Anne Boyd

(1946 - )


Anne Boyd was born in Sydney in 1946.  After her father’s death in 1949 she was sent to live with relations on “Maneroo”, a large sheep station outside Longreach in Queensland.  Her early childhood experiences, growing up in rural isolation, have affected her music in many ways.  Her Conservatorium was the bush.  By the age of nine she was a self-taught recorder player and an avid listener to “Mr Melody Man” on the ABC Children’s Hour to whom she sent her earliest compositions. 

After completing her secondary education at Hornsby Girls’ High, Anne Boyd went to the University of Sydney where she enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Music.  Her main composition teacher at this time was Peter Sculthorpe whose ideas on the importance of establishing an Australian identity in music and his interest and love for the music of South East Asia made an abiding impression.  An award of a Commonwealth Overseas Scholarship in 1969 made it possible for her to travel to the UK to undertake a D.Phil in Composition at the University of York, where her supervisors were Wilfrid Mellers and Bernard Rands.

In 1972 she was appointed Lecturer in Music at the University of Sussex, a post she held for five years before returning to her native Australia where she composed full time until 1981 when she took up an appointment as Reader and founding Head of Department of Music at the University of Hong Kong.  In 1990 she again returned to Australia to take up her appointment to Chair of Music at the University of Sydney.

Anne Boyd’s music is regularly performed world-wide.  The hallmarks of her musical style are its transparency, gentleness and delicacy – attributes which reflect her long involvement with Asian traditions especially those of Japan and Indonesia.

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