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Deborah Hayes

(b Melbourne, Australia, Dec 29, 1912; d Sydney, Australia, June 25, 1990). Australian composer, naturalized American. She was a major figure in American musical life as a New York–based critic, composer, and concert organizer from the late 1940s into the 60s. From 1960 she spent increasing amounts of time outside the United States, especially in Greece. In 1966 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 1930 at Melbourne’s Albert Street Conservatorium, where she studied with the conductor and opera composer Fritz Hart. In 1932 she won a scholarship to the RCM, where she studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams (composition), Arthur Benjamin (piano), and Constant Lambert and Malcolm Sargent (conducting). The award of an Octavia Travelling Scholarship (...