Oliver Davies studied at the Royal College of Music, where he won the Tagore Gold Medal as outstanding student of his year and for many years was both a piano professor and Keeper of the Department of Portraits and Performance History (which he founded).
His playing career has covered many styles, from recordings, recitals and broadcasts on early pianos to modern British premières at the Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls. As a chamber-music player he has appeared with many distinguished artists including the flautists Sir James Galway, Michael Cox and Philippa Davies, and the clarinettists Colin Bradbury and Dame Thea King. He is particularly known for his programmes on special themes, including scholarly reconstructions of historical concerts (for Aldeburgh and the BBC), surveys of the musical histories of great British houses, and re-assessments of historically significant composers and performers. Further reconstructions have been of period balls (the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A), melodramas (the Theatre Museum) and silent film scores (The National Film Theatre).
Ongoing projects include The Great War and the Violin (2014-) and Great Violinists at Drury Lane (Theatre Royal Drury Lane, 2016-), both with violinist Robert Gibbs, and a double CD with cellist Adrian Bradbury of the operatic paraphrases of Alfredo Piatti.
He is also Acting Curator of the Museum of Music History.