ELIZABETH MACONCHY (1907 - 1994)
Born in Hertfordshire on 19 March 1907, Elizabeth Maconchy benefited from many of the strides that Smyth had taken on behalf of women composers. Studying at the Royal College of Music from 1923 to 1929, she was encouraged in her aspirations by her teachers Charles Wood and Ralph Vaughan Williams. In 1930 her orchestral suite The Land was performed at the Proms, launching a hugely successful career that eventually saw her reputation spread across Europe, America and Australia. She was made chair of the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain in 1959 and of the Society for the Promotion of New Music in 1976. In 1987 she followed in Smyth’s footsteps when she was awarded a DBE. She died in Norwich on 11 November 1994.
– Caroline Waight