Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1997. Royal octavo+, 25.8 x 18.2 cm, 608 pp., hard cover in red cloth, gilt titling on spine, colour dust wrapper with a front cover photo of Joan Sutherland in the title role of Donizetti’s Lucretia Borgia, buff-coloured printed music notation endpapers. Contents: Preface, Acknowledgments, Directory of Contributors, Abbreviations, Alpha Entries. Several reviews included at rear in a plain white sheet. Condition: book and wrapper fine, book binding tight, clean and bright. Item #980
In The Oxford Companion to Australian Music, Warren Bebbington compiled a major addition to the range of Oxford music reference books. It has more than 2,000 entries on individuals, noted composers and performers, music organisations, orchestras, teachers, critics, Aboriginal subjects, instrument makers, and critics, written by 180 contributors and illustrated with 177 black and white photographs. The volume also covers many other diverse categories and musical topics. Longer entries discuss historical and cultural contexts of Australian music, and musical works, genres and terms.
Born and educated in Melbourne, the book’s Editor, Professor Warren Bebbington, studied in New York as a Fulbright Scholar, becoming a full Professor and the youngest Dean at the University of Queensland at the age of 32. Subsequently, he became Director of the Victorian College of the Arts and Chair of Music Committees at the Australia Council for the Arts; and at the University of Melbourne, he rose from Dean to Pro-Vice Chancellor to Deputy Vice Chancellor, becoming Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide in 2012, retiring from that position in 2018. Among leading academics and critics who gave advance praise to Bebbington’s volume were Richard Bonynge, Sir Charles Mackerras and the British critic Michael Kennedy.