Madeleine DringLady Composer

Madeleine DringLady Composer

Wanda Brister and Jay Rosenblatt

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9781949979312

Publisher: Liverpool University Press


This book is the first scholarly biography of Madeleine Dring (1923–1977). Using diaries, letters, and extensive archival research, the narrative examines her career and explores her music. The story of Dring’s life begins with her formal training at the Royal College of Music, first in the Junior Department and then as a full-time student, a period that also covers her personal experience of events both leading up to and during the early years of World War II. Her career is traced in detail through radio and television shows and West End revues, all productions for which she wrote music, as well as her work as an actor. Dring’s most important contemporaries are briefly discussed in relation to her life, including her teachers at the Royal College of Music, professional connections such as Felicity Gray and Laurier Lister, and her husband Roger Lord. Her musical compositions are surveyed, from the earliest works she wrote as a student to the art songs she wrote in her last years, along with various popular numbers for revues and numerous piano pieces for beginning piano students as well as those suitable for the concert hall. Each chapter singles out one or more of these works for detailed description and analysis, with attention to the qualities that characterize her distinctive musical style.