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Women of Note: A Century of Australian Composers

This International Women’s Day (March 8), ABC Classic is releasing Women of Note: A Century of Australian Composers – the first in a new series celebrating Australian female composers.

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 Boydlooked 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-Cherninis 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 andOlivia 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.

TRACKLISTING

CD 1

MIRIAM HYDE 1913–2005
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat minor (1934)
1 I. Allegro
2 II. Lento
3 III. Allegro scherzando
Miriam Hyde piano, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Simon conductor

DULCIE HOLLAND 1913–2000
Piano Trio (1944)live recording
4 I. Allegro non troppo
5 II. Fast
6 III. Allegro maestoso
Eggner Trio

PEGGY GLANVILLE-HICKS 1912–1990
Etruscan Concerto (1954)
7 I. Promenade
8 II. Meditation
9 III. Scherzo
Caroline Almonte piano, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Richard Mills conductor

CD2

MARGARET SUTHERLAND 1897–1984
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1960)
1 I. Allegro
2 II. Adagio
3 III. Allegro
Leonard Dommett violin, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Patrick Thomas conductor

ANNE BOYD b. 1946
4 As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams (1975)
The Contemporary Singers,
Antony Walker conductor

ELENA KATS-CHERNIN b. 1957
5 Russian Rag (1995 / 1996)
Sydney Alpha Ensemble,
David Stanhope conductor

MARIA GRENFELL b. 1969
Di Primavera (Of Spring) (1998 / 2001)
6 I. Lively and steadily
7 II. Rubato, espressivo
8 III. With energy and bounce
Claire Edwardes marimba,
Karin Schaupp guitar

SALLY WHITWELL b. 1974
9 Road Trip (2012)
Sally Walker flute, Sally Whitwell piano

KATE MOORE b. 1979
10 Fern (2012)
Ensemble Offspring

NICOLE MURPHY b. 1983
11 Spinning Top (2016)
Benaud Trio

BRENDA GIFFORD b. 1965arr. Jessica Wells
12 Bardju (Footprints) (2017)
Ensemble Offspring

OLIVIA BETTINA DAVIES b. 1988
13 Crystalline (2018)
ACO Collective

Release
Music can change lives. For almost 20 years, the Hush Foundation has been working with renowned Australian artists to create music of joy and calm – originally to support children in hospital, and now enjoyed everywhere from concert halls to living rooms. In this latest offering from the Hush series, pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci present music that can bring optimism even in the toughest times.The Hush Foundation, under the inspirational leadership of physician Professor Catherine Crock AM, transforms the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff through music and the performing arts. It has produced 17 albums, bringing some of Australia’s finest performers and composers together in collaborative partnerships that engage with the lived experience of people in the health system and other stressful environments. Hush albums are played not only in hospitals, but also in aged care, palliative care and childcare facilities to reduce stress and anxiety. Community and international orchestras also play music composed for Hush. In 2014, Hush’s contribution to Australian music was acknowledged with the APRA/AMCOS Award for Excellence.Gathering of Kindness recognises the power of the small acts of kindness and respect that build trust and create a sense of safety and security in difficult and challenging situations. ‘When we ask patients, their families and those working in healthcare “What matters to you?”’ says Professor Crock, ‘the single word at the top of the list is kindness.’Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci wrote the music on this album with the Hush ‘family’ firmly in mind. ‘We hope they serve at least one of music’s purposes in life, and that is to help calm our fellow humans in times when things aren’t going so well. Music can do this superbly. It can also give us joy, can foster kindness and a sense that, ultimately, everything will be all right.’ This latest album has been named after the healthcare events Hush has hosted since 2016. The Gathering of Kindness bring people working in health and aged care together to talk about ways kindness can flourish in their organisations and services. These events are being hosted throughout November at metro, regional and rural healthcare organisations across Victoria, and include live performances of Hush plays and music, healthcare book launches and panels, narrative and a range of self-care workshops, as well as updates on new research being undertaken. Hush is also hosting a ticketed event at KPMG in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November.›Pianist / composer / critic / author / academic / educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Tony has composed and performed alongside other renowned musicians Australia-wide and internationally. His numerous accolades include membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contribution to music.Peter Petrucci is one of Australia’s leading jazz guitarists, recognised for his virtuosity and lyricism in improvisations and artful compositions. He has released eight albums – the latest, They Know That We Know, in August 2019. Peter has performed locally and internationally supporting distinguished musicians and has appeared at numerous international jazz festivals, in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta, Stonnington and Queensland Jazz Festivals. TRACKLISTING 1 All Things Good2 Anthem3 Calm4 Autumn Lullaby5 Quiet6 Spring Town7 It’s Up to You8 A Little Folk Song9 Essence10 Truth and Beauty11 The Softness of Air12 The Smile Peter Petrucci guitar – Tony Gould piano Tks 1-3, 5, 8, 10-12 composed by Tony Gould.Tks 4, 6, 7 and 9 composed by Peter Petrucci.