Tate, Phyllis (Margaret Duncan), English composer; b. Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, April 6, 1911; d. London, May 27, 1987. She was a student of Harry Farjeon at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1928-32), and then devoted herself fully to composition. In 1935 she married Alan Frank. She was a composer of fine craftsmanship, excelling in works for voices and small ensembles.
dramatic: The Lodger, opera (1959-60; London, July 14, 1960); Dark Pilgrimage, television opera (1963); Scarecrow, operetta (1982). ORCH.: Cello Concerto (1933); Valse lointaine for Small Orch. (1941); Prelude, Interlude, and Postlude for Chamber Orch. (1942); Saxophone Concerto (1944); Occasional Overture (1955); Illustrations for Brass Band (1969); Panorama for Strings (1977). CHAMBER: Sonata for Clarinet and Cello (1947; Salzburg, June 23, 1951); String Quartet (1952; rev. 1982); Air and Variations for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano (1958); Variegations for Viola (1970); The Rainbow and the Cuckoo for Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1974); Sonatina pastorale for Harmonica and Harpsichord (1974); Seasonal Sequence for Viola and Piano (1977); 3 Pieces for Clarinet (1979); Prelude, Aria, Interlude, Finale for Clarinet and Piano (1981). Piano: Explorations Around a Troubadour Song (1973); Lyric Suite for 2 Pianos (1973). VOCAL: Nocturne for Soloists, String Quartet, Double Bass, Bass Clarinet, and Celesta (1946); Choral Scene from the Bacchae for Chorus and Optional Organ (1953); The Lady of Shalott for Tenor and Chamber Ensemble (1956); Witches and Spells for Chorus (1959); A Victorian Garland for Soprano, Contralto, Horn, and Piano (1965); 7 Lincolnshire Folk Songs for Chorus and Ensemble (1966); Gravestones for Voice (1966); A Secular Requiem for Chorus, Organ, and Orch. (1967); Apparitions for Tenor, Harmonica, and Piano Quintet (1968); Coastal Ballads for Baritone and Instruments (1969); To Words by Joseph Beaumont for Women’s Chorus (1970); Serenade to Christmas for Mezzo-soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1972); Creatures Great and Small for Mezzo-soprano, Guitar, Double Bass, and Percussion (1973); 2 Ballads for Mezzo-soprano and Guitar (1974); Songs of Sundrie Kinds for Tenor and Lute (1975); Si. Martha and the Dragon for Narrator, Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1976); Scenes from Kipling for Baritone and Piano (1976); All the World’s a Stage for Chorus and Orch. (1977); Compassion for Chorus and Orch. or Organ (1978); Scenes from Tyneside for Mezzo-soprano, Clarinet, and Piano (1978); The Ballad of Reading Gaol for Baritone, Organ, and Cello (1980).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire