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Alison Bauld : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Concert (piano with pre-recorded sound) by Alison Bauld, from the CD Contemporary Australian piano music

Photo of Alison Bauld

Alison Bauld was born in 1944 in Sydney. While studying piano with Alexander Sverjensky at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, she was awarded a gold medal in her final AMEB exams in 1959.

Her interest in performance was later directed towards theatre when in 1961 she studied drama at the National Institute of the Dramatic Arts (NIDA). Combining her skills as musician and actress during studies for a B.Mus. Degree at Sydney University, she was awarded the university's Sydney Moss Travelling Scholarship and came to England to study composition with Elizabeth Lutyens and Hans Keller. A Ralph Vaughan Williams bursary for composition enabled her to complete a doctorate at York University in 1974.

In 1973, One Pearl, for string quartet and voice, won her a place at the Paris Rostrum where it had been submitted by the BBC. Several radio commissions followed, including Van Diemen's Land for a cappella choir, broadcast with the BBC Singers in 1976 as the first music theatre experiment in quadraphonic radio. A Gulbenkian Dance Award for composition enabled her to observe and be attached to several major dance companies including London Contemporary Dance and the Royal Ballet.

Her compositions gain their dramatic structure by mixing elements of theatre with musical forms that emphasise the voice. As part of the millennium celebrations, The Spitalfield's Festival commissioned Pluto, a theatrical chamber work for soprano, female chorus and the basic instrumental forces of Holst's The Planets.

A sequence of songs with Shakespearian text reveals her firm interest in lied, the form of composition she finds most satisfying. Banquo's Buried, for high mezzo soprano and piano has been sung at major international singing competitions, opera houses, and has been recorded by Elizabeth Campbell and Anthony Fogg for an Anthology of Australian Music. Along with several of her vocal works, Novello of Music Sales has published three volumes of a piano tutor called Play Your Way in which she expounds the credo that mistakes can be used to stimulate musicianship, errors being an important tool of compositional and performing technique.

She has also completed a novel, Mozart's Sister, having written a separate fictional diary on the internet as Nannerl Mozart. These diary entries in blog form were broadcast in weekly episodes throughout 2006 on The Music Show by the ABC, Radio National, as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of Mozart's birth and were staged as a Concert for Mozart's Sister in December, 2006 at Australia House, London, with singer, Sally Burgess as Nannerl, Alison Bauld as the spoken voice of Nannerl and the pianists, Piers Lane and Kathron Sturrock, as the keyboard Mozart and Nannerl.

Alison Bauld lives in London with her family, composing, writing and teaching American students on abroad programs.

Biography provided by the composer — current to February 2007

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Queen Margaret, she-wolf of France : a dramatic scena for soprano voice and piano (2003) Commissioned with funding from the Mietta Foundation and with assistance from Peter Kolliner in memory of Mietta O'Donnell
Portia, confess and love : a song for soprano voice and piano (2003) Commissioned by Helen Noonan with funding from Sally Romanes and family in July, 2003
The Death of Cleopatra : for high mezzo-soprano and piano (2002) Commissioned by Carol Bishop