A symphony for Australia: the 1951 commonwealth jubilee composers' competition

McNeill, Rhoderick J. (2010) A symphony for Australia: the 1951 commonwealth jubilee composers' competition. Quadrant, 54 (1-2). pp. 86-91. ISSN 0033-5002

Abstract

The 1950s marked a significant decade within Australian symphonic composition. In 1951 the Federal Government organised a Jubilee competition for symphonic composition open to composers of all countries of the British Commonwealth. This attracted 38 entries from Australian composers out of a total of 83. The adjudicators were Eugene Goossens, John Barbirolli and Arnold Bax, following a preliminary screening of entries by Goossens, Bernard Heinze and Edgar Bainton. Although much of this music is now unknown, two Australian composers Robert Hughes and Clive Douglas emerged from the competition with second and third prizes respectively. This event, as well as the growing strength of ABC orchestras in each state, seems to have been a catalyst for promoting symphonic composition in Australia. The admission of non-Australians into the competition was regarded by local composers as a major snub as similar competition for literature and art had been restricted to Australian residents. The author will trace the stages of the planning, reception and adjudication of this competition and its aftermath, with especial focus on the Australian entries.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Quadrant Magazine Ltd.
Depositing User: Dr Rhod McNeill
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Music
Date Deposited: 21 May 2010 10:51
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2014 02:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australian composers; symphony; Commonwealth Jubilee Composers Competition 1951
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190406 Music Composition
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950101 Music
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/7933

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