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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 (...