The Scottish composer-cellist Marie Dare was born at Newport-on-Tay, in Fife. She studied cello at the Guildhall School of Music in London, with William II. Squire, J. Warwick Evans and Charles Crabbe. She won the instrumentalists' gold medal and two composition prizes. At the end of World War I, as a teenager she was soloist in a Victory concert at the Royal Albert Hall, in the presence of Queen Alexandra.
Dare then went to Paris tor further cello study with Paul Bazelaire, also studying composition with Benjamin Dale and winning a Society of Women Musicians prize with her Piano Trio. She made her professional solo debut at London's Aeolian Hall; her recital career, which embraced such European capitals as Vienna, Prague and Budapest, included a notable Aeolian Hall concert devoted to her own compositions, in which she performed as both cellist and pianist.
During World War II Dare was a Petty Officer in the Womens' Royal Naval Service; she was nevertheless still heard in public performances, not least in aid of charity. After the war she became principal cellist of the Reid Orchestra, Edinburgh; she was for many years a member of the Scottish Trio, and also became a proficient double bass player. She joined the staff of the RSAMD as a cello teacher, and coached youth orchestras in double bass. She is universally remembered as a very shy, "private" person but of great charm and warmth; in contrast, some of her music reveals a great depth of passion.
Her compositions are attractive and idiomatic, and include solo and choral vocal works, both secular and liturgical; piano pieces; and a quantity of orchestral and chamber music including a published arrangement for four cellos of a Schubert extract. Of her six original compositions for cello quartet, separately written over a period of years, only the Elegie was published (by Chester Music) ; the remainder are held, with the majority of Dare's other MSS, in the archive of the Scottish Music Information Centre.
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