Wanda Brister and Jay Rosenblatt
Madeleine Dring: Lady Composer is a biography that examines the British composer’s life and music, supported by extensive archival research and primary sources. With London at its center, the story of Dring’s life follows her through formal training in the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music, the horrors of World War II, the lively atmosphere of revues in the West End, the lack of recognition during her final years, and her premature death from a brain aneurysm at the age of fifty-three. Her contributions to the diverse musical worlds of popular song, serious music, radio, and television are surveyed, with attention to the qualities that characterize her distinctive musical style. The narrative arc is compelling: education as a classical composer, success on the popular stage, return to “serious” composition, and death when her art was at the highest level. An underlying theme is the encouragement and success Dring experienced in a profession that is typically the domain of men. Her achievement as a composer is due to the excellence of her music, which is increasingly being appreciated for its imagination and sophistication, as evidenced by numerous performances and recordings.
About the Authors
Wanda Brister is Associate Professor at Florida State University where she teaches voice and sacred vocal literature. Jay Rosenblatt is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Arizona.