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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2021


Jane Manning's death, in March 2021, brought to an end a remarkable life and musical career, and it seems appropriate to celebrate that life with an extended tribute. TEMPO has always had a particularly close relationship with new music in Britain, where the journal is based, and Jane's work as a performer transformed the way in which musicians and audiences in Britain understood the technical and imaginative potential of new music. Her repertoire was enormous, and her interpretations of older music – Dallapiccola, Messiaen, Ravel, Webern – were wonderful, but it was as the creator of new work with living composers that she had such an extraordinary influence. What follows is an attempt to describe how that influence developed and to explain why it was so extraordinary.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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1 Nicholson, George, ‘Profile: Jane Manning’, Composer, 78, Spring (1983), p. 17Google Scholar. Between 1958 and 1987 Composer was the journal of the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain. I am indebted to George Nicholson for providing me with a copy of this interview.

2 Husler and Rodd-Marling's innovative and influential approach to vocal technique is preserved in their book Singing: The Physical Nature of the Vocal Organ (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1976)

3 Nicholson, ‘Profile: Jane Manning’, p. 18.

4 Ibid., pp. 18–19.

5 Nicholson, ‘Profile: Jane Manning’, p. 20.

6 Manning, Jane, New Vocal Repertory, volume 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 5662Google Scholar; New Vocal Repertory, volume 1 (also Oxford University Press) was published in 1994.

7 Manning, Jane, Voicing Pierrot (Amaroo: Southern Voices, 2012)Google Scholar, available as a PDF at

8 Manning, Jane, Vocal Repertoire for the 21st Century, volume 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Volume 2 contains ‘works written from 2000 onwards’, volume 1 (also published in 2020) ‘works before 2000’.