Alison Bauld was born in 1944 in Sydney and studied piano with Alexander Sverjensky at the Conservatorium of NSW from 1956 – 1960 before attending the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) as a drama student from 1961-1962. After graduation she toured NSW with The Young Elizabethan Players throughout 1963, performing in Shakespearian productions of The Tempest and A Midsummer-Night’s Dream as well as taking part in ABC television and radio drama.
After completing a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Sydney in 1968, she came to England on a Sydney Moss Travelling scholarship to continue studies with Elisabeth Lutyens and Hans Keller. A particular interest in music-theatre led to a doctorate in composition at the University of York in 1974 and a Gulbenkian Foundation Dance Award to observe Ballet Rambert, London Contemporary Dance, Scottish Workshop and the Royal Ballet. As part of her attachment, she improvised keyboard music for the ballet, Inanna, in a multi-track recording to be performed by Scottish Workshop at the Traverse Theatre for the Edinburgh Festival in 1975.
Throughout 1975 to 1978, Bauld was Music Director at the Laban Centre for Dance, working with dance students as their composer in residence, repetiteur and teacher. From 1984 – 2005 she was a music lecturer for several American Universities whose students were studying on abroad programmes in London and for whom she wrote a brief guide to Western Music History. Her interest in music education led to a Novello & Company commission to write a three-volume piano tutor, Play Your Way (1992), in which she explores the credo that musical mistakes can be used as a creative tool in development as both composer and performer.
In 2006, her novel, Mozart’s Sister based on the life of Nannerl Mozart, was published by Alcina Press in the UK and by Port Campbell Press in Australia. To accompany the book, she wrote a diary in blog form as the fictional Nannerl Mozart. The blog was subsequently recorded by the Australian Broadcasting Commission and read by her in weekly episodes for the ABC’s The Music Show in 2006.
In 2020, during Covid-19 restrictions, Alison Bauld took part in voice workshops using a series of online presentations to students at the Guildhall School of Music on ten of her Shakespearean settings for voice and piano and voice with string quartet. This was part of the Shakespeare in Song Project, organised by Professor Lana Bode.
Biography taken from composer’s website.
Photo: Ross Chatfield