English composer, actress, singer, pianist and cartoonist Madeleine Dring was born in London on 7 September 1923. From the age of ten she studied violin and piano in the junior department of the Royal College of Music, where she later studied composition with Stanley Drummond Wolff, Leslie Fly and Percy Buck. At senior level she studied composition (also at the Royal College) with Herbert Howells, and had the occasional lesson with Vaughan Williams.
Dring had a strong sense of fun and mischief, and she had perfect pitch. Her music is approachable, lyrical, unpretentious and varied. She avoided large forms, concentrating on songs, instrumental and chamber music, incidental music for theatre, drama and TV, and musical revues. She also wrote an opera, Cupboard Love, which was first performed in 1986, and a dance score, The Fair Queen of Wu. There was a considerable amount of music for oboe, including Dances for solo oboe, written for her husband Roger Lord, who was the London Symphony Orchestra's principal oboist.
Madeleine Dring died in London on 26 March 1977 from a cerebral hemorrhage, aged fifty-three. Ro Hancock-Child's book Madeleine Dring: Her Music, Her Life (Micropress, 2000, second edition 2009) was illustrated with cartoons from Dring's notebooks, and funded by a grant from Roger Lord.
A selection of M&V articles about Madeleine Dring
Ensemble. Unaffected Directness - A song recital by Curran Doherty and Edward Turner, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Me and my Aunts - A Shakespeare celebration, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Cogent Achievements - Peter Maxwell Davies' tenth symphony and other British music, heard by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Expertly Structured - Mike Wheeler was at a song recital by Richard Roddis and Philip Robinson
CD Spotlight. Featuring the Flute - A recital by Jeanne Baxtresser, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... lovely but relatively rarely heard pieces.'