Elizabeth Maconchy

Composer. Born 19 March 1907. Died 11 November 1994
Elizabeth Maconchy
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1907-03-19
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/a3eb5bc9-9abd-4023-a113-18800515d379
Elizabeth Maconchy

Elizabeth Maconchy Biography (BBC)

It was at the Proms in 1930, with the premiere of her orchestral suite The Land, conducted by Henry Wood, that Elizabeth Maconchy established her name as a composer of individuality and inventiveness.

Although born in England, she was of Irish descent and started to compose at the age of 6. She studied at the Royal College of Music with Charles Wood and Vaughan Williams. At the college she had to struggle against the prevailing prejudice against women composers; she was denied the Mendelssohn scholarship on the grounds that once she was married she would cease composing and that, as a woman, she would not find a publisher.

However a different award enabled her to continue her studies in Prague with Karel Jirák, where her first major work, the Piano Concerto (1928) was performed. Far from giving up composing after her marriage to the medical historian William Lefanu (their second daughter is the composer Nicola Lefanu), her career steadily embraced all genres.

At the core of her compositions is the series of 12 string quartets written between 1933 and 1979. They demonstrate the major musical influences on her of Bartók and Janácek, as well as exemplifying the tightly knit thematic integration of her music derived from short, pithy motifs which are then developed using her natural flair for countrapuntal writing. Overall, chamber pieces form a major part of her legacy as recognised by the award of the Cobbett medal for services to chamber music.

Her operas include The Sofa (1956–7) and The Departure (1960–61, rev. 1977). The cantata Héloïse and Abelard (1976–8) is her major large-scale choral achievement and among orchestral works are the overture Proud Thames (1952–3), Symphony for Double String Orchestra (1952–3), Serenata concertante for violin and orchestra (1962), and Music for Strings (1981–2), which have been recently re-released on CD. Frequently writing to commission, she showed flair in composing music for amateurs, as in the children’s opera The King of the Golden River (1975, rev. 1976).

Maconchy made important contributions to British musical life, for example as the first woman chairman of the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain, and she succeeded Britten as President of the Society for the Promotion of New Music. She was made a CBE in 1977 and a DBE a decade later. She summed up her approach succinctly: ‘Writing music, like all creative art, is the impassioned pursuit of an idea.’

Profile © Andrew Burn

Elizabeth Maconchy Biography (Wikipedia)

Dame Elizabeth Violet Maconchy LeFanu DBE (19 March 1907 – 11 November 1994) was an English composer of Irish heritage.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Elizabeth Maconchy Performances & Interviews


Featured Works


Elizabeth Maconchy Tracks

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Elizabeth Maconchy
Music for brass and woodwind
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Music for brass and woodwind
Elizabeth Maconchy
Proud Thames
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Proud Thames
Elizabeth Maconchy
Serenata Concertante
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Serenata Concertante
Elizabeth Maconchy
Concertino no.2 for clarinet (1st mvt)
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Concertino no.2 for clarinet (1st mvt)
Elizabeth Maconchy
Proud Thames
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Proud Thames
Elizabeth Maconchy
String Quartet No.13 (Quartetto Corto, 1984)
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String Quartet No.13 (Quartetto Corto, 1984)
Elizabeth Maconchy
The Departure - opening scene
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The Departure - opening scene
Elizabeth Maconchy
This Day
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This Day
Elizabeth Maconchy
Nocturne for Orcestra
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Nocturne for Orcestra
Elizabeth Maconchy
String Quartet No. 3
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String Quartet No. 3

String Quartet No. 3

Ensemble
Hanson String Quartet
Elizabeth Maconchy
There is no rose
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There is no rose

There is no rose

Performer
Choir
Chapel of St John's College Choir
Elizabeth Maconchy
Two Dances from Puck Fair for orchestra
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Two Dances from Puck Fair for orchestra
Elizabeth Maconchy
Symphony for Double String Orchestra (2nd mvt)
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Symphony for Double String Orchestra (2nd mvt)
Elizabeth Maconchy
String Quartet No.2
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String Quartet No.2
Elizabeth Maconchy
Music for Strings (2nd mvt)
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Music for Strings (2nd mvt)
Elizabeth Maconchy
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 15
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String Quartet No. 3, Op. 15
Elizabeth Maconchy
String Quartet No.2
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String Quartet No.2

String Quartet No.2

Ensemble
Hanson Quartet
Elizabeth Maconchy
Sirens' Song
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Sirens' Song
Elizabeth Maconchy
Music for Strings (3rd mvt)
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Music for Strings (3rd mvt)
Elizabeth Maconchy
Music for Strings (4th mvt) Finale: Allegro
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Music for Strings (4th mvt) Finale: Allegro
Elizabeth Maconchy
Music for Woodwind and Brass (Be in the Audience)
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Music for Woodwind and Brass (Be in the Audience)
Elizabeth Maconchy
Ophelia’s Song
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Ophelia’s Song

Ophelia’s Song

Performer
Jess Carmody
Andrew Middleton
Last played on
Elizabeth Maconchy
Proud Thames
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Proud Thames
Elizabeth Maconchy
Romanza for viola and chamber ensemble
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Romanza for viola and chamber ensemble
Elizabeth Maconchy
Concertino for piano and chamber orchestra
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Concertino for piano and chamber orchestra
Elizabeth Maconchy
Music for brass and woodwind
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Music for brass and woodwind
Elizabeth Maconchy
The Land - suite
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The Land - suite
Elizabeth Maconchy
Symphony for double string orchestra [1953]
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Symphony for double string orchestra [1953]
Elizabeth Maconchy
Overture: Proud Thames
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Overture: Proud Thames
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