2019 Redmond Barry Fellowship public lecture

University House, Professors' Walk


Beyond the Stave: A Biography of Australian Composer and Arts Activist Margaret Sutherland (1897-1984)

Dr Jillian Graham, 2018 Redmond Barry Fellow.

Dr Graham will present her research into the Australian composer Margaret Sutherland, who spent most of her life in Melbourne. Sutherland is an intriguing character from many perspectives. While it was acceptable for women to teach or perform music in the early years of the twentieth century, it was not thought that women were capable of writing good music. As early as the 1920s, Sutherland could be compared with contemporary composers in Europe and the USA who were reacting against aspects of the Romantic style of the nineteenth century. She produced around 200 works in her lifetime, mostly chamber and vocal/choral works, but also orchestral works, four for theatre and one opera. In addition to her contribution as a composer, Sutherland was a tireless advocate for Australian composers and for the arts in general in this country. The evening will also include a performance of Margaret Sutherland’s compositions.