1st Edition

The Symphony in Australia, 1960-2020

By Rhoderick McNeill Copyright 2023
    276 Pages 98 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Symphony remained a major orchestral form in Australia between 1960 and 2020, with a body of diverse and interesting symphonies produced during the 1960s and 1970s that defied the widespread modernist trends of serialism, electronic music and indeterminism that seemed harbingers of the symphony’s demise. From the late 1970s onwards, many Australian composers chose to work in styles that admitted modal and tonal melodic and harmonic elements with regular pulse. Major cycles of symphonies by Carl Vine, Brenton Broadstock and Ross Edwards began to appear in the late 1980s. Other prolific symphonists like Paul Paviour (10 symphonies), David Morgan (15 symphonies), Philip Bracanin (11), Peter Tahourdin (5), John Polglase (5) and many others demonstrated a revived interest in the form. This trend continued into the first two decades of the present century with symphonies by Matthew Hindson, Katy Abbott, Stuart Greenbaum, Andrew Schultz, Mark Isaacs and Gordon Kerry. This renewed interest in the symphony reflects similar trends in Britain and the United States. Rhoderick McNeill provides a comprehensive introduction to this large body of music with the aim of making the music and its composers known to concert- goers, music educators and students, conductors and music entrepreneurs.

    Introduction and acknowledgements Chapter 1. Modernism and Postmodernism: the Survival and Resurgence of the Symphony. Chapter 2. Established symphonists and the ‘Older Generation’ - 1960-1980. Chapter 3. The generation of the 1920s and 30s; serialists and proto-postmoderns - 1960-1980 Chapter 4. The symphony in Australia post 1980: post-modernism, style wars and the Australian Bicentennial 1988. Chapter 5. The symphonies of Carl Vine Chapter 6. The symphonies of Ross Edwards and Brenton Broadstock Chapter 7. Other symphonists of the 1940s/50s generation – Polglase, Bracanin, Conyngham, Issacs, Ford Chapter 8 The 21st century Symphony – composers of the 1960s and 70s generation: Hindson, Schultz, Greenbaum, Kerry and Abbott Chapter 9. Conclusion Appendix: A comprehensive annotated catalogue of symphonies by Australians.


    Professor Rhoderick McNeill is an Honorary Professor in the School of Creative Arts, University of Southern Queensland, Australia.