No chronological history of music can be complete. Even an extensive biography of a single composer will have details missing, withheld, or unavailable; scores undated, works lost or destroyed, personal and educational experiences forgotten or overlooked, and memoirs selective. When one deals with hundreds of composers, these same problems are multiplied manifold.
A Chronological History Of Australian Composers And Their Compositions by Stephen Pleskun, is the first of a three-volume series that puts into historical perspective the works and experiences of generations of composers and their compatriots. It attempts to recount the history of classical music in Australia from the time it was proclaimed a Commonwealth (1901). The authors purpose is to reveal in as much detail as possible the classical musicmaking activities of those involved in any given year.
Pleskun focuses on composers and their compositions, the bulk of which is covered in A Chronological History Of Australian Composers And Their Compositions. However, composers do not exist in isolation, nor do they compose works purely for self-gratification. Thus, Pleskun has included in their stories the performers, educators, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and administrators who have played crucial parts in bringing aural visions to life and hence are an indispensable part of the music scene.