Australia has always punched above our weight musically, our female musicians especially – Nellie Melba, Joan Sutherland and Eileen Joyce in particular loom large among the finest musicians of the twentieth century. But beyond these celebrated performers, the history of Australia’s female composers is equally outstanding.
Miriam Hyde, Dulcie Holland and Margaret Sutherland were hugely influential in the early years of Australia’s musical development. Peggy Glanville-Hicks and Anne Boyd looked beyond our borders to the musical traditions of other cultures, and sought to find a place for Australia among the community of musical nations.
Elena Kats-Chernin is a phenomenon unto herself, arguably Australia’s most popular and best known composer. Yuin woman Brenda Gifford brings insights from her Indigenous culture to the Western classical tradition. And composers such as Sally Whitwell, Maria Grenfell, Kate Moore, Nicole Murphy and Olivia Bettina Davies represent the myriad ways in which classical music is developing in the 21st century.
This compilation is a fascinating journey through the history of Australian composition, highlighting just how much of that history has been written by women.
1-3. Miriam Hyde – Piano Concerto No. 1
4-6. Dulcie Holland – Piano Trio
7-9. Peggy Glanville-Hicks – Etruscan Concerto
1-3. Margaret Sutherland – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
4. Anne Boyd – As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams
5. Elena Kats-Chernin – Russian Rag
6-8. Maria Grenfell – Di Primavera
9. Sally Whitwell – Road Trip
10. Kate Moore – Fern
11. Nicole Murphy – Spinning Top
12. Brenda Gifford – Bardju (Footprints)
13. Olivia Bettina Davies – Crystalline