Ann Carr-Boyd has been involved in music and its many manifestations all her life. Born into a family of professional musicians, she studied piano from an early age with her father Norbert Wentzel and violin and viola with her Uncle, Charles Wentzel. She obtained the first Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Sydney, with 1st class honours, and followed this with a Master of Arts, presenting a thesis on the first hundred years of European musical development in Australia, 1788 to 1888. Her first formal composition studies took place in London with Peter Racine Fricker and Alexander Goehr, as recipient of the Sydney Moss Scholarship from Sydney University. Her early works received performances in London and in 1964 she was one of four finalists in the British Patron’s Fund competition, established to foster composition of new orchestral works.
Returning to Sydney in 1967 she continued her involvement with music, which has embraced such areas as broadcasting (many series of programs about Australian music and music history); teaching at universities and schools, as well as privately, and contributing to publications including the Australian Dictionary of Biography and Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Her compositions cover a broad genre and in 2008, her 70th birthday celebrations reflected this in a series of concerts and compact discs produced throughout the year. Performances included the Romance for Flute and Orchestra as part of the Aurora Festival; performances with the Wollongong Symphony Orchestra of the Piano Concerto No 2, new chamber works composed for the Sydney Symphony Fellows performed in concerts at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith, in programs which also included her piano and vocal music. Her piano music, vocal and chamber music, were also performed at concerts in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, and in Canberra and Goulburn. A performance featuring Four Generations of Music was held in July at the State Library of New South Wales. Her composition for mandolin ensemble, Fandango, was voted one of the top 100 works, in ABC Classic FM’s survey of chamber music.
(Photograph by Geraldine Jackson)
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