Mary Lucas

Woman Composer of Clarinet Music
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Mary Lucas (1882-1952) was a British 20th-century composer and pianist. She is remembered in the clarinet community for several works for clarinet and piano, as well as a woodwind quintet, a duet for clarinet and viola, and a trio for clarinet, viola, and piano.

Mary Anderson Lucas (1882 – 1952)

Mary Lucas, (born Mary Anderson Juler, 24 May 1882–14 January 1952),1 sometimes referred to as Mary Anderson Lucas, was an English composer and pianist.2 She wrote several works for the clarinet, but admittedly, they are difficult to find. Most of her music exists in manuscript form only, and, although it has changed hands many times over the years, much of it can now be found in the British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogues.

Her Lament and Rhapsody for clarinet and piano appear to have been recorded by Octacros Records sometime between 1934 and 1937,15 however, these recordings do not appear to be commercially available today. Records of performances of her music for clarinet can be found in the archives. Her Clarinet Sonata was revived in 2018 by Peter Ciglaris.

Lucas composed several works for orchestra and chamber ensemble including six string quartets.8 In 1934 and 1935 the Stratton String Quartet championed her music, performing her quartets at the London Music Club’s First Performance Society on 29 November 1934 at 22 Holland Park,9 and in January 1935 at the Blackheath Concert Halls.10 There was a BBC broadcast of the third quartet by the all female Macnaghten Quartet on 4 February 1936.11

Lucas had a special affinity for the clarinet, and may have encouraged her niece Pauline Juler (1914-2003) to become a professional clarinetist.12 Her Clarinet Sonata was written for Juler in 1938.13,14 Around this time she was also performing duo recitals with the clarinetist Rudolph Dunbar, and a recording of them playing her Lament for clarinet and piano was issued by Octacros Records in the late-1930s.[15] A performance of the impressionistic Circus Suite for orchestra, conducted by Henry Wood at the Royal Albert Hall on 4 July 1942, gave Lucus her Proms debut at the age of sixty.16

Recordings indicate that included in the collections housed in the British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogues are a woodwind quintet, a rhapsody for clarinet and piano, a Lament for clarinet and piano, the clarinet part only for “Variations,” with an apparent missing piano part. Locations of her duet for viola and her trio for viola and piano are currently unknown. Peter Ciglaris engraved a copy of her clarinet sonata for a performance held on April 18, 2019, and he can be contacted through his website or twitter.

Read her full biography at


Sonata | 1938
Clarinet, piano
Revived and Engraved by Peter Cigleris

Lament | before 1937
Clarinet, piano
British Library Archives

Rhapsody | before 1937
Clarinet, piano
British Library Archives

Variations |
Clarinet, piano (piano part missing)
British Library Archives

Woodwind Quintet | n.d.; in a collection dated 1933-34
Clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon, horn
British Library Archives

Duo for Clarinet and Viola | 1941
Clarinet, viola
Manuscript Location Unknown

Trio | 1939
Clarinet, viola, piano
Manuscript Location Unknown
Source: Lucas Collection

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  1. Wikitree: Mary Anderson (Juler) Lucas
  2. Obituary (three lines only), The Musical Times, Vol. 93, No. 1311 (May 1952), p 230
  3. NOTE: the sources say Dresden, but Albanesi settled in London from 1893 and taught at the Royal Academy of Music – see his obituary, The Musical Times, Vol. 67, No. 1005 (Nov. 1, 1926), p. 1037
  4. British Music Society. British Composer Profiles, 3rd Edition, 2012
  5. Greenwich Industrial History: Ralph Lucas (1876-1955)
  6. Sharp, Dennis; Rendel, Sally (2008). Connell, Ward and Lucas: Modern movement architects in England (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). ISBN 9780711227682. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  7. Paul Mellon Centre Archive
  9. The Times, 26 November 1934, p 10
  10. See The British Library, Music Collections, Programmes and handbills relating to Mary Anderson Lucas, [1].
  11. Radio Times, Issue 644, 2 February 1936, p 35-6
  12. ‘Pauline Rosemary (Juler) Richards (1914-2003)’, biography at WikiTree
  13. The Clarinet: Volume 11. International Clarinet Society, Idaho State University. Dept. of Music. 1983.
  14. The Clarinet Sonata was revived by Peter Cigleris and Martin Cousin in Weymouth on 10 February 2019.
  15. Michael Thomas: Octaras
  16. Jump up to:a b BBC Proms Archive
  17. The British Library, Music Collections, Programmes and handbills relating to Mary Anderson Lucas
  18. Jump up to:a b Colin Lucas biography, Dennis Sharp Archive, Yale University
  19. Jump up to:a b Ouspensky Today. Colin Lucas: a view of a creative life
  20. BBC Berkshire: Noah’s Boathouse Hits Troubled Waters
  21. BBC Radio 3: Essential Classics, 21 January 2019
  22. Romano Kate. ‘Mary Lucas and the Concrete Boathouse’, BBC Radio 3, 21 January, 2019
  23. WikiTree. ‘Gladys Amy (Gladys) Scrutton formerly Juler’
  24. The Musical Times, Nov. 1941, Vol. 82, No. 1185 (Nov. 1941), p. 413
  25. British Music Collection
  26. Musicalics Catalogue
  27. Lucas Collection: Concert Programmes
  28. Musical Times, 1 June 1928, p 549
  29. Pitfield, Spenser Simpson. British Music for Clarinet and Piano: 1880-1945 (Ph.D, University of Sheffield (2000), p 96
  30. Musical Times, May 1939, p 359
  31. Presto Music
Publication date:

This page was last updated 3/14/2021

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We are dedicated to the preservation and performance of music by women.


This website is primarily managed by Charlotte Kies, DMA.



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