Elizabeth Maconchy

Elizabeth Maconchy

born on 19/3/1907 in Broxbourne, Hertfortshire, England, United Kingdom

died on 11/11/1994

Elizabeth Maconchy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Dame Elizabeth Violet Maconchy Le Fanu DBE (19 March 1907 – 11 November 1994) was an English composer of Irish heritage.[1][2][3]

Early life

Maconchy was born in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and grew up in the English and Irish countryside.[4] She enrolled at the Royal College of Music in London at the age of sixteen studying under Charles Wood and Ralph Vaughan Williams.[4][5]

In 1932, Maconchy developed tuberculosis and moved from London to Kent.[1][4]

In 1930, Maconchy married William LeFanu with whom she later had two daughters.[3][5] Her first daughter, Elizabeth Anna LeFanu, was born in 1939, and her second daughter, Nicola LeFanu, was born in 1947.[1]


In 1933, Maconchy's quintet for oboe and strings won a prize in the London Daily Telegraph Chamber Music Competition, and was recorded by Helen Gaskel with the Griller Quartet soon afterwards on HMV Records.[6]


In 1959, Maconchy chaired the Composers' Guild of Great Britain, the first woman to do so.[5] In 1960, she was awarded the Cobbett Medal for chamber music.[5] She was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1977, and made Dame Commander (DBE) in 1987.[3][7][8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Doctor, Jennifer (2004). Maconchy, Dame Elizabeth Violet (1907-1994) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online (Jan 2008), Oxford University Press.
  2. Greene, David Mason (1985). Petrak, Albert M. Green's Biographical Encyclopedia of Composers. URL accessed 2012-12-17.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 (November 2012) Maconchy, Dame Elizabeth (Dame Elizabeth LeFanu) Who Was Who, online (December 2012), Oxford University Press, A & C Black. URL accessed 2012-12-27.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Staines, Joe (2010). Elizabeth Maconchy The Rough Guide to Classical Music, p. 320321, Penguin. URL accessed 2012-12-17.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 (1999) Maconchy, Elizabeth The Northeastern Dictionary of Women's Biography, 3rd, p. 347348, UPNE. URL accessed 2012-12-17.
  6. (1936) Darrell, R.D. The Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia of Recorded Music.
  7. Announcement of the Order of the British Empire (Civil Division): DBE, 13 June 1987, p. 6. URL accessed on 2012-12-27.
  8. Announcement of the Order of the British Empire (Civil Division): CBE, 31 December 1976, p. 9. URL accessed on 2012-12-27.
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