It is unfortunate to have to bring some sad news on this blog: on 9 February 2010 prof.dr. Malcolm Davies has passed away.
Davies studied the history of music at the University of Utrecht. He also worked as director of the music department of the International School in The Hague, and was very active as a conductor in the music scene. He became a member of lodge 'De Vlammende Ster' in The Hague in 1996 and went on to study the relationship between freemasonry and music.
Davies made a rich contribution to the field of study in a relatively short time. His dissertation The Masonic Muse. Songs, Music and Musicians Associated with Dutch Freemasonry: 1730–1806 was published in 2005 by the Royal Association for the History of Music (Koninlijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis). Twice he was rewarded an OVN research grant for follow up research on the subject, as he was preparing a second book.
In 2007 Davies was appointed as professor of the chair for 'Freemasonry as an intellectual current and socio-cultural phenomenon in Europe' at the Leiden University. He organized an international academic conference, 'The Expression of Freemasonry', in 2008, and was involved in plans for closer international cooperation between the chairs in the field of study.
The board of the OVN had a good working relationship with the Leiden chair, and recently made plans for closer cooperation with Davies in 2009. The field of study has lost a promising scholar, who made an effort to make Dutch scholarschip on freemasonry known in the international academic community. Our board members will miss him as an esteemed colleague, and our thoughts are with Davies' family and friends at this difficult time.
[Photo: Malcolm Davies in good spirits at the speakers' dinner, following the OVN conference 'Maçonnieke en Esoterische Collecties in Nederland' in 2007.]