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date: 22 August 2019

Maconchy, Dame Elizabeth locked

  • Hugo Cole
  •  and Jennifer Doctor


(b Broxbourne, Herts., March 19, 1907; d Norwich, Nov 11, 1994). English composer of Irish descent, mother of Nicola LeFanu. The only musician in her family, she began to compose when she was six. She received her musical education at the RCM (1923–9), studying composition with Charles Wood and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Throughout her student years, she was strongly encouraged to pursue a compositional career by her teachers, by the college director and by a circle of peers, who included her lifelong friends, Grace Williams, Dorothy Gow and Ina Boyle. During this period, she became acquainted with Bartók's music, an important influence on the development of her own style.

In 1929 Maconchy won an Octavia Travelling Scholarship which took her to Prague, where she had lessons with K.B. Jirák; her music first came to public attention when her Piano Concerto was performed there by Ervín Schulhoff in spring ...

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