”

A Heartfelt Farewell

Carl Davis’s departure is mourned by his wife, Jean Boht, their two daughters, and three beloved grandchildren. The world has lost an extraordinary musician, but his legacy of enchanting melodies and everlasting impact on music will continue to inspire generations to come.


Carl Davis, the Bafta-winning composer and conductor, leaves behind a treasure trove of music that touched countless hearts. His scores will forever resonate in the souls of music lovers, reminding us of the beauty and emotion that sound can convey. As the music world bids farewell to this legendary maestro, we celebrate his remarkable contributions and cherish the melodies that will live on forever in our hearts.

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