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Cedric Thorpe Davie - Composer

Scotland has always been well off for good music, but not rich in the creators of music. Cedric Thorpe Davie did his best to fill that gap. He was soaked, even steeped in music. His father was a noted Scottish musician, and Thorpe Davie studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and then at the Royal College of Music, where he was a pupil of Vaughan Williams and other maestros. In 1935 he won the Cobbett and Sullivan prizes for composition. He went on to study piano with Putri in London, and composition with Kodaly in Budapest and Kilpinen in Finland.

In 1936 Thorpe Davie returned to Glasgow, and took a position teaching at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. In 1945 he moved on to St Andrews University where he was master of music. Three years later he founded the music department, and in 1973 was appointed its professor. He wrote a symphony in 1936, for a newspaper competition. From then on, Thorpe Davie composed whatever appealed to him musically. For the Edinburgh Festival's production of Lindsay's Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaits in 1948 Thorpe Davie wrote the theme music; he also did a setting for The Beggar's Opera in 1952 for St Andrews University. His music for Burns's The Jolly Beggars had the piece being performed all over Scotland, on radio and television, and on a commercial recording.

Maybe his most significant work was that written for young people and amateur players, such as his Diversions on a Tune by Dr Anne for the National Youth Orchestra, The Thistle and the Rose and the New Town Suite for the Edinburgh Schools Orchestra.

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