James Penberthy

James Penberthy was a prolific Australian composer and his major works number over 100. Although he wrote in many different genres, his intense interest in the theatre resulted in 22 ballets and 11 operas, and it is in this body of work, which displays his strong dramatic and lyrical gifts, that his importance in Australian music lies.

James Penberthy was born in Melbourne in 1917 and received his early music training from his father. After attending the universities of Western Australia and Melbourne he became a schoolmaster where he taught music and formed orchestras. Following active war time service with the RAN, he obtained first class honours in composition at the University of Melbourne. He later studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in France and conducting with Sir John Barbirolli in England. For many years he worked in Western Australia where he founded the West Australian Opera Company and was co-founder of the West Australian Ballet Company.

He was a prolific composer and his major works number over 100. Although he wrote in many different genres, his intense interest in the theatre resulted in 22 ballets and 11 operas, and it is in this body of work, which displays his strong dramatic and lyrical gifts, that his importance in Australian music lies.

James Penberthy died on 29 March 1999.

Compositions by James Penberthy appear on

Reverberations

Composer

Originally released on two LPs and even quadraphonic tape in the early 1970s, this double CD set is a special limited edition re-issue of Reverberations One and Two, containing contemporary music for organ, brass ensemble, voices, didjeridu and electronics.