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 Villiers Quartet, Ian Partridge and Lynne Dawson among others.
In July 2017, five weeks before she died, 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. This marked the beginning of a revival of interest in her music (featured as the cover story in the British Music Magazine in February 2020), with new 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, and posthumous premieres have included her sonata for piano duet Airs of the Seasons at St George's Bristol in 2018, and a set of songs for soprano and string quartet entitled The Spirit of Love in 2020. A CD of her complete works for string quartet is planned for 2021.
Click here for a selection of the existing recordings of her works.