The music of Peggy Glanville-Hicks / Victoria Rogers.
Australian Artists Analysed in this Book
Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912-1990) is an Australian composer whose
full significance has only recently been appreciated. Born in
Melbourne, Australia, she transcended the gendered expectations
of her upbringing and went on to become a fine composer and a
highly influential figure in the vibrant musical life of New York
after the Second World War. Following early composition studies
with Fritz Hart in Melbourne, Glanville-Hicks moved to London
where she studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams, then to Paris
where she was taught by the great pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger. Her
migration to the USA in 1941 shaped the musical direction of her
late works. After a brief neoclassical phase, she joined the
small group of American composers who were using non-Western
musics as their inspirational well-spring, including Colin
McPhee, Alan Hovhaness, Lou Harrison and Paul Bowles. During this
period she also forged an illustrious career as a music
journalist and arts administrator, working tirelessly to promote
new music and the careers of young composers. In the late 1950s
she retreated to Greece to write 'the big works', most notably
the operas which lie at the heart of her creative output. Her
compositional career ended prematurely, and tragically, in 1967
following surgery the previous year for a life-threatening brain
tumour. Against all medical expectations she went on to live for
a further 24 years, returning to Australia in 1975 amidst a
dawning recognition that one of the country's most significant
composers had returned.
Glanville-Hicks's career as a composer is impressive by any measure. She produced over 70 finely-crafted works, including operas, ballets, concertos, instrumental chamber pieces, songs and choral works. The story of her life has been told in the biographies. This book traces the development of her musical language from the English pastoral style of the early works, through the neoclassicism of the middle period, to the melody-rhythm concept of the late works, at the same time locating her music within the broader context of twentieth-century art music and the problems of form, structure, content and direction that followed the breakdown of tonality at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Includes bibliograhical references and index.
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