Thea Musgrave, composer, is interviewed by Lauren Laverne for Desert Island Discs.
Composer Thea Musgrave celebrated her 90th birthday this year, an event marked by celebrations and concerts around the world, including the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival. She has published more than 150 compositions, including major orchestral works and numerous operas, and continues to write every day.
Thea was born in Edinburgh in May 1928, and still has sharp memories of hearing news of the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. She learned the piano as a child, but had ambitions to become a doctor. She began medical studies at the University of Edinburgh, but after struggling with the sciences, she switched to the music department, which happened to be in an adjacent building. In the early 1950s, she spent four years studying composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris before moving to London and establishing herself as a prominent member of British musical life.
In 1970 she became Guest Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1971 she married the American opera conductor Peter Mark, and she has lived in the United States since 1972.
She was awarded a CBE in 2002, and earlier this year she was presented with The Queen's Medal for Music.
Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Sarah Taylor