1-9 of 9 items

  • Abbreviation: "AusDB" x
Clear all

Article

Kay Dreyfus

(b Melbourne, Nov 6, 1884; d Sydney, Aug 14, 1956). Australian composer. She studied in Melbourne with Alicia Rebottaro and Mona McBurney. The majority of her 290 published songs were composed in England, where she lived from 1912 to 1939, and published by Allans, Enoch and Boosey. Her most enduringly popular songs (and two of her three musicals) were written in collaboration with Helen Taylor, notably I Passed by Your Window (1916) and Bless This House (1927–32). She wrote under nine pseudonyms, namely Stanley Dickson (Thanks Be to God), Mervyn Banks, Donald Crichton, Alison Dodd, Stanton Douglas, Eric Faulkner, Wilbur B. Fox, Henry Lovell and George Pointer. Her discography lists some 300 performances of 52 compositions, recorded by many great performers. It is however dominated by three songs: I Passed by Your Window, Down Here, and especially Bless This House, which continues to figure prominently in world record catalogues and appears to have attained a permanent place in the repertory. Brahe also wrote two operettas for children and four piano pieces....

Article

Elizabeth Wood

(b Boulogne, Jan 13, 1850; d Sydney, May 29, 1905). Australian musical director and composer of French birth. After lessons in Boulogne with the organist Alexandre Guilmant, he went to the Paris Conservatoire in the late 1860s. He subsequently became a violinist with the Jules Rivière orchestra at the Alhambra Theatre, London, for a year before touring the USA with the Theodore Thomas orchestra (1872–6). He left for Australia and appeared as conductor at the Melbourne Opera House in 1876, which led to his conductorship of the W.S. Lyster Royal Italian and English Opera Company. He also directed his own Caron Opera Company, giving local premières of many operas in English from 1880 to 1890. He assisted several visiting English comic opera troupes, and in July 1887 founded the Orpheus Club with leading Sydney musicians. In April 1889 he joined the J.C. Williamson Royal Comic Opera Company for its first production, the Australian première of ...

Article

Elizabeth Wood

(b London, July 6, 1852; d Paddington, NSW, May 11, 1907). Australian conductor, organist and composer. Taken to Australia as a child, he studied music with William John Cordner, a minor composer and organist of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney. He became choirmaster of St Mary's in 1872 and organist in 1874. In 1877 he joined the W.S. Lyster Royal Italian and English Opera Company in Melbourne as chorus master and répétiteur, but returned to Sydney as musical director of the three-day festival which opened the new St Mary's Cathedral (8 September 1882), for which he composed a Triduum March. In 1885 he succeeded Max Vogrich as conductor of the Liedertafel, a position he held until 1897. As musical director of St Mary's in 1886, he introduced unaccompanied plainchant and his own compositions, including three masses, numerous motets, sacred songs and organ works, and also composed a ...

Article

Elizabeth Wood

( b London, Jan 4, 1805; d San Francisco, Jan 21, 1888). Australian composer and harpist of British birth . He was a pupil of Bochsa, and as a harpist in English and continental centres his early career was sponsored by the Duchess of Kent. He emigrated to Australia and settled in Sydney in March 1842, where he became an active recitalist, concert promoter, teacher of the harp and piano and an associate of Wallace and Nathan. His early Australian compositions were mainly of an ephemeral patriotic nature and include the Australian Valse (1843), Hail to Thee, O Mighty One for orchestra, chorus and military band (1845), Advance, Australia (1846) and Dr Leichhardt's March, which was published in London in 1846. He also wrote sacred works, polkas, waltzes and quadrilles. He lived from 1852 to 1872 in Melbourne, where his most notable work was the three-act opera ...

Article

Faye Patton

(Margaret)

(b Douglas, Isle of Man, July 29, 1862; d Melbourne, Dec 4, 1932). Australian composer. She received early musical training in Edinburgh with MacKenzie before emigrating to Australia with her family. Her brother, Samuel McBurney, completed the doctorate in music in Dublin and became an authority on solfège. She studied at the University of Melbourne (BMus 1896), becoming the first female graduate in music. Her early distinction as a composer grew with the completion of her opera, The Dalmatian, which gained her a reputation as the first Australian woman opera composer. From 1918 she taught languages at the University Conservatorium, Melbourne, as well as teaching the piano privately. At the time of her death she had completed 40 works.

McBurney was drawn to Nordic and classical themes in her programmatic and vocal music. Her larger-scale compositions reveal a mixture of influences, including 19th-century German Romanticism and English choral music. Her songs, written in the style of the English and French art song, and her idiomatic piano pieces were well known during her lifetime; ...

Article

(b Reading, 1810; d Paddington, NSW, July 13, 1883). Australian organist and composer of British birth. He graduated in 1832 from the RAM, where he studied composition and singing, and his abilities were reputedly recognized by such visiting composers as Mendelssohn, Weber, Hummel and Thalberg. His first composition, an aria from Metastasio's La morte d'Abel, was performed at Hanover Square in 1828, and in 1835 his opera Sadak and Kalasrade had some success at the Lyceum (English Opera House) as one of the new ‘English Romantic operas’ being produced by Arnold. He was transported to Norfolk Island for forgery, arriving in May 1840, and in 1844 he moved to Hobart, where he was permitted to teach and give piano recitals. He received a conditional pardon in 1850; in 1853 he settled in Sydney, and for the next 30 years, describing himself as a professor of music, he made frequent appearances as organist in the major Sydney music festivals. Several of his patriotic songs were published at that time. Again convicted, for bigamy, in ...

Article

[Maude; Aldon, Sonia ]

(b London, Nov 16, 1864; d Melbourne, Nov 8, 1949). Australian composer. A musically gifted child, she received early training through a scholarship to the National Training School for Music, London (diploma 1882). She went on to study at the Leipzig Hochshule für Musik, where her teachers included Adolph Brodsky and Gustav Schradieck. She also studied with Joseph Joachim in Berlin. On her return to Birmingham, she became established as a performer and conductor. Her compositions from this period include a lieder cycle, several solo songs and most of her first opera, Ekkehard (completed around 1910).

After emigrating to Melbourne in 1906 with her husband, a distinguished botanist, and their sons, Ewart began a long period of compositional activity. She gained early success with the ode God Guide Australia, composed for the 1907 Exhibition of Women’s Works. She pursued further study on several visits to England and Europe, working with Giacomo Settacciole and Ottorino Respighi in Italy between ...

Article

Elizabeth Wood

(b Canterbury, 1790; d Sydney, Jan 15, 1864). Australian composer of Polish descent and English birth. Educated at Cambridge by Solomon Lyon from 1805, he was apprenticed by his father to Domenico Corri in London (1809) for training in singing and composition. His introduction to Lord Byron in 1814 led to their collaboration in the Hebrew Melodies (1815–19), for which Nathan adapted ancient Jewish chants to Byron’s poems; the songs were first sung in London by John Braham and were an instant success, remaining in print until 1861. They were at once the basis and highlight of Nathan’s English career, which was fostered by his association with Lady Caroline Lamb, his pupil the Princess Charlotte and the court circles of George IV, to whom he was music librarian and perhaps secret agent. He supported himself with writing, teaching and running a music warehouse and publishing business; he also made an undistinguished stage appearance as Bertram in Henry Bishop’s ...

Article

Anne-Marie Forbes

(Bennicke)

(b London, England, Feb 11, 1874; d Honolulu, HI, July 9, 1949). English composer, conductor, and educator. From the age of 10 to 13 he was a chorister at Westminster Abbey under Frederick Bridge. Stanford was a formative influence during Hart’s years studying at the RCM (1893–6), although he was not a composition student. His close friends there included Holst, Coleridge-Taylor, Hurlstone, and, later, Vaughan Williams and Ireland. Hart began his career as a theatre conductor and was musical director for several touring companies before moving to Australia in 1909 on a conducting engagement under the management of J.C. Williamson. By 1913 he was lecturing at the Albert Street Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne, and with Alfred Hill founded the visionary but short-lived Australian Opera League. In 1914 Hart became director of the Albert Street Conservatorium, succeeding its founder, George Marshall-Hall. Nellie Melba was a staunch supporter of Hart and his institution and founded a school of singing there shortly after and the institution was renamed Melba Conservatorium. The voices attracted to the Conservatorium and to its opera school proved a potent stimulus to Hart’s creative talents....