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Richard Meale

richard meale, richard mealey obituary
Richard Graham Meale, AM, MBE 24 August 1932 – 23 November 2009 was an Australian composer of instrumental works and operas


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Music
  • 3 Awards and nominations
    • 31 APRA Awards
  • 4 References
  • 5 Bibliography
  • 6 External links


Meale was born in Sydney and studied piano with Winifred Burston at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, as well as clarinet, harp, music history and theory, before studying at the University of California, Los Angeles and other American institutions on a Ford Foundation grant

From 1969 to 1988 he was part of the music faculty of the University of Adelaide, South Australia

Meale was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire MBE in 1971 He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia AM in 1985

In 2000, Meale was conferred Doctor of Letters honoris causa by the University of New England in New South Wales

He died in Sydney on 23 November 2009


Initially firmly part of the avant garde amongst Australian composers, Meale experienced a stylistic rethink in the 1970s, abandoning an exclusively atonal approach in his orchestral work Viridian 1979 and his Second String Quartet 1980 for a polytonal approach, and in later works embracing a frank tonality, with fin-de-siècle overtones, whilst retaining an individual voice

He is best known for the 1986 opera Voss, with libretto by David Malouf based on the novel of the same title by Patrick White Malouf also collaborated with Meale on his second operatic project, Mer de glace 1986–91, a tableaux-like juxtaposition of some ideas of the novel Frankenstein alongside the real dealings of Mary Shelley with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron

Other works include Very High Kings 1968 and Incredible Floridas 1971

Awards and nominations

In 2011, Voss was added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Sounds of Australia registry

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association APRA

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2003 Three Miró Pieces – Richard Meale Best Composition by an Australian Composer Won
Three Miró Pieces Richard Meale – Sydney Symphony Orchestra Orchestral Work of the Year Won


  1. ^ a b c "Australia Council mourns Dr Richard Meale MBE AM" Australia Council for the Arts 23 November 2009 Retrieved 12 March 2010 
  2. ^ a b Plush, Vincent 24 November 2009 "Restless spirit found the music in Voss" The Australian Retrieved 12 March 2010 
  3. ^ It's an Honour
  4. ^ Australian Music Centre
  5. ^ National Film and Sound Archive: 'Voss' on the Sounds of Australia registry
  6. ^ "APRA History" Australasian Performing Right Association APRA Retrieved 17 November 2010 
  7. ^ a b "2003 Winners - APRA Music Awards" Australasian Performing Right Association APRA Retrieved 17 November 2010 


  • "Richard Meale – Abandoning Tonality" 2008 In Talking to Kinky and Karlheinz – 170 musicians get vocal on The Music Show ed Anni Heino, 263–268 Sydney: ABC Books ISBN 978-0-7333-2008-8

External links

  • Canberra School of Music Citation for an Honorary Degree
  • Richard Meale biography at the Australian Music Centre
  • 'Voss' was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry in 2011

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