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Alfred Hill

Alfred Hill

Alfred Hill


Alfred Francis Hill (16 December 1870 – 30 October 1960) was an Australasian composer, conductor and teacher. He was born in Melbourne, but spent most of his early life in New Zealand. He studied in Leipzig at the Royal Conservatorium of Music between 1887 and 1891, under Gustav Schreck, Hans Sitt and Oscar Paul. Later he played second violin with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, under the conductorship of names such as Brahms, Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Max Bruch. Read more on Last.fm
Alfred Francis Hill (16 December 1870 – 30 October 1960) was an Australasian composer, conductor and teacher. He was born in Melbourne, but spent most of his early life in New Zealand. He studied in Leipzig at the Royal Conservatorium of Music between 1887 and 1891, under Gustav Schreck, Hans Sitt and Oscar Paul. Later he played second violin with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, under the conductorship of names such as Brahms, Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Max Bruch. Hill returned to New Zealand, and worked as a violin teacher, recitalist, chamber musician, and conductor of choirs and orchestras. Hill returned to Australia in 1897 where he remained, and taught for a number of years. After several years regularly travelling between Australia and New Zealand, Hill settled in Sydney in 1911, becoming the principal of the Austral Orchestral College, and viola player of the Austral String Quartet.

In 1913 Hill founded the Australian Opera League with Fritz Hart, as part of an attempt to create an Australian operatic tradition. Hill was also a founder of the Sydney Repertory Theatre Society, and a foundation council member (later president) of the Musical Association of New South Wales. While in New Zealand, Hill had been active in the push for a New Zealand Conservatorium of Music, and for the foundation of an institute of Māori studies at Rotorua. In 1916 Hill became the first Professor of Theory and Composition at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, and deputy conductor to Henri Verbrugghen. From 1937, Hill devoted himself full-time to composition.

He wrote more than five hundred compositions, including twelve symphonies, numerous concerti, a mass, seventeen string quartets, two cantatas on Maori subjects (Hinemoa and Tawhaki) and eight operas (including The Weird Flute). On 1947 he became president of the Composers' Society of Australia. While much neglected nowadays, he is still very well known on both sides of the Tasman for a short song Waiata Poi, which was recorded by many singers including Peter Dawson. Alfred Hill died at the age of eighty-nine in 1960. His wife, Mirrie Hill (1892-1986), was also a composer. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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