Peggy Glanville-Hicks: A Transposed Life

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Pendragon Press, 2002 - Music - 318 pages
Australian-born composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks, born in 1912, was trained in England and France, lived and worked in America, spent her declining years in Greece, and died in Sydney in 1990. Known as PG-H from her New York Herald Tribune byline, she was a distinguished journalist and passionate advocate of modern music during her long and influential career. Her own compositions include solo concertos, chamber music, four operas, and five ballets. Her life was an extraordinary story of riotous fun, cruel lovers, grueling poverty, earnest endeavor, and huge success, peopled by some of the leading performers, writers, and creative artists of her time. She was at the center of the maverick group of composers, Cowell, Cage, Harrison, McPhee, and Thomson. As this entertaining and highly informative biography shows us, her love life was disastrous, but her friendships were exalted.Her music followed what were then new paths, since pursued by others. Like many composers, she appropriated indigenous music at times and used it in a highly personal way. Never interested in postcard music, she was able to look past the exotica to see melody as a structural device, to shake off the tyranny of harmony in western music, and to promote the motor of rhythm which, to her, had become lost in the complexities of 20th-century composition.James Murdoch, author of several authoritative books on Australian composers and music, and founding director of the Australia Music Centre, was appointed PG-H's official biographer by the composer herself. This volume, spanning the artistically energetic 50s and 60s, is a gesture of both affection and respect for a significant figure too often overlooked by both music historians and feminists.
 

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Contents

Not Winsome Not Hicks
1
To Paris via Vienna
19
The Old World to the New
32
Paul Bowles
42
The Road from Rio
56
Presenting PGH
62
PostWar
73
A Radar for Musicality
82
by a womans hand
145
Nausicaa
157
The Presence of Owls
162
Havens and Ambushes
188
this woman composer
194
Callas is Sappho?
210
Dancing into the Darkness
224
Renewal and Affirmation
235

Liaisons Dangereux
90
Jamaican Hideaway
101
Bijoux de Famille
110
The Life in Her Men
119
A Transposed Life
128
The Stone Theater
136
The Last OneWay Ticket
246
Dramatis Personae
273
Discography
280
Filmography
288
Index
311
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