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Betty Beath : Represented Artist

...the rich experience of life, the associations with those who encouraged, and stimulated thought have offered a wide vision giving opportunities for growth...

Random Audio Sample: Points in a journey (unspecified voice with chamber ensemble) by Betty Beath, from the CD River songs

Photo of Betty Beath

Artist website: http://www.beathcox.com


Betty Beath is an Australian composer, pianist and educator: formerly as the head of music at St. Margaret's Girls' School, Brisbane, and as a lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. She has produced much work in orchestral, chamber and instrumental music, art song and music drama.

Beath's work has been broadcast and performed in recital and theatre presentations in Australia and internationally. Her orchestral works have been performed by the Ruse Philharmonic (Bulgaria), Moravian Philharmonic (Czech.Republic), Portland Symphony (USA), Tasmanian Symphony, Queensland Philharmonic and Queensland Symphony Orchestras.

Born in Bundaberg, Queensland, Beath began her musical training at the age of three. By the age of seventeen she had won many eisteddfod competitions and had twice been a finalist in the ABC Concerto Competition. A Queensland University Music Scholarship took her to the Sydney Conservatorium where she studied with Frank Hutchens. Later she graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium, specialising in piano and voice.

In 1974 Beath was awarded a Southeast Asian Fellowship by the Australia Council to carry out research in Bali and Java. Since then she has developed a strong and enduring interest in the music and arts of Indonesia. In 1994 her orchestral tone poem Asmaradana was programmed in a Music of Australia concert given during the Trade and Cultural Mission in Jakarta by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

In 1984, sponsored by the Fellowship of Australian Composers, Betty represented women composers of Australia at the 3rd International Congress on Women in Music in Mexico City. She served for many years on the Executive Board of the International League of Women Composers and is currently serving as the State Adviser in Music for the National Council of Women of Queensland Inc.

Recent works include a cycle for voice and instrumental ensemble Towards the Psalms, settings of texts selected from the novel Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels. This work was commissioned by the Brisbane Writers Festival 2004 and premiered by The Southern Cross Soloists. Beath's recent work for solo piano, Merindu Bali was programmed in a series of international memorial concerts performed by Ananda Sukarlan, dedicated to the victims of the Bali terrorist attacks.

Beath's work is recorded by Tall Poppies, Vienna Modern Masters, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Fellowship of Australian Composers and JADE. Her music can be accessed through the Australian Music Centre and biographical information appears in a number of publications including The New Groves Dictionary of Women Composers and Contemporary Composers (St. James Press).

She believes the rich experience of life, the associations with those who encouraged, and stimulated thought have offered a wide vision giving opportunities for growth. These have nurtued, given sustenance and the ability to believe that a life in music is truly a vocation.

Biography provided by the composer — current to February 2006

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
River songs : soprano voice with orchestra Commissioned for performance in a Meet the Composer concert.
River songs : soprano with ensemble Commissioned for performance in a Meet the Composer concert.
Digital sheet music sample Askesis : mezzo-soprano voice with piano Originally written for soprano Jan Delpratt and cellist Gary Williams
Abigail and the rainmaker : treble choir with piano The School's Commission made a Grant of $500.00 to the composer to assist financially during the preparation of this work which is the second in the 'Abigail' series.
Lament for Kosovo : adagio for strings : string orchestra This work grew out of a commissioned piece 'Lament for Kosovo' which I wrote for The Sydney Mandolins in 1999.
Lagu lagu manis II : chamber orchestra Commissioned by Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra.

Analysis & Media

Book: Women of note : the rise of Australian women composers / Rosalind Appleby.

- Video: First man in outer space, by Betty Beath

- Video: Fratelli Minore, from Poverello

- Video: Merindu Bali...Bali Yearning

- Video: Nawang Wulan

- Video: In this garden

- Video: Yunggamurra River Spirit by Betty Beath

- Video: Il Poverello (selections from)

- Video: Asmaradana by Betty Beath

- Video: The puppet maker, music of Betty Beath

- Video: Betty Beath plays her solo piano works Didjeridu and Earth Spirit (from Dreams and Visions), illustrations by David Cox

- Video: Lagu lagu manis

- Video: Night Songs 1 & 2 for solo alto and solo bass recorders

- Video: Manusia pertama di angkasa luar, from Indonesian Triptych

- Video: Lament for the victims of war

- Video: Piccolo Victory, Images of Colonial Australia, by Betty Beath

- Video: Lagu lagu manis by Betty Beath

- Video: From a quiet place, for viola and piano, by Betty Beath

- Video: 'River Mother, River Child' and 'Boy and the River' from River songs