Meale, Richard (Graham)

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Meale, Richard (Graham)

Meale, Richard (Graham), notable Australian composer and teacher; b. Sydney, Aug. 24, 1932. He received training in piano, clarinet, harp, and theory at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney (1946–55). As a composer, he was autodidact. In 1960 he received a Ford Foundation grant and studied non-Western music at the Inst. of Ethnomusicology at the Univ. of Calif, at Los Angeles. From 1961 to 1969 he was on the music staff of the Australian Broadcasting Corp. He was also active as a pianist and conductor of contemporary music. From 1969 to 1988 he taught at the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the Univ. of Adelaide. In 1974 he received a senior fellowship in composition from the state government of South Australia. He was awarded an Australian Creative Fellowship in 1989. In 1971 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, and in 1985 a Member of the Order of Australia. By the 1960s, Meale was recognized as one of Australia’s principal avant-garde composers. His visit to France and Spain, as well as his study of Japanese ritual and theater music, was influential in his development as a composer. By the close of the 1970s, Meale made a profound change of course and became one of Australia’s leading composers of the neo-Romantic persuasion.


dramatic:VOSS, opera (1979–86; Adelaide, March 1, 1986); Mer de Glace, opera (1986–91; Sydney, Oct. 3, 1991); ballets. orch.: Flute Concerto (1959); Sinfonia for Piano, 4-Hands, and Strings (1959); Homage to Garcia Lorca for Double String Orch. (Sydney, Oct. 15, 1964); Images (Nagauta) (Adelaide, March 1966); Nocturnes for Vibraphone, Harp, Celesta, and Orch. (Sydney, April 1, 1967); Very High Kings (Sydney, Aug. 13, 1968); Clouds Now and Then (Perth, Feb. 1969); Soon It Will Die (Sydney, March 29, 1969); Variations (Brisbane, March 5, 1970); Evocations for Oboe, Chamber Orch., and Violin Obbligato (1973; Zürich, March 8, 1974); Viridian (Adelaide, May 18, 1979); Sym. (1994). chamber: Rhapsody for Violin and Piano (1952); Quintet for Oboe and Strings (1952); Rhapsody for Cello and Piano (1953); Horn Sonata (1954), Sonata for Solo Flute (1957); Divertimento for Piano Trio (1959); Flute Sonata (1960); Las Alborados for Flute, Violin, Horn, and Piano (1963); Intersections for Flute, Viola, Vibraphone, and Piano (1965); Cyphers for Flute, Viola, Vibraphone, and Piano (1965); Interiors/Exteriors for 2 Pianos and 3 Percussion (Adelaide, March 11, 1970); Wind Quintet (1970); Incredible Floridas (Homage to Arthur Rimbaud) for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (London, June 5, 1971); Plateau for Wind Quintet (1971); 2 string quartets: No. 1 (London, Feb. 1975) and No. 2 (Adelaide, March 12, 1980). piano:Sonatina patetica (1957); Orenda (1959); Coruscations (London, April 1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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