Madeleine Dring: Lady Composer is a biography that examines the British composer's life and music, supported by extensive archival research and
primary sources. With London at its center, the story of Dring’s life follows
her through formal training in the Junior Department of the Royal College of
Music, the horrors of World War II, the lively atmosphere of revues in the West
End, the lack of recognition during her final years, and her premature death
from a brain aneurysm at the age of fifty-three. Her contributions to the
diverse musical worlds of popular song, serious music, radio, and television
are surveyed, with attention to the qualities that characterize her distinctive
musical style. The narrative arc is compelling: education as a classical
composer, success on the popular stage, return to “serious” composition, and
death when her art was at the highest level. An underlying theme is the
encouragement and success Dring experienced in a profession that is typically
the domain of men. Her achievement as a composer is due to the excellence of
her music, which is increasingly being appreciated for its imagination and sophistication,
as evidenced by numerous performances and recordings.
Reviews‘A fulfilling and insightful book on multiple levels that will appear to anyone interested in the byways of light music as well as to those wishing to make a study.'
Dan Adams, The Magazine of the Light Music Society
'Wanda Brister and Jay Rosenblatt have done a meticulous job bringing Dring's remarkable story to life... This welcome new biography sheds light on an iconoclastic composer's brilliant musical mind, and compels us to reconsider her compositional output. The lady composer Madeleine Dring certainly deserves our greater attention.'
Stephen Caplan, The Double Reed
'This thoroughly researched collaboration is a valuable addition to the literature about Madeleine Dring.'
Debra Greschner, Journal of Singing
'Madeleine Dring, Lady Composer, is a work that should be acquired by all music libraries and read by all. It is an inspiring and thoughtful account of a remarkable person and a true creative.'
George Caird, Double Reed News
'In Madeleine Dring: Lady Composer the authors have managed to convey the successful life of a working freelance woman composer. [...] An unbelievable amount of effort was obviously expended by the authors to trace and document her unpublished and unrecorded work but the best and most moving part of the book is the personal writing about daily life, music, art and war by the young Madeleine Dring.'
Erin Hackel, Kapralova Society Journal