Success for long-awaited premieres
By Catherine Gough-Brady
ADELAIDE — The first Australian Composing Women Festival, held here September 20-22, heard works by Dulcie Holland, Miriam Hyde, Anne Carr-Boyd, Sarah Hopkins and many others.
It was an emotional experience: many of the works had never been publicly performed before. Among the premieres were works like Miriam Hyde's and Dulcie Holland's, which had waited as long as 50 years for their first performance!
With few exceptions (and despite the occasional performance betraying a lack of sufficient time for rehearsal), these were works of high standard, ranking with the best of mainstream classical music. This is all the more remarkable in that few of these composers had heard their music performed and benefited from the feedback that brings.
The festival was well attended by composers, musicologists and interested persons from around the country. Unfortunately — reflecting the discrimination that made a women composers' festival necessary in the first place — music critics of the commercial media largely ignored it.
For information on recordings of the festival, or about joining the women's composing network, call Becky Llewellyn on (08) 356 8582.