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Dorian Le Gallienne (1915-1963) : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Dance of the angels by Dorian Le Gallienne, from the CD Music for film


Born in Melbourne on the 19th April, 1915, Dorian Le Gallienne studied for a Diploma of Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium with A.E.H. Nickson. He continued his education in London, attending the Royal College of Music in 1938, where he studied under Herbert Howells and Arthur Benjamin. As the recipient of a Jubilee Scholarship, Le Gallienne also studied with Gordon Jacob in 1951. He taught composition himself at the Melbourne Conservatorium between 1954 and 1960.

Well-respected as a composer, Le Gallienne was also prominent as a music critic for the Melbourne newspapers The Argus and The Age from 1950 until his death in 1963. In this position he not only reviewed the professional concerts required of him, but also regularly attended and reviewed concerts by amateur and semi-professional groups such as the Astra Choir, the South Melbourne Orchestra, the Oriana Madrigal Choir and the Camerata Society, with the aim of encouraging musicians involved in music in the community.

He was very concerned at the low status of Australian composers and performers in Australia, and was able, through his position as critic, to draw attention to this problem by the publication of many articles and reviews. These articles seem to have had some effect on the broadening of concert programmes to include Australian music, as witnessed by changes made following the publication of an article by Le Gallienne entitled "Why Preference for 'Celebrities'?", which attacked the ABC for its lack of support for local music and musicians in the programming of subscription concerts (then being called 'Celebrity' concerts).

Having suffered from chronic ill health since 1951, Dorian Le Gallienne died in Melbourne on the 27th July, 1963.


Teacher/Influence on

John Carmichael

Analysis & Media

Book: One hand on the manuscript : music in Australian cultural history, 1930-1960 / edited by Nicholas Brown, Peter Campbell, Robyn Holmes, Peter Read & Larry Sitsky.

Book: The Australian symphony from Federation to 1960 / Rhoderick McNeill.

- Program note: Dorian Le Gallienne's "Sinfonietta"