Ed Frazier Davis (b. 1989) is an English-American composer, baritone, and conductor living and working in Kansas City, Missouri. He currently serves as Composer-in-Residence for the William Baker Choral Foundation.
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. In 2017, he was named a finalist for the Young New Yorkers' Chorus's composition competition.
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, and The Rookery. He has been named a regional finalist in multiple NATS competitions, and in 2013 he worked intensively with Chanticleer as part of their biennial Sonoma Choral Workshop. Now a proud Kansas Citian, he is thrilled to serve as bass section leader at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, to be singing in his second season with both the Kansas City Symphony Chorus and the William Baker Festival Singers, and to be joining the Grammy-winning Kansas City Chorale for a series of concerts in December 2017.
Ed is currently a doctoral student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he studies composition with Chen Yi, James Mobberley, and Zhou Long, 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.
Up-to-date list of works. Scores may be purchased through MusicSpoke (where linked) or by directly contacting the composer.