28 October 1936 |
New York City, United States
|Occupation||Conductor and composer|
|Spouse(s)||Jean Boht (1970–present; 2 children)|
Davis is a conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and regularly conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He has written music for more than 100 television programs, but is best known for creating music to accompany silent films. Davis has assisted in the orchestration of the symphonic works of Paul McCartney.
The television years 
Davis achieved early prominence with the title music for the BBC anthology play series The Wednesday Play and later for Play for Today. Additional television scores include Up Pompeii! (1971), The Naked Civil Servant (1975), Man Friday (1975), The Kiss of Death (1977), Langrishe, Go Down (1978), Private Schulz (1980), Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981), The Far Pavilions (1984), The Day the Universe Changed (1985), Pride and Prejudice (1995), and Coming Home (1998).
Film music 
Silent film music 
In 1980 Davis was commissioned by documentarians Kevin Brownlow and David Gill to create music for Thames Television's Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film. His association with them continued the same year with Abel Gance's epic silent film Napoléon (1927), which was restored and expanded with Davis' music for cinematic release. In March 2012, Davis conducted the Oakland East Bay Symphony performing his score for the complete Brownlow restoration in a presentation by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival at the Paramount Theatre Oakland. There was a similar treatment for D. W. Griffith's Intolerance: Love's Struggle Through The Ages (1916). This had orchestral music originally, but Davis's new score was used instead in 1989.
The Hollywood documentary series was followed by the documentaries Unknown Chaplin in 1982, Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow (cf Buster Keaton) in 1987 and Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius (cf Harold Lloyd) in 1989. In the 1980s and 1990s, Davis wrote and conducted the scores for numerous classic silent films released restored and released through Brownlow and Gill's Thames Silents series in the UK.
By 1993, his reputation made him the number one choice for new scores to silent films. Many DVD releases, including Ben-Hur (1925), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Safety Last (1923), DeMille's The Godless Girl (1928), Chaplin's City Lights (1931) (re-orchestrated by Davis based on Chaplin's and Padilla's original written score) and Erich von Stroheim's Greed (1924), use Davis's music. Davis also created an entire re-scoring of Clarence Brown's Flesh and the Devil (1927). In many of these recordings, he is the conductor as well the composer. On several occasions he has performed these works live in the cinema, as well as in concert halls as the film is running.
Personal life 
Davis was born in New York City, United States, the son of Sara (née Perlmutter) and Isadore Davis. Davis married the British actress Jean Boht on December 28, 1970. They have two daughters, Hannah Louise (born 1972) and Jessie Jo (born 1974). Davis has also composed music for daughter Hannah's films Mothers & Daughters (2004) and The Understudy (2008). Davis and his wife served as executive producers on the latter film, and they appeared in the film as a married couple, the Davidovitzes.
- "Jean Boht". FullMovieReview.com. 2010. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
- Brownlow, Kevin (2004). Napoleon: Abel Gance's classic film 1. Photoplay. pp. 217–236. ISBN 1-84457-077-0.
- "San Francisco Silent Film Festival to Present Abel Gance's Napoleon". Movie News: Top News Stories. Turner Classic Movies. July 14, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- "Silent Film Festival to present 'Napoleon'". San Francisco Silent Film Festival. July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- "Calendar of Events". Oakland: Paramount Theatre of the Arts. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- Gladysz, Thomas (July 14, 2011). "Napoleon's cinematic exile to end in 2012". SFGate.com. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- Roger Ebert. "City Lights (1931)". Chicago Sun-Times.
- "Chaplin as a composer". CharlieChaplin.com.
- "Carl Davis Biography (1936-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
- "Full cast and crew for The Understudy (2008)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 25 October 2011.