Born in 1932, Ailsa Dixon began composing before reading music at Durham University, and later studied with Paul Patterson, Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.
Her works include a two-act opera, several pieces for string quartet, songs, chamber music and instrumental works including a sonata for piano duet.
Her compositions have been performed by the Brindisi Quartet, Ian Partridge and Lynne Dawson among others.
In July 2017 her anthem for choir, These Things Shall Be, was premiered by the London Oriana Choir at the Cutty Sark in London, as part of the Five15 project promoting work by women composers.
Ailsa died in August 2017. A tribute to her life and music formed part of a remembrance concert by the London Oriana Choir in November, together with a performance of These Things Shall Be. Since then, a revival of interest in her music has led to performances of choral, vocal and instrumental works in concerts in Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and London, and festivals from Romsey Abbey and Little Missenden to Brecon and the Wye Valley. New works are still being (re)discovered in her archive: 2018 saw the posthumous premiere of her sonata for piano duet Airs of the Seasons at St George's Bristol, and a set of songs for soprano and string quartet entitled The Spirit of Love will be premiered there in 2020. A recording of her complete works for string quartet is planned for 2021.