GLASS, DUDLEY JACK (1899-1981), composer, pianist and author, was born on 24
September 1899 in North Adelaide, only child of Philip Joseph Glass,
waterproof-garment manufacturer, and his wife Jeannie Golda, née Glass. Barnet
Glass [q.v.9] was his grandfather. Dudley attended Melbourne Church of England
Grammar School, studied composition with Fritz Hart at the Albert Street
Conservatorium, East Melbourne, for two terms in 1918, and graduated (BA, 1920)
from the University of Melbourne. Already a prolific composer and lyricist, in
July 1925 Glass secured the performance of his Australia, Land of Ours in a
pageant marking the visit of the United States Pacific Fleet; this anthem was
adopted by the New South Wales and Victorian Education departments for use in
schools. Later that year he travelled to London, via New York, as the Melbourne
Herald’s musical and dramatic correspondent, and settled there.
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Australian Dictionary of Biography
Dudley Glass was born and educated in Australia and spent most of his working life living in England. He was a composer, musician, music journalist, broadcaster and lecturer who worked in England, Europe and the USA. He left Australia in 1925 but returned several times during his life.
He studied music at the Melbourne University Conservatorium and composition with Fritz Hart at the Albert Street Convservatorium. In 1925 he wrote Australia, Land of Ours, a work that was adopted in Victoria and NSW as a patriotic school anthem. Glass wrote most of his compositions in the 1920s and 1930s, during which period he composed his first operetta, The Beloved Vagabond. It premiered in London in 1927 and had a run of 127 performances. Frank Thring later produced it in Melbourne and Sydney in 1933, with Gladys Moncrieff in the soprano role.
Glass published over a hundred songs, piano pieces and choral works. His smaller compositions include a pageant to honour a visit to Australia by the United States fleet, and scores for two Australian films. Many of his songs were set for children, such as Edward Lear's Nonsense Songs and Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit. In 1952 he wrote an operetta, Drake of England, which was adapted for radio and broadcast by the ABC for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1954.
During the Second World War, Glass worked as a pianist-lecturer to Allied troops stationed in England. After the war he toured the United States giving similar lectures on music appreciation. For the rest of his life he worked as a lecturer and journalist. He became the London music and theatre correspondent for the Melbourne Herald and Adelaide Advertiser, and wrote feature articles for major English and American newspapers.
Glass was also an author of novels and children's books. In the 1930s he published The Spanish Goldfish, Australian Fantasy, and The Book about the British Empire.