Hill, Alfred (Francis)

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Hill, Alfred (Francis)

Hill, Alfred (Francis), noted Australian composer; b. Melbourne, Nov. 16, 1870; d. Sydney, Oct. 30, 1960. He played violin in traveling theater orchs., and then studied with Paul, Schreck, and Sitt at the Leipzig Cons. (1887–91). He subsequently was active in New Zealand and Australia as a conductor, and later as a prof, at the New South Wales State Conservatorium (1916–34). He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1953 and a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1960. He wrote over 500 works, some of which employ Maori and Australian aboriginal materials. He publ. Harmony and Melody (London, 1927).


dramatic: Opera: Whipping Boy (1893); Lady Dolly (1898; Sydney, 1900); Tapu (1902–03); A Moorish Maid or Queen of the Riffs (Auckland, 1905); Teora—The Weird Flute (1913; Sydney, 1928); Giovanni, the Sculptor (1913-14; Melbourne, 1914); Rajah of Shivapore (Sydney, 1914); Auster (1919; Sydney, 1922); The Ship of Heaven (1923; 1st complete perf., Sydney, 1933). ORCH.: 13 syms., including No. 1, Maori (1896–1900), No. 2, Joy of Life (1941), No. 3, Australia (1951), No. 4, Pursuit of Happiness (1955), No. 5, Carnival (1955), No. 6, Celtic (1956), No. 7 (1956), No. 8, The Mind of Man (1957), No. 9, Melodious (1958), and No. 10 (1958), all transcribed from chamber pieces except No. 1. CHAMBER: 17 string quartets; 6 violin sonatas; Wind Septet (1950); piano pieces. vocal: choral:The New Jerusalem (1892); Hinemoa, a Maori Legend (1895); Tawhaki (1897); Mass (1931). OTHER: Life for 8 Solo Voices and Piano Quintet (1912); part songs; songs.


J. Thomson, A Distant Music: The Life and Times of A. H., 1870-1960 (Oxford, 1982).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire