Geoffrey John Davies — Meet The Violin Channel's Innovative & Bold Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief
Now one of the most influential classical music voices in the world, it all started on Geoffrey John Davies' living room floor, in Australia, with an innocuous social media upload
GEOFFREY JOHN DAVIES
Geoffrey John Davies is the Founder and current CEO & Editor-in-Chief of The Violin Channel classical music news, media, and streaming platform.
Born: April 4, 1977 (age 44 years) in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Lives: New York City
Board Member of: The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Avery Fisher Artist Recommendation Board, The Alphadyne Foundation Advisory Board, and the Getting to Carnegie Competition Executive Board
Spouse: Richard Jordan (m. 2020- )
Education: Queensland Conservatorium of Music and The Queensland University of Technology
Awards: 1 of Musical America’s 30 Most Influential Arts Professionals
Who is Geoffrey John Davies?
Geoffrey John Davies is an Australian-born and New York-based entrepreneur who founded The Violin Channel in 2009 — which has since grown to become one of the most influential classical music media providers in the world.
Now with a combined reach in excess of two million viewers worldwide per month, The Violin Channel has helped foster the development of a formidable generation of outstanding young string soloists, including Ray Chen, Augustin Hadelich, Stefan Jackiw, Bomsori Kim, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Timothy Ridout, Kian Soltani, and Pablo Ferrández.
The Violin Channel was appointed as an official global media partner of the Kronberg Academy, the Menuhin Academy, in Gstaad, the New World Symphony, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center — plus notable global events including the Menuhin, Queen Elisabeth, Indianapolis, Wieniawski, Joseph Joachim, Sibelius, Montreal, Michael Hill, and the ARD International Violin and Cello Competitions.
The Violin Channel's clients and close collaborators include The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, the New England Conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, The Colburn School, The New York Philharmonic, Warner Classic, and Wigmore Hall, among many others.
Geoffrey John Davies' Personal Life
Geoffrey moved to New York City in July 2011. He married prominent New York architectural painter and designer, Richard Jordan, in 2020. They live in New York City’s West Village with their dog, Elgar.
Geoffrey appeared as himself in the 2018 short-film documentary ‘Marie’s Crisis’ – about a sing-along piano bar in the basement of a building with a storied history in New York's West Village. The film, directed by Michael Vecchio, was selected for 15 film festivals in 2018 including Festival de Cannes and the New York Shorts International Film Festival, and was awarded accolades at the Scad Savannah Film Festival, Miami Short Film Festival, and Los Angeles’ Independent Shorts Awards.
“A friend from Australia had been a frequent visitor to the city to see Broadway shows and would report back about one West Village piano bar that opened in 1929: “He always talked about Marie’s Crisis, and I was like, What is this place?” Geoffrey told Dan Adler from Vanity Fair.
“My first night here I didn’t know a single soul, and I thought, Oh I don’t really know anybody, I’m jet-lagged, I might as well go out and do something. I looked up Marie’s and I guess you could say I found my people.”
Geoffrey John Davies' Early Life in Australia
Geoffrey grew up in Brisbane, Australia attending pre-college studies at the Queensland Conservatorium Music School.
He graduated from The Queensland Conservatorium of Music and the Queensland University of Technology with a dual Bachelor's degree in both Music Performance and Business Communication.
He worked in senior advertising and marketing roles within the financial services industry in both Australia and the UK before founding The Violin Channel platform in 2009.
"There’s a part of me that will probably always consider myself a musician — albeit one who hasn't practiced in 10,000 days. These days, I like to think I have far better ears than hands," Geoffrey John Davies recently told the Classical Post.
It has been noted numerous times that three of the biggest innovating forces in classical music in the last decade have all originated from the relatively small city of Brisbane, Australia — The Violin Channel, violin soloist and social media personality Ray Chen, and Internet superstars Brett Yang and Eddie Chen of TwoSet Violin.
“It must be a spur of creativity coming from Brisbane,” Ray Chen said, “I think it's just being relatable. We Australians are just super-chill people. For so long, classical music has been perceived as uptight, reserved, and conservative. People might have been in a bubble before, but the Internet has expanded their vision.”
“How the Founder of The Violin Channel, Geoffrey John Davies, Built a Media Brand for Classical Music” - Jonathan Eifert, Classical Post, November 22, 2021
Geoffrey John Davies' Career in New York
Geoffrey worked in senior advertising and marketing roles within the financial services industry in both Australia and the UK before founding The Violin Channel in 2009.
"I founded The Violin Channel back in May 2009, rather innocently, to be honest," he recently said. "There was no initial game plan or blueprint. Around that time, YouTube was starting to be a major online contender for content, and I simply wanted to upload a violin video to share. The sign-up process on YouTube asked me to 'Please name your channel: The ________ Channel.' And, so I did."
Geoffrey left Australia for New York City in the summer of 2011, with 17,000 The Violin Channel Facebook followers, and giving himself a year to find either a job in advertising or make a go of his promising classical music brainchild.
"In just three days, several big strings companies were buying advertising space on a website that had yet to be built, because they believed in my vision, and I had the confidence to think I could do this,” Geoffrey recently told Patrick Folliard from The Washington Blade.
Across our site, as well as via English and Chinese social media channels, the app, site and email newsletter, The Violin Channel, now in November 2021, has well over 1,000,000 daily followers and subscribers.
The 2018 Menuhin Competition in Geneva received in excess of 10,000,000 video views through The Violin Channel’s social media streaming platforms.
Geoffrey John Davies was recently named by Musical America magazine as "One of the 30 Most Influential Arts Professionals In The World."
Davies has also previously been invited as a contributing feature writer for BBC Music Magazine.
The Violin Channel Vanguard Series
In 2020, in collaboration with New York’s Kaufman Music Center and The Alphadyne Foundation, The Violin Channel co-produced the 10-episode online Vanguard Concerts Series, which ran weekly from February to April. The series, included performances by star musicians Joshua Bell, Philippe Quint, Charles Yang, Tessa Lark, Kevin Zhu, Nathan Meltzer, Sophia Bacelar the Dover Quartet, and The Junction Trio and accumulated over 4.3 Million online views, and was featured in The New York Times.
The first season of The Violin Channel Vanguard Concert Series was filmed in November 2020 in New York City during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and was streamed internationally online from February to April of 2021.
The series was co-executive produced by The Violin Channel Chief & Editor Geoffrey John Davies in collaboration with producer Charles Letourneau and series Creative Director David Katzive.
Each episode was shot in high definition 4K with seven cameras at the Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Hall and produced with a 41-foot-long and 11.5-foot-high background curved LED wall, customized for each performer.
"Our series was created with the sole purpose of helping artists during this time of crisis. Not only are we paying them real fees for their performances, but we are also creating the ultimate promotional materials and giving the artists the right to use them at no cost in perpetuity" Geoffrey John Davies said.
“The Violin Channel and Alphadyne Foundation to Launch Virtual Vanguard Concerts” - A.A. Cristi, Broadway World, February 10, 2021
New York Magazine described the Vanguard Concerts as "a new series that tries to combine the visual polish of a high-tech medium with the excitement of live performance, complete with sweaty brows, passionate grimaces, and the scrape of bow on string.”
“When The Violin Channel called me about this opportunity, it sounded unbelievable. I was given an almost paralyzing level of freedom and a most incredible team of artistic visionaries that brought any of my creative whims to life… and we were all paid to do it. This was a dream come true, regardless of the fact that it happened during the pandemic,” violinist Tessa Lark said.
“We are so thankful to The Violin Channel for creating this exciting series," violinist Stefan Jackiw, who appeared in the first season as part of the Junction Trio said. "The shutdowns of live concerts, while absolutely necessary to save thousands of lives, have posed difficult challenges for the performing arts. So, it’s heartening to see The Violin Channel leading the way in forging new paths for musicians to bring their work to listeners.”
The second season of The Violin Channel Vanguard Concerts is currently in final editing and is set for release in early 2022. A live touring series is also planned.
The lineup for the second series will feature Augustin Hadelich with Joyce Yang, Francisco Fullana with Pablo Sainz Villegas and JP Jofre, Leila Josefowicz with John Novacek, Xavier Foley, Matt Lipman with Stella Chen, Alexi Kenney, Timothy and Nikki Chooi, The Viano String Quartet with Rodolfo Leone, Simone Porter and Blake Pouliot, and Vadim Gluzman with Janice Carissa.
For the second Vanguard Concerts series, Geoffrey encouraged the musicians not to perform the standard repertoire. “I asked them to play works they’re really incredibly passionate about," he said.