Harvey Davies

Photo of Harvey Davies

Teaching Fellow in Historical Performance, Staff Pianist and Professor of Accompaniment


Email: [email protected]

  • Coaching chamber music
  • Accompanist
  • Historically informed performance
  • Teaching piano,
  • Teaching vocal and instrumental classes
  • Research

Harvey Davies studied the piano with Helen Davies and David Parkhouse then with Ryszard Bakst at the Royal Northern College of Music. He is well-known as a chamber musician and collaborative pianist and his work as a musician has taken him to four continents and throughout the UK.

With his wife, the ‘cellist Heather Bills, Harvey founded the Manchester-based chamber group The Pleyel Ensemble in 2011. Comprising some of the finest string and wind players in the UK and specialising in British chamber music and lesser-known Classical works the Pleyels run a concert series in Didsbury and they were Making Music Featured Artists for 2019/20 for the second time in three years. The Pleyel Ensemble have recently completed a major project with the MPR label to record a four-CD set of the chamber music of the English composer Arnold Cooke. The recordings were released in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Most of the works recorded are World Première recordings.

As a Fellow in Historical Performance at the RNCM, Harvey gives lectures and coaches chamber music alongside his work as a staff pianist. Harvey was awarded a PhD in Performance from the RNCM/Manchester Metropolitan University in 2022 for his work on the varied chamber music of Arnold Cooke.

Harvey has collaborated with many eminent musicians including the Alberni, Benyounes, Callino and Carducci Quartets, Atar Arad, Alison Balsom, James Bowman, Rebecca Evans, James Gilchrist, Janet Hilton, Guy Johnston, Jennifer Pike and Elena Urioste and as a freelance player, Harvey has worked with all the orchestras in the North West including the Hallé, RLPO, Manchester Camerata, NCO and the contemporary music group Ensemble 10/10.

The Davies Duo, Harvey and his mother Helen, have worked together since 1990. They have performed and recorded extensively and commissioned many new works for piano duet from composers as diverse as Nicola Lefanu and Alun Hoddinott. Their disc, ‘Diversity’, features works written for them by Welsh composers and was received to critical acclaim.

“(The Davies Duo)…a fine reputation for intelligent, sensitive, technically assured and vital performances of a wide range of 20th century repertoire…”
– British Music Society News.

“(Diversity) is a superb disc, and world class in terms of production, programme and performance.”
– Musicweb International

Personal Website

Current and Future Research

  • The music and life of Carl Czerny.
  • Piano duet repertoire of the early Nineteenth Century.
  • Accompanied piano sonatas (trios) of the late Eighteenth Century.
  • The music of Kenneth Leighton.
  • J. B. Cramer – a neglected composer.
  • The trio for violin, horn and piano by Sir L. Berkeley, a corrected edition.
  • The life and works of Arnold Cooke.
  • Enabling the world premiere and broadcast of Arnold Cooke’s 6th Symphony with the BBC Philharmonic and Andrew Gourlay in September 2016 (completed)
  • A critical first edition of Arnold Cooke’s 6th Symphony published by Anglo-American Music Publishers (completed).
  • A critical edition of Arnold Cooke’s Piano Quartet (1949), which was lost and I have recently rediscovered.
  • A critical edition of the composer’s recently-discovered horn trio arrangement of Arnold Cooke’s Arioso and Scherzo.
  • A comprehensive, annotated works-list of Arnold Cooke.
  • The letters of Arnold Cooke; a new resource.
  • The music collection of Elizabeth Sykes Egerton (1775 – 1854) in the Library at Tatton Park. This is an ongoing project to research the extensive performance instructions and embellishment in her vocal and keyboard music collected at the beginning of the 19th century to learn more of late classical performance practice.

External Research Roles

PhD in Performance recording the chamber music with piano by Arnold Cooke and researching his life and works. Also completed is a first ever catalogue of Cooke’s correspondence and an extensively-updated complete catalogue of works.

Research Funding

Awarded a grant of £500 by both the Ida Carroll Trust and the RVW Trust towards the commissioning of a new work from Adam Gorb (2016).

Awarded a grant of £1,375 from the RNCM Research budget towards the cost of setting and inputting the score and parts of Cooke’s 6th Symphony (2016).

Awarded an £800 grant by the Ida Carroll Trust towards presenting a concert to mark and celebrate the 110th Anniversary of Arnold Cooke’s birth on the 4th November 2016 at the RNCM.

Awarded a £3,000 grant by the Ida Carroll Trust towards the major 4 CD recording project of the chamber music of Arnold Cooke (2019).

Awarded a £1,000 grant towards the above from the RVW Trust (2019).

Awarded a £3,000 grant towards the above from the RNCM Research Fund (2019).

Awarded a £500 grant towards a performance of Thomas Pitfield’s Piano Trio no. 1 from the Pitfield Trust (2021)

Awarded a £250 grant towards a performance of Lennox Berkeley’s Quintet Op. 90 from the Lennox Berkeley Society (2021)


Undergraduate Teaching

  • Historical & Contextual Studies 1 (U1AHC) 2015-16
  • Historical & Contextual Studies 2 (Classical) 2015-16
  • Performance & Repertoire Studies 1 (U1APR) 2015-16
  • Performance & Repertoire Studies 2 Classical (U2APR) 2015-16
  • Performance & Repertoire Studies 4 (U4APS) 2015-16
  • Music, Culture & Performance 1 2016-17

Postgraduate Teaching

Postgrad. Options B Performance:Theory & Practice Semester 2 (2013-2014)

Research Supervision

Jing Ouyang (RNCM): The influence of the English fortepiano on the music of the London Pianoforte School and its contemporaries. PhD in performance.

Selected Outputs

    Journal Articles

  • Harvey Davies, ‘The Wartime Correspondence of Arnold Cooke and Edward J. Dent’, Manchester Sounds, (2020).
  • Harvey Davies, ‘A fine and underrated chamber work; Lennox Berkeley’s Quintet for piano and winds, Op. 90’, Lennox Berkeley Society Journal 2017, (2016).
  • Scholarly Editions

  • Arnold Cooke, A first edition of Arnold Cooke’s 6th Symphony, Harvey Davies, 2016, Anglo-American Music Publishers, Apopka, Florida, USA
  • Recordings

  • Anthony Burgess, Nicholas Marshall, A.Gibbs, Gordon Crosse, Wilfred Josephs, Barry Ferguson, David Dubery, Alan Rawsthorne, R.Heaton-Smith, Herbert Murrill, Peter Pope, R.Blackford David Ellis (Rawsthorne) Anthony Burgess: The Man and his Music, John Turner Recorder, Piano, Metier Divine Art, Anthony Burgess Centre, Manchester, September 2nd and 9th and December 16th 2012
  • William Mathias, Alun Hoddinott, Mervyn Burtch, Christopher Painter and John Metcalf Celebration, Ensemble Cymru, Peryn Clement-Evans and Harvey Davies Clarinet and piano, Cyf oes, St. Mary’s Church, Cilcain, N. Wales, June 1999
  • Rawsthorne, Berkeley, Leighton, Joubert and Melville Smith. Twentieth Century Piano Duets, The Davies Duo, Helen and Harvey Davies One piano, four hands, ASC, February 1999
  • Richard Stoker Richard Stoker: Vocal Music and Piano Duos, The Davies Duo, Helen and Harvey Davies, Richard Stoker, Jacqueline Fox and Margaret Feaviour. One piano, four hands, two pianos, soprano, mezzo soprano and piano., ASC, Macclesfield and London, 1998
  • John Metcalf, Alun Hoddinott, Brian Hughes, Jeffrey Lewis, John Hearne and Pwyll ap Sion Diversity, The Davies Duo, Helen and Harvey Davies, One piano, four hands, Cameo Campion, Ty Cerdd, Millenium Centre, Cardiff, 17/18 September 2007
  • W.A. Mozart, C. Czerny, G. Faure, F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Sir E.German Four-Hand Favourites, The Davies Duo, Helen and Harvey Davies One piano, four hands, ASC, ASC Studios, Macclesfield, 13/14 October and 18 November 2001
  • Beethoven Beethoven Symphony No. 3 Op 55 “Eroica”, The Davies Duo, Helen and Harvey Davies One piano, four hands, 2MF, Two Moors Festival Studios, Devon, 2010
  • Rosauro, Glennie, Breuer, Vivaldi, Ellis Jones, Richards etc. Zimba Zamba, Beaumaris Brass Band, Jazz Trio, Gwyn M. Evans, Dewi Ellis Jones Tuned percussion, piano, brass band and jazz trio., Sain, Sain Studios, The Tabernacle, Machynlleth and Ysgol David Hughes, Menai Bridge, 2004 and 2005
  • Philip Wood Sonnets, Airs and Dances, Manchester Camerata Ensemble, Lesley-Jane Rogers, James Bowman, Heather Bills, Jonathan Price, John Turner, Harvey Davies. Soprano, Countertenor, string quartet, cello, recorder and harpsichord, Divine Art Ltd., St. Thomas’ Church, Stockport, Worleston Church, Nantwich, ASC Studios, Macclesfield, December 2000, 11.6.2004 and 22.06.2015
  • Roy Heaton-Smith Opening the Door, Solem Quartet, Clare Wilkinson, Linda Merrick, John Turner, Harvey Davies etc various, Divine Art, RNCM, Sept. and Nov. 2015
  • Arnold Cooke Arnold Cooke The Complete Sonatas for Violin, Pleyel Ensemble, Benedict Holland,Susie Meszaros & Harvey Davies Violin, viola and piano, MPR, RNCM, 2017/18
  • Arnold Cooke Arnold Cooke Piano Trio, Quartet and Quintet, Pleyel Ensemble, Harvey Davies, Benedict Holland, Sarah Ewins, Susie Meszaros and Heather Bills Piano, 2 violins, viola and cello, MPR Records, RNCM, 2017-18
  • Arnold Cooke Arnold Cooke Complete Music for Oboe and Sonata for Two Pianos, Pleyel Ensemble, Melinda Maxwell, Harvey Davies & Helen Davies Oboe, piano & piano, MPR Records, RNCM, 2017-18
  • Nicholas Marshall Nicholas Marshall Songs and Chamber Music, James Gilchrist, Harvey Davies, John Turner & Tim Smedley Voice, piano, recorder & ‘cello, Divine Art Metier, RNCM, 2014
  • Alan Rawsthorne, Halsey Stevens, Donald Waxman & others Rawsthorne and other rarities, Clare Wilkinson, Mark Rowlinson, John Turner, Harvey Davies, Peter Lawson & the Solem String Quartet Voice, string quartet, recorder, piano and harpsichord, Divine Art, RNCM, 2017
  • Arnold Cooke Arnold Cooke Chamber Music for Flute, Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Pleyel Ensemble, Jonathan Rimmer (fl), Janet Hilton (cl), Heather Bills (vc), Harvey Davies (pf) Flute, alto flute, clarinet, cello, piano, MPR, Carole Nash Recital Room, RNCM, Manchester, September 2018 – December 2019
  • Colin Hand The Music of Colin Hand, Emma McGrath, David Routledge, Simon Gilks, Steven Burnard, Heather Bills, Svetlana Mochalova, Lesley-Jane Rogers, Harvey Davies, Tom Winpenny and John Turner Violin, viola, cello, piano, harpsichord, voice, organ and recorders, Prima Facie, Various, 2018-2021
  • Ronald Stevenson and others Ronald Stevenson and Friends, Lesley-Jane Rogers, Duncan Honeybourne, Harvey Davies, Benedict Holland, Laura Robinson and John Turner Voice, violin, recorders, piano, Prima Facie, Various, 2022

Professional Activity

As the director of the Pleyel Ensemble, a chamber group based in Manchester comprising wind, strings and piano, Harvey has set up a new concert series in Manchester in Alderley Edge and Didsbury. They have given over 200 concerts since their inception, and apart from exploring the chamber works of Ignaz Pleyel, they are committed to performing British music and are actively commissioning new works as well. They have now completed recording a 4-CD set of the chamber music of Arnold Cooke for the MPR label, which have been released to critical acclaim.

2016 saw the completion of a major performance project to programme the complete works of Mozart for piano and violin, which Harvey gave with the violinist Sarah Ewins, Associate Leader of the Halle Orchestra. The 18 concerts were given over three years in Emmanuel Church, Didsbury and the music was presented with contemporary letters, reviews and other writings to put the music in its context.

We began another large-scale project in September 2016 called ‘Haydn Plus!’ which programmed the complete piano trios of Haydn at Emmanuel Church in Didsbury and was completed in 2019. September of 2019 saw the start of our third project: performing the complete chamber works with piano by Beethoven in time for the major Beethoven celebrations in 2020. Disappointingly interrupted by the pandemic, we are continuing this series, commissioning a new work for tenor and piano trio from Tom Davey in 2022. This received its first performance on 23 April 2022 when Sarah Ewins, Heather Bills and Harvey were joined by James Gilchrist.

The Pleyel Ensemble commissioned a work from Adam Gorb as a partner piece to Bartok’s Contrasts. Also for clarinet, violin and piano and of 14 minutes duration the new work was written for Nicholas Cox, Sarah Ewins and Harvey Davies and received its Premiere on the 10th April 2016 in Alderley Edge and a second performance on the 14th June 2016 in St. Ann’s Church, Manchester.

The Pleyels played live on BBC Radio 3 in October 2019 and were Artists in Residence in the 2019 Two Moors Festival.

As an established freelance pianist, Harvey is in demand as a chamber musician, working with both instrumentalists and singers across the UK and overseas.