ARTICLE | 07 SEPTEMBER, 2023
Madeleine Winefride Isabelle Dring (7 September 1923 – 26 March 1977) was an English composer, pianist, singer and actress. Her main influences were her first favourite composer, Sergei Rachmaninov, Francis Poulenc, and jazz-adjacent works by people such as George Gershwin and Cole Porter. A number of her vocal pieces were re-published in the 1990s by Thames Publishing as a number of ‘Dring Volumes’. Many of her original scores are located at Royal College of Music, London, where she studied with Herbert Howells and, occasionally, Ralph Vaughan Williams. Dring was also an actress and was known to have a great sense of humour, writing of herself when asked to present a biography:
“Madeleine Dring was born on the moon and can therefore claim to be a pure-bred lunatic. Arriving on a speck of cosmic dust she came face to face with the human race and has never really recovered”— Madeleine Dring
7th September in Harringay, England.
Junior Royal College of Music
Joined the junior Royal College of Music on scholarship, studying violin and piano.
Continuing her studies
Studied composition with Leslie Fry, Stanley Drummond Wolff, and Sir Percy Buck, and piano with Lilian Gaskell. She later studied with Herbert Howells and Ralph Vaughan Williams and stopped her violin lessons after her tutor, W. H. Reed’s death.
Married London Symphony Orchestra principal oboist, Roger Lord.
First pieces published with Lengnick and Oxford.
Gave birth to a son.
Died of a cerebral haemorrhage and was buried at Lambeth Cemetery.
“The Drowsy Tidgit”
Dring often drew cartoons in her manuscripts and notebooks, several of which were published in Ro Hancock-Child’s Madeleine Dring: Her Music, Her Life.
Hancock-Child, Ro, Madeleine Dring: Her Music, Her Life, 2nd Edition (UK: Micropress Music, 2009)
Brister, Wanda and Jay Rosenblatt, Madeleine Dring: Lady Composer, (South Carolina: Clemson University Press, 2020)
Listen/watch some of our favourite picks…
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