By: Montse Andreu

One would think that the so long fought for equality of the sexes should have reached the adequate levels with respect to the chances that women have to succeed in the field of alternative musics. This is not so. And nevertheless, there are women who have devoted part (or all) of their careers to electronic, experimental composition, who have a great deal of talent. The objective of this series is to make some of these names known to the interested readers.

This Australian composer specialized in experimental music, born in 1944 in Sydney, received her musical education under Alexander Sverinsky at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, and was awarded a gold medal from the Australian Music Examinations Board for her work with the piano in 1959. Strongly attracted by the theatre, she continued her studies at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, which led her to become a professional actress specializing in Shakespeare. Likewise, she has worked for television and several radio productions. Later on she completes her education with the Bachelor of Music Degree at the University of Sydney, at the same time continuing with her work for the radio, as well as composing music for theatre productions. Awarded the University of Sydney Moss Travelling Scholarship, she travels to England in 1969 to continue her studies with Elisabeth Lutyens and Hans Keller. In 1974 she gets a Doctorate in Composition at the University of York. Her composition "One Pearl" for string quartet and voice comes to be a finalist at the 1973 Radcliffe Competition, a work that later on will give her a place at the Paris Rostrum, thanks to the fact that the BBC submitted it. Since then the artist has been commissioned several works by the BBC among other institutions, where the composer explores the quadrophonic effects of the radio like for instance in her work "Van Diemen Land" (for soloist voice and a cappella choir), multi-track techniques in a scene of Richard III (for string quartet and voice), as well as the mixing of radiophonic sound effects with orchestra, singers and actors in her cantata, "Once Upon a Time", among other works. Joining in 1974 the Rambert, The Royal Ballet, Scottish Workshop, and the London Contemporary Dance Company, thanks to the award she received for composition, the Gulbenkian Dance Award, a year later she becomes the Musical Director of the Laban Centre for Dance, at the Goldsmiths College, from the University of London. Alison Baud has developed furthermore an important pedagogical task, as seen in the publication of three volumes of a tutorial for keyboards and composition titled "Play Your Way", a work where she supports the theory that mistakes can be used to learn if one does so in a creative way. Married and with two children, settled in London, Bauld does not limit herself to creating music, she also has explored such terrains as writing, painting and teaching. Her music has been published by Novello & Co.

A Canadian composer born in Oshawa, Ontario,  she studies music in Toronto, with Aladar Ecsedy, Gordon Hallett and Weldon Kilburn, even though she began teching herself.Specializing in composition with John Weinzweig, she gets a composition scholarship from the Royal Conservatory of Music (1957-58), Toronto, and studies the flute with Keith Girard. She does post-graduate studies on Composition with Lukas Foss and Aaron Copland in Tanglewood (1958), as well as with Goffredo Petrassi and Bruno Maderna in Europe (1959-62). Her musical style has evolved from her student days with the neo-classical forms she used to favor then, going on to serial works, improvisation, collage and other New Music techniques, although her main interest lies in electroacoustic music ever since her first contact with this medium in the early 1950s. Among her works mention must be made of "From Dreams of Brass" (1963-64), where she uses tape generated at the the analogue studio of Columbia-Princeton University, plus plentiful orchestral resources. Following the technological progress of our days, she has also completed a digital piece, "Evocations: Images of Canada" (1991). she uses technological resources somehow or other in more than 20 of her works, also combining it with acoustic instruments. Besides her work as a composer, Beecroft also is a  programmer, producer, commentator and documentarist for the CBC, particularly devoting her skills to programs on New Music and electroacoustic music. This versatile woman also is an arts administrator and co-founder of the New Music Concerts, having been the President and General Manager for over 20 years. She has been awarded numerous prizes and grants, among them the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award del Canada Council twice. She is a member of several associations, among them SOCAN, Canadian League of Composers and the American Federation of Musicians.

ESSENTIAL WORKS: Musical Theatre and Multi-media: "Hedda" (1982-83). Orchestra: "Hemispherics" (1990), "Jeu de Bach" (1985). Orchestra with soloist instrument(s): "From Dreams of Brass" (1963-64). "Jeu IV" (1991). Chamber: "Cantorum Vitae" (1980). "Collage '76" (1976). Choral: "The Living Flame of Love". Electroacoustic: "The Dissipation of Purely Sound" (1988). "Evocations: Images of Canada" (1991).


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