• Ed Frazier Davis,

    composer / baritone


    Ed Frazier Davis (b. 1989) is an English-American composer and baritone currently living and working in Kansas City, Missouri.

     

    Lauded for its "compelling, […] colourful orchestration" (Musical Toronto), Ed's music is polystylistic and draws from many eclectic influences, from Medieval song to postminimalism and practically everything in between. He has composed music for a wide variety of media, but as an experienced singer he has a particularly strong affinity for writing choral music. His music has been commissioned and performed throughout the world by many renowned performers and organizations, including Access Contemporary Music, the Aspen Music Festival, Bella Voce, The Crossing, soprano Erin Wall, the Lincoln Trio, PLEXUS, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Ultimately, he seeks to write music that breaks established artistic binaries—e.g. traditional vs. modern, accessible vs. unfamiliar—to create art that is fulfilling to as wide an audience as possible.

     

    Ed's career has developed considerable momentum in the past few years. From 2012 to 2016, he served as Composer-in-Residence for the Chicago Chamber Choir, the last season of which was under renowned conductor and educator Doreen Rao. In 2014, he was named second place winner of the American Prize in Choral Composition (Student Division), as well as a finalist in Chanticleer's annual student composer competition. In 2015, he received the premiere of his first international commission from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Children's Chorus (conducted by Sir Andrew Davis), and was selected as one of four composition fellows at the very first Big Sky Choral Initiative. In 2016, he made his Southern Hemisphere debut with an acclaimed commission from Melbourne-based chamber ensemble PLEXUS.

     

    As a singer, Ed has consistently performed both ensemble and solo work with dozens of ensembles across the United States. In his hometown of Chicago, he frequently performed with organizations including Bella Voce, the Chicago Choral Artists (where he served as bass section leader), the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the Grant Park Music Festival Chorus, Innova Singers (of which he is a founding member), and The Rookery. He has been named a regional finalist in multiple NATS competitions, and in 2013 he worked intensively with the Grammy Award-winning ensemble Chanticleer as part of their biennial Sonoma Choral Workshop. Now a recent transplant in Kansas City, he is thrilled to serve as bass section leader at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, and to be singing in his first season with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus.

     

    Ed is currently a doctoral student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he studies composition with Chen Yi and voice with Vinson Cole. He earned his Bachelor of Arts with Honors in composition from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and his Master of Music degree in composition from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He has previously studied composition with Bruce Polay, Thomas Benjamin, Marta Ptaszyńska, Kyong Mee Choi, Stacy Garrop, and Gabriel Jackson, and voice with Sarah Moran, Stacey Tappan, Jim Collins, and Gianna Rolandi.

     

    Banner photograph by Malcolm Cook, all subsequent photographs by John Williams.

  • Compositions

    Up-to-date list of works. Links to score samples coming soon!

    Organized alphabetically:

    —Orchestral—

     

    • Pro Defunctis :  SATB choir, baritone, and chamber orchestra: 1111 | 1000 | 2 perc | hp | 6 vln | 3 vla | 3 vc | db. January 2015, 42'00". Masters thesis, Roosevelt University. Texts (Latin and English) from the Mass for the Dead, John Donne, Dylan Thomas, Robert Graves, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and John Bunyan. Premiere: Chicago Choral Project (dir. Jim Collins), Ed Frazier Davis (baritone), EFD Chamber Orchestra; Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, 16 March 2015.

     

    • The Stolen Child :  children's choir and orchestra: 2222 | 4221 | timp | perc | cel | hp | str. March 2015, 10'00"Text (English) by William Butler Yeats. PremiereToronto Symphony Orchestra and Children's Chorus (dir. Sir Andrew Davis); Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto ON, 29 May 2015.

     

    —Choral—

     

    • High Flight :  SATB choir a cappella. July 2015, 6'00". Text (English) by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. Premiere: The Crossing (dir. Donald Nally); Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, Big Sky MT, 25 July 2015.

     

    • I heard a Fly buzz when I died :   SATB choir a cappella. October 2009, 3’50”. Text (English) by Emily Dickinson. No public performances yet.

     

    • Libera Me :  SSSAAA choir (or sextet) a cappella. March 2014, 13'00"-14'00". Text (Latin) from the Mass for the Dead. Finalist for the 2015 American Prize in Choral Composition, Student Division. Premiere: La Caccina (dir. Carling FitzSimmons); Luther Memorial Church, Chicago IL, 6 June 2014.

     

    • The Lord is My Shepherd :  SAB choir, trumpet, and piano. April 2011, 3’40”. Text (English) from the Book of Common Prayer, Psalm 23:1-4,6. Premiere: Grace Lutheran Church Choir (dir. Ed Frazier Davis), Nathaniel Beck (trumpet), Marta Gulyash (piano); Grace Lutheran Church, Knoxville IL, 15 May 2011.

     

    • Madrigal (the juggler of day)  SATB choir a cappella. December 2013, 3'40". Text (English) by Emily Dickinson. Premiere: common pulse (dir. Lydia Lane Stout); St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square, Chicago IL, 26 September 2014.

     

    • Missa Brevis :  SMATBB choir a cappella. May 2012, 14’30”. Honors project, Knox College. Text (Latin) from the Mass Ordinary. Benedictus (1'30") premiere: Knox College Choir (dir. Laura Lane); First Lutheran Church, Galesburg IL, 3 March 2013. Sanctus (1'30") premiere: Wicker Park Choral Singers (dir. Mark Tomasino); St. Gregory the Great Church, Chicago IL, 22 June 2013. No public performances of other movements yet.

     

    • Music, thou Queen of Heaven :  SATB choir a cappella. June 2013, 3'50". Text (English) by Robert Herrick. Premiere: common pulse (dir. Lydia Lane Stout); St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square, Chicago IL, 26 September 2014.

     

    • My beloved spoke :  double SATB choir a cappella. August 2014, 4'10". Text (English and Hebrew) from Song of Songs. Finalist in the 2014 Chanticleer Student Composer Competition. No public performances yet.

     

    • My Sun and Song and Spring :  SATB choir a cappella. January 2013, 3’50”. Text (English) by Sara Teasdale. Second place winner of the 2014 American Prize in Choral Composition, Student Division (with Silver Bells). Premiere: Chicago Chamber Choir (dir. Timm Adams); Unity Lutheran Church, Chicago IL, 7 April 2013.

     

    • The Oxen :  SATB choir a cappella. January 2011, 3’10”. Text (English) by Thomas Hardy. Premiere: St. James Cathedral Choir (dir. Brandon Dumas); Nine Lessons and Carols, St. James Cathedral, Chicago IL, 20 December 2015.

     

    • Peace flows into me :  SMATBB choir (or sextet) a cappella. December 2012, 3’40”. Text (English) by Sara Teasdale. Premiere: Chicago Choral Artists (dir. Micah Dingler); Grace Episcopal Church, Hinsdale IL, 10 February 2013.

     

    • Requiem Æternam :  SATB choir a cappella. May 2010, 3'50". Text (Latin) from the Mass for the Dead. Premiere: Knox College Choir (dir. Laura Lane); Kresge Recital Hall, Knox College, 12 November 2010.

     

    • Set me as a seal :  SATB choir a cappella. August 2016, 6'00". Text (English) from Song of Songs. Forthcoming premiere: Bella Voce (dir. Andrew Lewis); Cliff Dwellers, Chicago IL, 10 September 2016.
     
    • Silver Bells :   SATB choir a cappella. November 2013, 3'20". Text (English) by Edgar Allan Poe. Second place winner of the 2014 American Prize in Choral Composition, Student Division (with My Sun and Song and Spring). Premiere: Bella Voce (dir. Andrew Lewis); St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle IL, 21 December 2013.

     

    • Sir Loin the Noble :  SATB choir a cappella. September 2011, 3’10”. Text (English) by an anonymous 17th century poet. Premiere: Wicker Park Choral Singers (dir. Mark Tomasino); Wicker Park Lutheran Church, Chicago IL, 10 December 2011.

     

    • St. Chrysostom's Service :  SATB choir a cappella. December 2015, 11'00". Texts (English) from the Book of Common Prayer. Nunc Dimittis (4'40") premiere: Choir of St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church (dir. Richard Hoskins); St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church, Chicago IL, 28 February 2016. Magnificat (6'20") premiere: Choir of St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church (dir. Richard Hoskins); St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church, Chicago IL, 24 April 2016.

     

    • Tasa ja omaette (still and separate) :  SATB choir a cappella. April 2013, 5’40”. Text (Estonian) by Doris Kareva, English translation by Tiina Aleman. No public performances yet.

     

    • Tempest Songs :  SATB choir, clarinet, violin, and piano. June 2016, 15'00". Text (English) by William Shakespeare. Premiere: Polyphonic Voices (dir. Michael Fulcher), PLEXUS (Monica Curro (violin), Philip Arkinstall (clarinet), Stefan Cassomenos (piano)); Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne VIC, 10 August 2016.

     

    • There is an Old Belief :  SMATBB choir and cello. November 2012, 6'30". Text (English) by John Gibson Lockhart. Premiere: common pulse (dir. Lydia Lane Stout); Sudds-Conley Church House, 12 September 2015.

     

    • To an Early Daffodil :  SMATBB choir a cappella. March 2016, 6'20". Text (English) by Amy Lowell. Premiere: Chicago Choral Artists (dir. Michael Costello); Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Chicago IL, 7 May 2016.

     

    • The Twilight turns from Amethyst :  SMATBB choir (or sextet), flute, viola, harp, and water-tuned glasses. March 2014, 6’30”. Text (English) by James Joyce. Premiere: Carey Goldenberg (soprano), Patty LeClaire (mezzo), Kerry Hrametz (alto), Micah Dingler (tenor), Michael Mercer (baritone), Ed Frazier Davis (bass), Scott Douglas (flute), Rachel Eid-Ries (viola), Catherine Canale (harp), glasses played by the singers; Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, 16 April 2014.

     

    • who are you,little i :  TTBB choir a cappella. February 2010, 2’30”. Text (English) by e.e. cummings. Premiere: Knox College Men’s Ensemble (dir. Lynn Maxfield); Kresge Recital Hall, Knox College, 25 May 2010.

     

    • Wild Nights! :  SATB choir a cappella. March 2011, 3’00”. Text (English) by Emily Dickinson. Premiere: Knox College Choir (dir. Laura Lane); First Lutheran Church, Galesburg IL, 26 February 2012.

     

    • Yearning to Breathe Free :  SATB choir a cappella. December 2015, 6'40". Text (English) by Emma Lazarus. Premiere: Chicago Chamber Choir (dir. Doreen Rao); Old St. Patrick's Church, Chicago IL, 16 April 2016.

     

    —Solo/Chamber—

     

    • Canticum Elementorum : solo violin. November 2013, 7'00". First place winner of the 2013 CCPA Williams Violin Competition. Premiere: Drew Williams; Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, 31 January 2014.

     

    • Esoteric Fantasia : 2 flutes, oboe, clarinet in B-flat, French horn, trumpet, and cello. October 2010, 2’30”. Premiere: Knox College Chamber Ensemble (dir. Daniel Godsil); Knox College, 15 November 2010.

     

    • Inebriate of Air : brass quintet. October 2013, 1'40". No public performances yet. (Recorded privately by Gaudete Brass Quintet on 7 November 2013.)

     

    • In Memoriam John Tavener : string quartet. December 2013, 5'40". Premiere: Zachary Peterson (violin I), Rachel Moore (violin II), Mark Aparece (viola), Aaron Gottl (cello); Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, 19 February 2014.

     

    • Macabre Miniatures : solo piano. March 2014, 4'00". Premiere: Jordan Crice; Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, 21 April 2014.

     

    • The Pillars of Creation : bassoon, horn, and cello. May 2013, 8'00". No public performances yet.

     

    • Starstuff : violin, cello, and piano. October 2013, 5'00". Premiere: Palomar Ensemble (Madeline Capistran (violin), Alyson Berger (cello), Michael Miller (piano), dir. Francesco Milioto); broadcast on WFMT's Relevant Tones podcast, 28 December 2013.

     

    • Sun Dogs : solo piano. July 2015, 6'10". Premiere: Jonathan Hannau; Ravenswood Fellowship UMC, Chicago IL, 20 September 2015.

     

    —Vocal— 

     

    • Elegy in April : medium voice and piano. December 2010, 4’10”. Text (English) by Wilfred Owen. No public performances yet.

     

    • if there are any heavens : baritone and piano. April 2015, 2’30”. Text (English) by e.e. cummings. No public performances yet.

     

    • Ktoś Obcy (an alien among us) : soprano, baritone, and piano. April 2012, 2’30”. Text (Polish) and English translation by Krzysztof Ostaszewski. Premiere: Angelica Ostaszewski (soprano), Ed Frazier Davis (baritone), Megan Clewell (piano); Kresge Recital Hall, Knox College, 18 May 2012.

     

    • A Shining Road : soprano, clarinet in A, and piano. January 2014, 4’10”. Text (English) by Sara Teasdale. Premiere: Erin Wall (soprano), Charlene Zimmerman (clarinet), Alan Darling (piano); Civic Opera House, Chicago IL, 2 February 2014.

     

    • Triptych :  baritone and piano. February 2016, 12'00". Text (English) by Gregory Peebles. Premiere: Ed Frazier Davis (baritone), Eugenia Cheng (piano); PianoForte Studios, Chicago IL, 16 March 2016.

     

    —Electronics/Multimedia—

     

    • Ma'laach : amplified cello, two-channel fixed media, and video. March 2015, 5'22". Premiere: Kathryn Tarko (cello); Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, 10 April 2015.

     

    —Arrangements—

     

    • Gravity : SMATBB choir a cappella. August 2014, 5'00". Music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles. No public performances yet.

     

    • The Star Carol :  SATB choir a cappella. October 2013, 4'20". Music by Alfred Burt, lyrics by Wihla Hutson. Premiere: Chicago Chamber Choir (dir. Timm Adams); St. Matthias Parish, Chicago IL, 12 December 2013.

     

  • Calendar

    Dates and locations of upcoming events and performances.

  • Recordings

    Full recordings of selected works, organized alphabetically. To hear more, please visit Ed's full SoundCloud page here.

  • Contact

    If you would like to commission a work from Ed, to peruse/order full scores of existing works, or indeed to inquire about anything else, you may reach him either via email or via his Facebook page, linked below.

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