ABC Classics Commemorates International Women’s Day With A New Release

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Commemorating International Women’s Day today, ABC Classic is releasing Women of Note: A Century of Australian Composers. This double CD is the first in a new series of recordings, celebrating Australian female composers.

Australia has a celebrated history of women in music – Nellie Melba, Joan Sutherland, Yvonne Kenny and Eileen Joyce in particular, loom large among the finest musicians of the twentieth century. Beyond these celebrated performers, are celebrated composers like Miriam Hyde, Dulcie Holland and Margaret Sutherland, who were hugely influential in the early years of Australia’s musical development. Peggy Glanville-Hicks and Anne Boyd looked 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-Chernin is 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 and Olivia 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.

The tracks: CD 1

MIRIAM HYDE 1913–2005 :Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat minor (1934)/ Miriam Hyde piano, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Simon conductor

DULCIE HOLLAND 1913–2000: Piano Trio (1944) Live recording, Eggner Trio

PEGGY GLANVILLE-HICKS 1912–1990: Etruscan Concerto (1954)/ Caroline Almonte piano, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Richard Mills conductor


MARGARET SUTHERLAND 1897–1984: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1960)/Leonard Dommett violin, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Patrick Thomas conductor

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

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

MARIA GRENFELL b. 1969: Di Primavera (Of Spring) (1998 / 2001)/ Claire Edwardes marimba, Karin Schaupp guitar

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

KATE MOORE b. 1979:  Fern (2012)/ Ensemble Offspring

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

BRENDA GIFFORD b. 1965, arr. Jessica Wells: Bardju (Footprints) (2017)/ Ensemble Offspring

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

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