Cancer claims a walking encyclopedia of English musicmain
Diagnosed a few weeks ago with pancreatic cancer, Oliver Davies died this week in his sleep. He was 81.
A pianist by vocation, Oliver founded the picture archives at the Royal College of Music and fought valiantly to stop successive bursars from throwing it, as he put it, ‘on a skip’. He delpored the College’s lack of historicity. One friend says: ‘He takes with him an enormous amount of knowledge about British musical life from c. 1800 onwards – he knew more than all the rest of us put together.’