She's been called a "British Gershwin" but perhaps a "British Poulenc" might more accurately describe the genial and graceful music of Madeleine Dring, a woman whose diverse and energetic creative life was cut short, when, at the age of 53, she died suddenly on today's date in 1977.
Madeleine Dring was born into a talented musical family in 1923, and she showed early promise. On her tenth birthday she won a scholarship to study at the Royal Conservatory of Music in London, and eventually studied composition with Herbert Howells, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Gordon Jacob. Dring was soon providing incidental music and songs for amateur and professional theatrics. She was also a gifted singer and actress, and performed occasionally on stage and television.
Dring married the British oboist, Roger Lord, and a number of her chamber works feature that instrument. This one bears the witty title, "Three-Piece Suite."
Six volumes of her songs were published after her death, largely through the persistence of her husband, and many of her other works have been published, performed, and recorded with increasing frequency, especially in the United States.
Sadly, Dring died just when women composers began to receive increasing attention from music historians, performers, and audiences worldwide. In the year 2000, a biography and study of Dring's career were published in England.
Music Played in Today's Program
Madeleine Dring (1923 - 1977)Three Piece SuiteCynthia Green Libby, oboe; Peter Collins, pianoHester Park 7707
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