For our score study portion of our March 10, 2018 LA Ravel, Tim Davies helps us look at an unusual gem of film music history: Sergei Prokofiev’s score for the 1938 film Alexander Nevsky. In 1939, Prokofiev arranged the music of the film score as the cantata, Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78, for mezzo-soprano, chorus, and orchestra. It is one of the few examples of film music that has found a permanent place in the standard repertoire, and has also remained one of the most renowned cantatas of the 20th century.
About Tim Davies
Tim Davies is one of the busiest conductors, orchestrators and arrangers in Hollywood. His film and TV credits include La La Land, Trolls, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Minions, Ant-Man, Empire, The Peanuts Movie, The Muppets and Frozen. He is also the most prolific orchestrator and conductor in the world of video games having worked on multiple titles from the God of War, Infamous, Sims, Resistance and Batman: Arkham series and the upcoming Spider-man. He is also becoming known in the concert hall having conducted Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions with orchestras such as the Baltimore and San Diego Symphonies and Frozen with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan.
Davies is an active arranger as well, whose recent highlights include arranging and playing drums for the twentieth anniversary concert of NAS’ Illmatic and being lead arranger for Kendrick Lamar’s performance of To Pimp a Butterfly, both featuring the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Other collaborations with the NSO have included shows with Ledisi and Common. January 2018 saw Davies conduct the NSO for the first time featuring his arrangements for Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds. He has arranged for albums by chart-topping artists Amy Winehouse, Akon, Miguel, Cee Lo Green and for orchestras all over the world from the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the Metropol Orkest in the Netherlands. He plays drums and writes for his own group, the 18-piece Tim Davies Big Band, and has received two Grammy nominations for Best Instrumental Composition, in 2010 and 2016.
Recently Davies has been in demand as a composer, having worked with two-time Oscar winner Gustavo Santaolalla on the score to the Fox animated film The Book of Life. This was also the beginning of a partnership with producer/director Guillermo del Toro, which led to writing additional music for Crimson Peak and now creating the Annie-nominated score for his TV show, Trollhunters, produced by Dreamworks Animation for Netflix.
In 2013 he launched his orchestration blog debreved.com, which has since become an important resource for composers and orchestrators all over the world. Davies is on the board of Education Through Music Los Angeles, helping provide music education for underprivileged children.