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Article

Peter McCallum

(b Rushworth, Victoria, July 27, 1903; d Melbourne, April 29, 1977). Australian composer and conductor. After initial training as a violinist, he studied at the Melbourne University Conservatorium with A.E.H. Nickson and Heinze, graduating in 1934; he completed the doctorate in 1958. Douglas made a major contribution as staff conductor for the Australian Broadcasting Commission for 30 years (Tasmania 1936–41, Brisbane 1941–7, Sydney 1947–53 as associate conductor to Eugene Goossens, Melbourne 1953–66), and played a pivotal role as conductor and musical adviser to the Commonwealth Film Unit, writing 25 film scores between 1947 and 1963. He also wrote two educational suites for army and school education, which enjoyed success in Canada and Ireland.

Douglas's historical significance lies in his skill as an orchestrator when such expertise in Australia was rare, and in his attempt to create a distinctly Australian music through the incorporation of Australian Aboriginal musical elements into an essentially European musical style (a musical counterpart to the Jindyworabak movement in Australian literature). While subsequent generations have seen such appropriation as at best naive, and at worst colonial, the movement represented an important, if ultimately unsuccessful, phase in the assertion of Australian cultural independence. His musical style is characterized by the clarity and colour of the orchestral textures, much use of rhythmic ostinatos, sinewy chromatic melodies and frequent parallel harmonic progressions, particularly in tritones, 4ths and 5ths. The use of Aboriginal elements in ...

Article

Noel Nickson

revised by Jeff Brownrigg

(Léon Marlois)

(b Melbourne, April 19, 1915; d Melbourne, July 27, 1963). Australian composer and critic. His father was French, and his mother Australian. He studied composition at Melbourne University Conservatorium and at the RCM (1938–9). In 1951, as a British Council Commonwealth Jubilee Music Scholar, he returned to England to study with Gordon Jacob. In 1950 he became music critic for Melbourne’s Argus and in 1957 for The Age. His career was marred by poor health, from 1951 seriously affecting his heart, but he continued to compose. He was subject to diverse influences: the English lyrical style popular in Australian instrumental music of the 1930s, light French wit and buoyancy, and the bitonality of early Stravinsky and later Bartók. This eclecticism is evident in the engaging Sinfonietta and the Symphony, a work of impressive drive and rigorous intellectual argument which Covell believed to be ‘the most accomplished and purposive symphony written by an Australian’. From ...

Article

(William Edward)

(b London, 1840; d London, April 1902). English conductor and composer. He worked first as a music hall pianist in London, then went to India (conducting a theatre company, c1875) and soon after settled in Melbourne. There he wrote criticism for The Age and composed three stage works. His first, Alfred the Great, written in collaboration with Fred Lyster (brother of W. S. Lyster), was an ‘extravaganza’ including arrangements of popular airs and set pieces, and the third, also incorporating airs, tended towards the genre of pantomime; between them came I due studenti (set in 16th-century Spain) which includes large concerted numbers but is chiefly dependant on monologues. In 1891 Plumpton returned to London and the next year was appointed conductor at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre; he composed numbers for the burlesque King Kodak (Terry’s, 30 April 1894) and later served as musical director at the Palace Theatre....

Article

Anne-Marie Forbes

(Bennicke)

(b London, England, Feb 11, 1874; d Honolulu, HI, July 9, 1949). English composer, conductor, and educator. From the age of 10 to 13 he was a chorister at Westminster Abbey under Frederick Bridge. Stanford was a formative influence during Hart’s years studying at the RCM (1893–6), although he was not a composition student. His close friends there included Holst, Coleridge-Taylor, Hurlstone, and, later, Vaughan Williams and Ireland. Hart began his career as a theatre conductor and was musical director for several touring companies before moving to Australia in 1909 on a conducting engagement under the management of J.C. Williamson. By 1913 he was lecturing at the Albert Street Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne, and with Alfred Hill founded the visionary but short-lived Australian Opera League. In 1914 Hart became director of the Albert Street Conservatorium, succeeding its founder, George Marshall-Hall. Nellie Melba was a staunch supporter of Hart and his institution and founded a school of singing there shortly after and the institution was renamed Melba Conservatorium. The voices attracted to the Conservatorium and to its opera school proved a potent stimulus to Hart’s creative talents....

Article

Deborah Hayes

(b Melbourne, Dec 29, 1912; d Sydney, June 25, 1990). Australian composer. She was a major figure in American musical life as a New York City critic, composer, and concert organizer from the late 1940s into the 1960s. From about 1960 she spent increasing amounts of time outside the USA, especially in Greece. In 1967 she underwent surgery in New York to remove a brain tumour; she recovered but virtually ceased composing. In 1975 she moved from Greece to Australia, where her music attracted renewed attention from performers and audiences. In 1987 the University of Sydney awarded her the honorary DMus.

She received her first training from 1927 at the Melbourne Conservatorium, where she studied with the conductor and opera composer Fritz Hart. In 1931 she won a scholarship to the RCM, where she studied with Vaughan Williams (composition), Arthur Benjamin (piano), and Constant Lambert and Malcolm Sargent (conducting). The award of an Octavia Travelling Scholarship (...

Article

Otto E. Albrecht

revised by Stephen Roe

This article is a fundamental revision of Otto Albrecht's comprehensive listing in Grove6 of collections of printed and manuscript music and letters of composers and musicians, libraries, books and theoretical works still in private hands. Instruments, collections of and Sound archives are treated elsewhere. Albrecht's division into two sections has been retained, though the parts are retitled ‘Current Collections’ and ‘Historical Collections’. The former records geographically collections in the process of formation and development, or which remain in the family of the original collector or have not yet reached permanent, public, institutional ownership. The second lists alphabetically collections since the late 15th century which have reached a final destination (as far as can be ascertained) or have now been dispersed. Political and market forces of the last 30 or so years of the 20th century have shown that it is not always an inexorable progress from the first to the second list and in some cases the reverse journey has been made. Bibliographical details are generally omitted in the second part; they may be found under the entry for the library where the collection is now located....