Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912 – 1990) is one of Australia’s greatest musical success stories. The intrepid composer left her native Melbourne for the hallowed halls of the Royal College of Music in London, where she studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams and befriended Yehudi Menuhin. During the 1940s this unconventional, pipe-smoking redhead enjoyed a vibrant double career in New York, writing hundreds of music reviews for the New York Herald Tribuneand dominating cultural life as a woman in what was thought of as a man’s field .

In her will, she bequeathed her terrace house in Paddington, Sydney, as a residence for Australian and visiting overseas composers and musicians. Marshall McGuire, Elena Kats-Chernin, Andrew Ford and Paul Stanhope count themselves among those who have benefited from time in the Composers’ House.

McGuire explains what makes Peggy Glanville-Hicks so special and why he is presenting an all-Peggy program for the Australian National Academy of Music’s Australian Voicesconcert series.

You must have come to Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ music through her Harp Sonata which you’ve recorded on two different albums. D o you think the work deserves to be part of the major harp repertoire of the twentieth century?