Musicians, Writers and Authors Letters series (EOLA, 2016.0034). 

This consists of two alphabetically arranged sections of letters (nine boxes): the first sequence of correspondence with musicians (A-Z by surname); the second section of  correspondence with writers and artists (A-V by surname).  There are also many other letters to be found in the Secretarial files relating to the Press.

Amongst the correspondence are letters from Bela Bartok, Nadia Boulanger, Thurston Dart (7 folders of correspondence, 1948-1970) Anthony Lewis (5 folders 1937-1968), Edith Sitwell and Ezra Pound. Sometimes photos are included with the letters.  Although for the most part the folders do not contain any of Hanson-Dyer’s own letters, often one can deduce the nature of the correspondence from the respondents’ reply.

Example of a Musician’s Letter

Vincent D’Indy

On a trip to Europe in 1924 Dyer asked Vincent D’Indy to provide a summary of the state of contemporary French music for Australians. Louise read D’Indy’s letter as part of a public talk on her overseas travels, to Melbourne Conservatorium alumni in March 1925, accompanied by musical examples played on a miniature gramophone given to her in France.  She also arranged for D’Indy’s letter to be read out by the French consul M. René Turck at an Alliance française evening the same year. D’Indy’s lecture gave a potted history of French music with all his known biases.   He did not focus on contemporary music as requested and what he did say about it in the conclusion of his letter must have made Dyer uneasy since it was insulting about the recent musical developments in France that she was becoming increasingly interested in.

“Madame, since you have asked me my views on our French music, you will permit me, whilst thanking you for affording me the opportunity of talking to your compatriots, to express to you, in a few words and with the utmost frankness, my opinion on the development of our art”

See the entire letter

EOLA, 2016.0034, Unit 5, 2016.0034.00103, 3-4.