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The Lyrebird Press

The Lyrebird Press - Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre - was founded in Paris in 1932 by Melbourne patron of music Louise Dyer (1884-1962), and has been based in the Principality of Monaco since 1948. Louise Dyer’s main aims were to make available early music that had never before been published in scholarly edition, and to support young composers by commissioning and publishing new works. Her first project was to publish the Œuvres complètes of François Couperin (1668-1733) in time for the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death in 1933. The result was a twelve-volume edition that has since been acknowledged as a monument of fine scholarship, superb engraving, and artistic book design. With music ranging from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries, the emphasis of Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre’s catalogue has always been the publication of French music, particularly the harpsichord repertory of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In addition, Louise Hanson-Dyer and her second husband J.B. Hanson helped in various ways to further the careers of many contemporary composers from Australia, England and France; Georges Auric, Benjamin Britten, Joseph Canteloube, Peggy Glanville Hicks, Gustav Holst, Jacques Ibert, Vincent d’Indy, Darius Milhaud, Albert Roussel, and Margaret Sutherland were among the many artists she helped. The firm’s most significant publishing venture to date, the 25-volume series Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century, was completed in 1992 and is known all over the world as the definitive edition of the entire corpus of surviving fourteenth-century polyphony. The current series now nearing completion is the monumental Magnus Liber Organi, the musical repertoire of medieval Paris.

Louise Dyer is one of the great benefactors of music in the University of Melbourne; the University’s music library was renamed in her honour in 2006. To further her legacy to the University through the Hanson-Dyer trust established in 1986, the Faculty of Music is to become the successor to Éditions de l’Oiseau-Lyre and it is expected that the press will relocate fully to Melbourne within the next five years. As a first step, the Lyrebird Press has been established in the Faculty of Music and is laying out some of the new directions that the fully amalgamated operation will follow in decades to come. This is a major step in music publishing in Australia that will allow the University of Melbourne to become an important player in international musicological publishing.

More information about the Lyrebird Press and its publications can be found on the Lyrebird Press website -


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