Born in Cardiff in 1987, Joseph Davies studied composition with Robert Saxton while at Oxford, where he graduated in 2009 with a Gibbs Prize for outstanding academic achievement in his year, and went on to graduate from the Royal Academy of Music in 2012 having studied for two years with Gary Carpenter, where he received a scholarship, was the recipient of many awards and was supported by the Arts Council of Wales and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. He is keenly aware of the theatrical rituals of live performance, indicative of an early affinity with the music of Birtwistle and a focus on the world of music theatre in which he has also worked as a conductor. As well as engaging with musics of the past and of different folk cultures, his works are often informed by literary models and exhibit a meticulous craftsmanship and textural intricacy combined with an often violently expressive temperament.
Commissions have included works for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Allegri Quartet, the Oxford Philomusica, the Esbjerg Ensemble (Denmark), CHROMA Ensemble and EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble, with performances at the Royal Festival Hall, Kings Place, Sheldonian Theatre (Oxford), Hoddinott Hall (Cardiff) and abroad, at festivals including Tête-à-Tête Opera, Brighton Soundwaves, Lake District Summer Music Festival and Cardiff Music, and broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. He has worked on two shows for Size Zero Opera as a composer, conductor and musical director and was a member of the 2011 VOX course at the Royal Opera House with Dominic Muldowney and John Lloyd Davies.