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Thea Musgrave

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

Available now

40 minutes

Last on

Fri 12 Oct 2018 09:00

Music Played

  • Thea Musgrave


    Performer: Nicholas Daniel. Orchestra: Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Nicholas Kraemer.
    • Musgrave: Memento vitae, Helios, Night Music & The Seasons.
    • NMC Recordings.
    • 7.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Symphony No. 40 in G minor K. 550 - Molto allegro

    Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • Mozart – Symphonies nos. 36 & 4.
    • Philips.
    • 5.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No. 8 in F, Op. 93 - Allegro vivace

    Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • Beethoven – Symphonies 1, 2, 7 & 8.
    • Philips.
    • 8.
  • Claudio Monteverdi

    Scene V "Disprezzata Regina"

    Performer: Cathy Berberian. Orchestra: Concentus Musicus Wien. Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
    • L’incoronazione di Poppea.
    • Teldec.
    • 6.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    Le Sacre du Printemps - Les Augure Printaniers - Danses Des Adolescents

    Orchestra: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
    • Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps - Apollo.
    • EMI.
    • 11.

    • Thea Musgrave

      Opening - Mary's Lullaby

      Performer: Ashley Putnam. Performer: Gloria Capone. Orchestra: Virginia Opera Orchestra. Conductor: Peter Mark.
      • Mary, Queen of Scots.
      • Lyrita.
      • 5.
  • Richard Rodney Bennett

    Lady Caroline Lamb - Elegy for viola and orchestra (1972 Digital Remaster): II.

    Performer: Peter Mark. Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Marcus Dods.
    • Sir Richard Rodney Bennett: Murder on the Orient Express. Lady Caroline Lamb.
    • Mixed Repertoire.
    • 12.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Serenade for tenor, horn and strings, Op. 31 - Prologue

    Performer: Dennis Brain. Conductor: Sir Eugene Goossens.
    • Britten: Seranade- Les Illuminations - Nocturne.
    • Decca.
    • 1.

    An Anthology of World Poetry edited by Mark Van Doren


    Two packs of playing cards


  • Sun 7 Oct 2018 11:15
  • Fri 12 Oct 2018 09:00

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