Harty, Sir (Herbert) Hamilton
- Michael Kennedy
(b Hillsborough, Co. Down, Dec 4, 1879; d Brighton, Feb 19, 1941). Irish composer, conductor and pianist. He was taught the viola, the piano and counterpoint by his father and at the age of 12 was organist at Magheracoll Church, County Antrim. He held organist’s posts in Belfast and Dublin, and in Dublin was advised and helped by the Italian composer Michele Esposito, professor of the piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Harty went to London in 1900 and soon became known both as a promising composer and as an outstanding accompanist. His Trio (1901) and Piano Quartet (1904) won prizes, but more significant was the success of his Comedy Overture (Promenade Concerts, 1907). At the 1907 Cardiff Festival Harty’s wife Agnes Nicholls, whom he had married in 1904, was the soprano soloist in his fine setting of Keats’s Ode to a Nightingale...