The Life and Music of Elizabeth Maconchy
Title Details

352 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

18 b/w, 65 music exx.

Series: Music in Britain, 1600-2000

Series Vol. Number: 32

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Life and Music of Elizabeth Maconchy

by Erica Siegel

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
The first full-length biographical study of Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-1994).

The British-born Irish composer (Dame) Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-1994) is best known today for her cycle of thirteen string quartets, composed over five decades. And yet, her oeuvre ranges from large scale choral works, to ballets, operas, and symphonic scores. Having studied with Charles Wood and Ralph Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music, many of her compositions also garnered accolades from peers and established musical figures such as Gustav Holst, Donald Francis Tovey, and Henry Wood, among others.

With access to a wealth of documentation previously unavailable, this book explores Maconchy's life and music within a greater consideration of the social and political context of the world in which she lived. While the influence of Bartók has been well documented, this book reveals the equally potent influence of Vaughan Williams on Maconchy's musical idiom. This book also discusses Maconchy's foray into administration and her advocacy of young composers through her work as the first woman to be elected Chairman of the Composers' Guild of Great Britain in 1959 and President of the Society for the Promotion of New Music following the death of Benjamin Britten in 1976. It will be required reading for those interested in the lives of women composers, twentieth-century British music, and musical modernism.
Introduction
1 An Unexpected Talent, 1907-23
2 The Royal College of Music, 1923-9
3 Prague, Paris, Vienna, and London, 1929-31
4 An Expansion of Style, 1932-5
5 A Growing Reputation, 1936-9
6 Darker Days Ahead, 1939-45
7 Balancing Motherhood and a Career, 1946-50
8 Glimmers of Hope, 1951-5
9 A Musical Block and an Operatic Solution, 1956-9
10 Administrative Diversions, 1959-66
11 Of Ageing and Critics, 1967-73
12 Recognition at Last, 1973-7
13 Sunset before Twilight, 1978-94
Epilogue
Chronological List of Works
Select Bibliography
Index

ERICA SIEGEL, PhD, is a music historian based in Northern California.

"This authoritative and intriguing book is both well-researched and generously illustrated. Erica Siegel writes with passion in an engaging, fluent and readable style. The book will appeal to lovers of Maconchy's music, devotees of English music and those with an interest in female composers." MusicWeb International
"Siegel traces her life from early childhood through her student days and then establishing herself as a serious composer of both large and small-scale works; all within the social and political context of her era. Her story is testimony to Maconchy's tenacity and resolve in a world dominated by male peers." AUSTA STRINGENDO

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Title Details

352 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

18 b/w, 65 music exx.

Series: Music in Britain, 1600-2000

Series Vol. Number: 32

Imprint: Boydell Press