MICHAEL DAVIS began to play the violin under the guidance of his father Eric, a Hallé Orchestra principal. Awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, he continued his training with Hugh Bean – then leader of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Another scholarship enabled him to study with master violinist, Henryk Szeryng. In 1967 he was invited by Sir John Barbirolli to become associate leader, and then co-leader of the Hallé Orchestra. He was leader of the London Symphony Orchestra during the 1980s, and then leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra during the 1990s.
RAYSON WHALLEY, as a member of the Hallé Orchestra since 1948, enjoyed almost the most of the Barbirolli era as pianist and percussionist. He assisted Sir John with many premiere performances; he played at sight the score of Sinfonia Antarctica to its composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and Sir John. He also completely suggested the orchestral effects and colours that the composer often referred to ‘that incredible feat’. In addition to activities with the orchestra, he has shown himself to be equally at home with chamber music, as in his partnership with Michael Davis on this CD.