Carr-Boyd, Ann (1938—)

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Carr-Boyd, Ann (1938—)

Australian composer. Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1938; daughter of Norbert (a teacher, composer, musician) and Nyora Wentzel (an artist); studied with Donald Peart at Sydney University; received her master's degree from Sydney University in 1963.

Won the Sydney Moss Scholarship and went to London where she studied with Peter Racine Fricker and Alexander Goehr; after writing several works, her orchestral composition Gold won the Maggs Award in Melbourne (1975) and was premiered by the National Training Orchestra; began composing for the harpsichord; broadcast a series of programs on women composers on Australian television (1980s).

Ann Carr-Boyd established her reputation with compositions written for the harpsichord. Speaking of her compositions Suite for Veronique and Lullaby for Nuck written for this instrument, the reviewer W.L. Hoffman noted, "the works played utilized the harpsichord, either as a solo instrument or in ensemble, and the harpsichord is still rarely heard as a transmitter of contemporary music. … The harpsichord, with its limited dynamic range and lack of tonal contrast, throws emphasis on the music, both in its content and in the playing of it." This creative departure was typical for Carr-Boyd whose approach to modern music was distinctly her own.

Her grandfather, a violinist, came to Australia from Bohemia in 1888 with the Cowen orchestra and appeared in a centenary celebration concert in Melbourne. He stayed on, and Carr-Boyd's father and uncle were founders of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She was born in Sydney in 1938 and completed her degree there before going on to London. Her String Quartet was performed at the Royal College of Music, followed by other performances. Carr-Boyd actively promoted the work of women composers and implemented a series of television programs on the subject. Known to sometimes lapse into jazz, her music could be lighthearted and entertaining.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia