As part of our #afemalecomposerday campaign marking International Women's Day, we highlight the life and work of composer Elizabeth Parker. 

Elizabeth Parker: Elizabeth began learning music when she was just four years old, but she was always more interested in manipulating sound for a purpose than performing on a stage in front of crowds.

Classical performer, studio manager, composer; Elizabeth Parker worked at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, as a pioneer for electronic music, for 18 years until its closure in 1998. During her career she has had over 1,400 commissions for TV and radio.

Best known for providing special sound for the BBC science fiction series Blake's 7, Elizabeth has also composed for high profile shows such as Doctor Who, Michael Palin’s Full Circle, and David Attenborough’s The Living Planet.

The BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Elizabeth's influence

Until its closure in March 1998, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop was one of the sound effects units of the BBC. It was created to produce incidental sounds and new music for radio and, later, television. Based in Maida Vale Studios, London, the workshop helped lay the foundations of much of today's music technology; the work of Elizabeth and her team inspired a generation of composers to manipulate sound in ways it had never been heard before.

Elizabeth Parker's British Music Collection profile can be found here.


Composer Profile: Elizabeth Parker

United Kingdom
51° 30' 26.4636" N, 0° 7' 39.9288" W