Born Dec. 29, 1912 in Melbourne, Australia, Peggy Glanville-Hicks was, until recently, virtually unknown in her native country. In 1931 she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London, where she studied composition, piano and conducting with the cream of British musical life: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arthur Benjamin, Constant Lambert, and Malcolm Sargent. A traveling scholarship sent her to Vienna in 1936 to study with Egon Wellesz and to Paris for sessions with Nadia Boulanger. From 1942 to 1959, she lived in the United States, becoming active as a resourceful and inventive concert organizer, and as a brilliant music critic for the “New York Herald Tribune”, where her colleagues were Virgil Thomson, Lou Harrison and Paul Bowles. After leaving New York, she settled in Greece before returning to Australia in the mid-seventies. Her own music took on an international aspect in its use of Arabic, Hindu, and Aegean folk music, and many of her major works were recorded by producer Ed Cole for the MGM Records label, a pioneering enterprise in the 1950s.
After undergoing brain surgery, Glanville-Hicks retired to her home in Sidney Australia where Charles Amirkhanian recorded a rare interview with the composer, in May of 1986. During their conversation, of which extensive segments are included in this program, they touched upon a wide range of topics, including her stint as a New York City music critic, her travels, and her music. Although the audio quality of the interview is not pristine, this chance to hear the erudite Glanville-Hicks reminisce about her career is absolutely priceless.