Curator’s Blog

1952 Interview with Australian Composer Don Banks

The name of Australian composer Don Banks rang a bell when I came across it on one of Denzil’s interview tapes, recorded in the UK in 1952.

A little research on the internet quickly turned up a number of online biographies including one in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, written by another well known Australian composer, Larry Sitsky.

Don Banks was born in South Melbourne in 1923 and took up musical studies at the age of five. He undertook a diploma course at the Melbourne University Conservatorium of Music in 1947–49 and departed for the UK in 1950, which is where Denzil discovered him in 1952, keenly promoting his new venture, the Australian Musical Association, co-founded with Australian composer Margaret Sutherland.

Don Banks’ energy and enthusiasm is evident in this more than 60-year-old, yet remarkably preserved, reel-to-reel tape recording. I know people say that tapes wear out and you should digitise them for posterity, but these tapes of Denzil’s have lasted very well despite being stored for over 60 years in a variety of conditions, not all ideal.

Listen and enjoy Mr Banks from 1952 here (or find it on the Sound Bites page):

Listen Now: Click the play button on the audio player:

Download: Click here to download an mp3 (4mB).

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