The Life and Work of Percy Aldridge Grainger: Till Life Become Fire
What goes into the making of a creative genius and how can their gifts be used to help uplift humankind? These were questions that led the Australian/American pianist, composer, and music educator Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882-1961) to exhaustively document his life, his thoughts, and his associations and establish in the country of his birth a museum dedicated to helping answer those questions. Grainger was a creative genius who thought more in terms of the future than of the present and was an advocate for the role that music can play in creating a more harmonious and loving future for humankind. This book is the first attempt to bring together in one volume the details of Grainger’s life as they relate to his music using his own words and those of the people who knew him. It makes use of many heretofore unpublished documents and musical examples and is written in such a way as to be accessible to all while also offering a detailed study of his musical works.
Teresa Balough, an adjunct professor of music history at Eastern Connecticut State University, has been studying the life and work of Percy Grainger for many years, since the publication of her Complete Catalogue of the Works of Percy Grainger in 1975. She has appeared in the CBC Grainger documentary, The Noble Savage, delivered the annual Grainger lecture at the University of Melbourne, given a plenary address on Grainger and world music to the International Society of Music Education world conference, and published four books and numerous essays, articles and monographs on Grainger. Her PhD thesis from the University of Western Australia was on The Essential Grainger: Percy Grainger’s Kipling Settings. Her most recent publication is Distant Dreams: The Correspondence of Percy Grainger and Burnett Cross, 1946-60.
"In The Life and Work of Percy Grainger, Teresa Balough presents a portrait of the man alongside a study of his compositions and pianism, drawing on an impressive array of autobiographical documents, memoirs, thought-pieces, sketches, and manuscript scores to argue for the nobility as well as the breadth of Grainger’s vision. This is an elegant, thoughtful and enthralling account of one of the twentieth century’s most inventive and far-sighted artists, whose life, in all the intensity of its relationships and the urgency of its creative impulses, remains endlessly fascinating."
Suzanne Robinson University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
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