Graeme Skinner
Under construction
as of 10 July 2014 at
as last updated in April 2014, can for a short while still be consulted here
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians A-B
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians C-D
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians E-G
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians H-J
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians K-L
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians M-N
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians O-R
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians S-T
A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians U-Z
An organisational register of colonial Australian music and musicians A-Z
Chronological checklist
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1788-1840
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1841-1850
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1851-1855
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1856-1860
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1861-1865
A chronological checklist of colonial compositions 1866-1870
Other content
A bibliography of colonial Australian music
Readings in colonial Australian music history
Nineteenth-century musical sources online
Searching for Stephen Marsh's The Gentleman in Black
1888 Melbourne Centennial Exhibition Orchestral Series
John Onions
convict musician
George Skinner
{fl. 1844-48}
Sydney Catch Club
Emile Coulon
Windsor Band
A lost colonial opera archive
Beethoven in Australia 1827


A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians: S-T


This register complements and updates data available in my
doctoral thesis. It serves as a checklist of vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers, conductors, orchestral players, bandsmen and bandmasters, professors of music, singing and dance, teachers, composers, arrangers, orchestrators, songwriters, librettists, lyricists, music publishers, musicsellers, instrument tuners, repairers, makers, and builders, music reviewers and journalists, music memorialists and historians, writers and lecturers on music, members of musical associations and societies, professional and amateur, agents and impresarios, venue owners and managers, entrepreneurs, active in Australia, whether in public or private, between 1788 and approximately 1860. However, later individuals are also gradually being included, with a view to covering the whole pre-Federation period (to the end of 1900). Entries on more tractable minor figures tend to be far more complete than on major figures who await fuller biographies.

These are the names that my initial scans of the period have produced. But I'd be pleased to hear from anyone who knows of others.


Graeme Skinner, “A biographical register of colonial Australian musicians: S-T”, Austral Harmony (a resource for music and musicians in colonial Australia), @; accessed [INSERT DATE]

- S -


SACHS, Madame Florentine S.
Amateur vocalist, composer
Active Sydney (Balmain), by 1859
Died Bondi, NSW, 27 January 1907, aged 86

Summary: Madame Sachs was named as an “amatuer” in a concert at Balmain in 1859. Her Australian Volunteers’ Song (“by Madame F. S. Sachs, of Balmain”) was advertised by James C. Fussell in August 1861 (no copy identified).

References: “BIRTHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 January 1859), 7:; “VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL CONCERT AT BALMAIN”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 November 1859), 13:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 August 1861), 1:; “AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL BOUQUET”, The Sydney Morning Herald (31 August 1861), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 January 1907), 6:



SADAC (? Benjamin) (? pseud.)
Bush balladist, songwriter
Active ? Melbourne, 1860s

References: “SADAC’S BUSH BALLADS. No.1. THE MOUNTAIN LILY (Tune: “Lilla’s a lady”), The Sydney Morning Herald (28 January 1861), 3:; “SADAC’S BUSH BALLADS. No.2. DARBY AND JOAN (Tune: “The bush aboon traquair” [The Beggar’s Opera])”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 February 1861), 5:; “SADAC’S BUSH BALLADS. No.3. (ORIGINAL) THE RISING OF THE LARK”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1861), 3: “NOTE. This song is set to a beautiful Welsh air, or which, though I know the tune, I forget the name. It is not, however, “The Rising of the Lark”. It is sung to exact harp time. A Mr. Wilson, of Victoria, has lately introduced skylarks into that colony, the subject of this ballad is an Australian one”; “AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE ANTHEM (Tune: God preserve the Emperor Francis)“, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 December 1864), 5:; ? “THE VILLAGE PET. BY BENJAMIN SADAC”, Illustrated Sydney News (11 January 1866), 10:



Musical instrument maker, cabinet maker, carver
Active Launceston, 1849

References: “SERAPHINE”, Launceston Examiner (4 August 1849), 5:; “CHURCH MUSIC”, The Cornwall Chronicle (8 August 1849), 777:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (19 August 1849), 804:

Web: [Sadler's son]: Barbara Payne, Sadler, Robert James (1846–1923), ADB 11 (1988)



SAFFERY, Edward Charles
Teacher of music, lecturer on music, piano tuner
Born Ramsgate, England, 1808 (baptised 15 December 1808)
Married Mary Barker, NSW, 1834
Departed Australia, ? c.1847
Died Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 20 April 1875, “aged 64”

Summary: Saffery was the son of Thomas Norwood Saffery, musician, and Sarah Elizabeth Penfield (1776-1840); relatives include Osmond Saffery and Thomas Goodban, musicians active in Canterbury. Saffery was in Australia by 1834 when he married a convict Mary Barker; nevertheless, only four years later he was reported in the press as taking an interest in another convict woman. After being active musically in the Singleton district, Saffery disappears from Australian record after early 1847. By 1855 he was evidently in the United States, where three musical prints bear his name: Malakoff Polka (Hurrah! hurrah! Sebastopol is taken … composed by J. A. Ross, arranged for piano by E. C. Saffery) (Boston: Oliver Ditson, 1855); The Rail-Road Quick Step (by E. C. Saffery) (Boston: Oliver Ditson, [18-]); The Union Volunteers (Song by E. C. Saffery) (Chicago: Root & Cady, 1861). He was listed in the 1861 Canadian census, and was teaching music at the Horton Academy, Wolfville, in 1865.

July 1845: The lecture on music, by Mr. Saffery, went off with great eclat, last Monday night. He commenced his lecture by proving the antiquity of the science, telling the names of a variety of musical instruments, principally ancient, and then proceeded to explain the meaning of notation and accent, as applied to music. The lecture was interspersed with some very amusing anecdotes, and to convey a correct idea of accent, “Rory O’More” was played, as an illustration, with and without it. The other illustrations, vocal and instrumental, were very good, and well executed. The Singleton amateur band contributed their assistance to the amusement of the evening; and, to shew the attraction that music possesses over every other subject, the court house was more crowded than on any former occasion.

October 1845: On the evening of the 6th instant Mr. Saffery, assisted by the amateur band of Patrick's Plains, gave a musical divertisement at Muswell Brook, which was numerously and respectably attended. The pieces selected for performance might have been more interesting, yet the music went well, every exertion being made by Mr. S. and his party to give effect to what they had undertaken, and to gratify their audience. We hope at no distant day to have another opportunity of hearing Mr. Saffery, and that the success which has attended this concert will stimulate the Singleton band to increased assiduity in their musical practisings.

June 1846: The Singleton little band, notwithstanding the removal of Mr. Saffery, did their best in the musical department.

References: “GOODBAN, THOMAS”, in Sainsbury, A dictionary of musicians (1825), 287:; NSW-RBDMV18341134 [18/1834]; “DRAWING”, The Sydney Monitor (9 May 1838), 2: h; “DEATHS”, The Gentleman’s Magazine (July 1840), 106:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (12 June 1841), 4:; “MUSWELL BROOK”, The Maitland Mercury (11 October 1845), 3:; “SINGLETON”, The Maitland Mercury (12 July 1845), 2:; “SINGLETON”, The Maitland Mercury (26 July 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (13 June 1846), 3:; “FIRST ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE PATRICK'S PLAINS MECHANICS’ INSTITUTION”, The Maitland Mercury (9 May 1846), 2:; “SINGLETON”, The Maitland Mercury (17 June 1846), 2:; “SINGLETON”, The Maitland Mercury (6 January 1847), 2:

Thanks: For information (including image of death certificate) provided by family historian Serena McLaren (Saffery) , UK.



SAGE, Bobby (Robert)
Boy chorister (Trinity Church), timber merchant
Active Launceston, late 1840s
Died Launceston, 1880, in the 41st year of his age

References: “DEATHS”, Launceston Examiner (8 July 1880), 2:; “REMINISCENCES”, Launceston Examiner (12 November 1892), 2:



(later regularly SALAMON; occasionally SALOMAN)
Pianist, conductor, Professor of Music and Singing, composer
Active Melbourne-Bendigo, by December 1852
Died Sandhurst, 19 September 1876

Summary: Salaman, “from the London concerts” first appeard in Melbourne along with a company of recently arrived Londoners, including John Gregg and Charles Thatcher, in December 1852. Later claiming to be “From the Royal Academy of Music, London”, he was active in Melbourne during 1853, and toured to Hobart as pianist for John Winterbottom in November. According to eye-witness Arthur Montague (writing in 1925), he was involved with the Melbourne Philharmonic for which, in 1854, he arranged the overtures of Zampa and Der Freischutz for 6 pianos. He was in Bendigo in 1854 (where he settled), and where his The Hotham Galop, “A new galop […] composed by Mr. Salaman, of Sandhurst, was played before His Excellency and lady on the occasion of their visit to the Exhibition”. He continued touring and was back in Hobart, playing piano for the Dons and Frederick Coppin at the Theatre Royal in February 1862, before taking over as the musical director there for the winter season. There is a letter to the press from Salaman concerning his very popular trio Sweet is the breath of morning (programmed at one of Winterbottom's Melbourne concerts as early as 1854) while he was in Dunedin, New Zealand, in November 1862, sung again while he was still in New Zealand in March 1863 touring with Maria Carandini, Walter Sherwin, and Richard Kohler. The Howsons gave “Salaman’s brilliant Trio” again in Ballarat in October 1863. The trio and six solo songs were published posthumously in 1883 (a copy of the trio survives at University of Melbourne: According to press reports at the time, he was uncle of the English composer Edward Solomon (1855-1895), whose nautical operetta Billie Taylor was a hit in Britain and America. A year after his death his widow Annie remarried. After his death, too, Mrs. Selina Salamon, began advertising as a teacher of music in Bendigo; was she his mother, or perhaps a sister-in-law?

1883: Those who remember the Bendigo diggings, and the earliest days of Sandhurst from 1852 downwards, cannot fail to bave some recollection of the talented composer of these pieces, of whose presence amongst thom the musical residents of the latter place were justly proud in those now distant days. He was musical director for Lady Don and other celebrities in the lime when the two Shamrocks, one at Sandhurst and the other at Epsom,were nightly giving admirable concerts under the management of Messrs. Heffernan and Crowley, when all the great singers of the day took their turn of duty in the golden city, and when Lavenu and Pollard were the leading accompunists, and when Salamon was their equal in talent in every respect.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (6 December 1852), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 February 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 July 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Courier (5 November 1853), 4:; “WINTERBOTTOM’S LAST CONCERT”, The Courier (10 November 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 January 1854), 8:; “BENDIGO”, Colonial Times (21 September 1854), 2:; “BENDIGO … PATRIOTIC BALL”, The Argus (1 October 1855), 6:; “TESTIMONIAL TO MR. SALAMAN”, Bendigo Advertiser (11 December 1855), 3: “MR. E. SALAMON’S BENEFIT”, Bendigo Advertiser (11 September 1856), 2:; “LOCAL COMPOSERS. To the Editor”, Bendigo Advertiser (8 February 1859), 3:; “COURT OF MINES”, Bendigo Advertiser (22 February 1859), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (18 February 1862), 4:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Mercury (27 February 1862), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (14 April 1862), 1:; ‘THE LATE CONCERT. To the Editor”, Otago Daily Times (12 November 1862), 5:; [Advertisement], Daily Southern Cross (24 March 1863), 1:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (1 October 1863), 2:; “Deaths”, The Argus (21 September 1876), 1:; “Deaths”, The Argus (25 September 1876), 1:; “MARRIAGES”, Bendigo Advertiser (30 November 1877), 2:; “BILLEE TAYLOR”, Bendigo Advertiser (21 May 1881), 1: “DIAMOND WEDDING”, Bendigo Advertiser (26 August 1881), 2:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Argus (4 April 1883), 6:; “AN OLD BENDIGONIAN”, Bendigo Advertiser (2 May 1884), 2:; “SEVENTY YEARS OF MUSIC. MR. A. MONTAGUE'S MEMORIES. GENESIS OP THE PHILHARMONIC. IV.”, The Argus (10 October 1925), 6:

Disambiguation: Prominent Sydney auctioneer Edward Salamon (d.1860) also occasionally advertised musical instruments for sale: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 June 1855), 3:; ; “THE LATE EDWARD SALAMON. To the Editor”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 November 1860), 3: 



Contralto vocalist
Active Bendigo, 1857

References: [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (4 February 1857), 3:


, R.A.M.
Teacher of the pianoforte and singing
Active Bendigo 1877; Sydney 1878

1877: MRS. SELINA SALAMON, of Royal Academy of Music, London, Teacher of the Pianoforte and Singing, is prepared to Receive a Limited Number of Pupils; Residence—Mundy-street, Sandhurst.

References: [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (31 March 1877), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (9 October 1877), 1:; [News], Bendigo Advertiser (22 January 1878), 2:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (22 February 1877), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 March 1878), 1:



Conductor, vocal instructor, vocalist, lecturer
Active Hobart, by April 1851
Died Singleton, NSW, 29 October 1884

Summary: Active in Hobart by late 1850, John Salier was conducting a singing class, “on Hullah’s system”, at Hobart’s Mechanics’ Institute in April 1851, as well as giving musical entertainments; he continued the class into 1853 with the help of William Russell. “Mr. John Salier, late Public School teacher, and well known in the musical profession” died of a seizure at Singleton, NSW, in 1884.

References: [Advertisement], Colonial Times (20 December 1850), 3:; “THE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTION”, Colonial Times (29 April 1851), 2:; “INTELLECTUAL AND MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Colonial Times (17 October 1851), 3:; “MUSICAL LECTURE”, Colonial Times (13 February 1852), 3: [Advertisement], The Courier (31 October 1853), 3:; “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE … GRAND MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Colonial Times (5 November 1853), 2:; “TESTIMONIALS”, Colonial Times (10 February 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (14 May 1855), 3:; “SUDDEN DEATH”, Singleton Argus (29 October 1884), 2:



Active Sydney, 1845

1845: Burns’ famous drinking song “Willie brewed a Peck o’Maut” was admirably sung and acted, too, by Messrs. Waller, Mountcastle, and Salter, but not to Burns’ music. We could not, like the stranger, exclaim we had “heard that air before”, nevertheless, a beautiful air it was, and elicited the rapturous encore it so well deserved.

References: “MR. DEANE’S CONCLUDING LECTURE ON MUSIC”, The Australian (11 September 1845), 3:



SALVADO, Frutos (Miguel)
Benedictine monk, organist, composer
Born Tuy, Galicia, 11 July 1811 (elder brother of Rosendo Salvado)
Active Western Australia, c.1868-79
Died Pontevedra, Spain, 17 April 1894

Resources: Xoan-Manuel Carreira, “The piano music of Rosendo Salvado”, Studies in Music 23 (1989), 53-60:; see also:



SALVADO, Rosendo
Pianist, composer, music teacher, Benedictine monk, transcriber of Indigenous song
Born Tuy, Galicia, Spain, 1 March 1814
Arrived (1) Fremantle, WA, January 1846; departed 1849 (for Europe)
Arrived (2) Perth, 1853; New Norcia, from 1857 (abbot, from 1867)
Died Rome, Italy, 29 December 1900


Summary: The NLA has copies of 3 works by Salvedo, claimed to have been performed by him in Perth in May 1846: Pequeño entretenimiento con aire de marcha (“Compuesto y dedicado a la virtuosa senõrita Paquita Patrelli”), Fantasia, variaciones y final (“Compuestas y dedicadas a la excelentisima señora Condesa Lebzenltern”), and Gran walz fantastic (“Compuesto y dedicado a la senora Marquesa Santasilia”). He published a transcription of an Indigenous song, taken in the mid 1840s, with piano accompaniment, as Maquielo: cancion de caile de los Australianos Occidentales (Maquieló—Dance Song of the West Australians; arranged for pianoforte). In Rosendo Salvado, Memorias historicas sobre la Australia: y particularmente acerca la mision Benedictina de Nueva Nursia y los usos y costumbres de los salvajes (Barcelona: Impr. de los Herederos de la V. Pla, 1853), unnumbered page after 314. He returned to Europe in 1849 to raise money for his missionary endeavours; the music does not appear in the original Italian edition of his memoirs, Rudesindo [Rosendo] Salvado, Memorie storiche dell’Australia (Napoli: Tipografia di Vincenzo Priggiobba, 1852).

(May 1846): On Thursday last, Don Rosendo Salvado, one of the Roman Catholic Missionaries, gave a Soirée Musicale at the Court house, Perth, in aid of the funds for his mission to convert and civilise the aborigines of this territory; the zealous missionary having devoted himself to this task, and already taken up his abode in the bush, in the neighbourhood of the Moore River. The entertainment was limited to Don Rosendo’s own performances on the pianoforte, with the addition of one Spanish national song, which Don Rosendo gave with a spirit and finish which we have heard much admired. With respect to Don Rosendo’s capabilities, he is most undoubtedly a very fine performer, having a command over his instrument such as is only possessed by first-rate players. He has, besides, a most extraordinary natural talent for music, which enables him to improvise the most charming fugues, either upon some well-known air, or upon some theme composed by himself on the instant; the latter being, in our opinion, by far the most effective part of his performances. The pieces played on Thursday last were mostly out of the Opera of Norma, and we are quite ready to believe that the delightful airs with which this opera abounds, received new point and beauty from the genius of the performer. We have heard the number of visitors estimated at about 60, which would make the proceeds somewhere about £8 or £9.

References (Australia): [News], The Perth Gazette (23 May 1846), 2:; [News], Inquirer (27 May 1846), 2:

References (Europe): Baltasar Saldoni, Diccionario Biográfico- bibliográfico de efemérides de músicos españoles … tomo segundo (Madrid: Antonio Perez Dubrull, 1880), 61-63: 

Sources: SL-NSW, MLDOC  870 (Copy of a form supplied by Florence Nightingale with queries answered by the Right Reverend Dr Salvado regarding the New Norcia (Benedictine) School, Western Australia, October 1860; with excerpts from a letter to Abbot Casaretto from the Right Reverend Dr. Salvado, 30 January 1864): SL-NSW, MLMSS 971 (Rosendo Salvado twelve autograph letters signed to Marquesa de Santiago, 1868-1872):

Resources: Dom William, Salvado, Rosendo (1814-1900), ADB 2 (1967); Xoan-Manuel Carreira, “The piano music of Rosendo Salvado”, Studies in Music 23 (1989), 53-60:; [3] Obras para piano (ed. Xoan-Manuel Carreira) (1990);  Tiffany Shellam, “ ‘A mystery to the medical world’: Florence Nightingale, Rosendo Salvado and the risk of civilisation”, History Australia 9/1 (2012):; Teresa de Castro, “New Norcia’s Rebirth: Salvado’s Correspondence from 1868-1872”, New Norcia Studies Journal 16 (2008), 47-82 (El Renacimiento de Nueva Nursia: La Correspondencia de Salvado entre los años 1868-1872):; R. H. Esposto, “The diaries of the Galician Rosendo Salvado. Chronicle of a Spanish mission in Western Australia“, Antipodas: journal of hispanic and galician studies 20 (2008), 67-83: Roberto H. Esposoto, “From Finisterrae to Terra Australis Incongnita: Bishop Rosendo Salvado's utopian imaginings and designs for New Norcia“, in Summo-O'Connell, Renata (ed.), Imagined Australia. Reflections around the reciprocal construction of identity between Australia and Europe (pp. 139-151) Berlin, Germany: Peter Lang:

Cautionary note: Salvado's legacy at New Norcia has become a contested subject. As early as 1903, the Indigenous activist A. M. Fernando quoted an Indigenous worker at New Norcia as answering his question “How do they treat you?“: “When the Bishop [Salvado] was alive it was bad enough but now it is worse“ (quoted in Fiona Paisley, The Lone Protester, 27).  As a missionary educator, Salvado, also stands accused of regularly “removing“ Aboriginal children without permission from their parents' custody; Salvado sent five young Aboriginal children (the youngest aged seven) to Europe to be educated in church institutions there, with the tragic result that all died there, the last in 1855; see Stephen Hills, “ 'The Grand Experiment of the Civilisation of the Aborigines': A Missionary Endeavour in Western Australia“, in Evangelists of Empire?: Missionaries in Colonial History, ed. Amanda Barry, Joanna Cruickshank, Andrew Brown-May and Patricia Grimshaw (Melbourne: University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, 2008):



Amateur choral singer, composer, architect
Born 1843/4
Arrived Melbourne, by 1861 (or earlier) (described 1874 as an “old colonist”)
Died Richmond, VIC, 18 June 1902, aged 58

1878: […] “All are Sleeping,” composed for and dedicated to the Metropolitan Liedertafel by an accomplished amateur who modestly hides his name under the initials W. S., and is known here in musical circles by the works he has published under the nom de plume “Sidonia”.

References: [News], The Argus (1 October 1874), 5:; “THE METROPOLITAN LIEDERTAFEL”, The Argus (1 February 1876), 5:; [News], The Argus (5 August 1876), 7:; “THE METROPOLITAN LIEDERTAFEL”, The Argus (18 July 1877), 6:; THE METROPOLITAN LIEDERTAFEL”, The Argus (5 February 1878), 7:; “METROPOLITAN LIEDERTAFEL”, The Argus (1 October 1878), 6:; “MUSIC”, Illustrated Australian News and Musical Times (1 March 1890), 9:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (21 June 1902), 9:

Works: So far away (written by Emery Gould; composed by Sidonia) (Melbourne: Lee &​ Kaye, [1876]); Remembrance (words by Hamilton Aide; music by Sidonia) (Melbourne : Allan &​ Co. (Wilkie's), [? 1880-])



SANDER, Conrad
Bandsman (Burton’s Band)
Active, 1856

1856: Jacob Young, Jacob Düne, Conrad Sander, Heinrich Rodenbout, Carl Leonhardt, Daniel Müller, and Christian Prothenbuck, known as “Burton’s Band”, appeared to answer the complaint of Mr. Henry Burton, for that they having contracted to serve the said Henry Burton as musicians, and having entered into bis service, did neglect and refuse to fulfil the same.

References: “MOUNT BARKER”, South Australian Register (7 November 1856), 3:



SANDON, Charles Thomas
Music publisher, stationer (? violinist)
Active Sydney, by 1854
Died Balmain West, Sydney, 4 January 1900, aged 75

References: [Advertisement], Empire (10 April 1854), 1: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1856), 5: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 April 1856), 10:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 July 1875), 1: “Our Sydney Letter”, The Queenslander (21 April 1877), 26: “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 January 1900), 1:

Undine Polka (1856) (also advertised as “Ondine Polka”)
The Last Rose of Summer (1856)
Heartease (ballad; composed … by Glentworth Addison) (Sydney: Sandon & Co., [1858])
The red, white and blue (“a popular national air”) (1856)
Le Pillet (“composed by Edwin H. Cobley”) (1860)
Loyalty! Or, God save our Queen (“words by C. et A.; music by Charles S. Packer” (Sydney : C. T. Sandon, 1883)



Vocalist, guitar player (New Orleans Serenaders; Howard’s Serenaders)
Active Sydney, 1852

References: [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (14 February 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1852), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1852), 1:



SANTLEY, Charles
Baritone vocalist
Born UK, 28 February 1834
Arrived Adelaide, 12 May 1889 (per R.M.S. Oceana)
Departed Adelaide, July 1890
Died UK, 22 September 1922

Adelaide May 1889: […] he said that his object in visiting the colonies was partly with a view to business, as well as with the object of getting a respite from the arduous duties of his engagements in England […] As to the opinion of English people on music in Australia, Mr. Santley remarked that very little is thought or cared for on this subject. He was reticent in expressing any opinion respecting Mr. Cowen’s claim to have elevated the taste for music in Australia […] To day Mr. Santley will be publicly received and welcomed to the colony by His Worship the Mayor in the Town Hall at noon […] The members of the Adelaide Musical Association are expected to be present, and sing an “Ode of Welcome” specially composed for the occasion.

References: “VISIT OF MR. SANTLEY TO AUSTRALIA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 March 1889), 7:; “MR. CHARLES SANTLEY”, South Australian Register (13 May 1889), 7:; “Visit of Mr. Santley. Arrival in Broken Hill”, Barrier Miner (26 June 1890), 2:; “MR. SANTLEY AND HIS TROUBLES”, Freeman’s Journal (19 July 1890), 8:

Resources: Santley’s Reminiscences of my life (1909) includes a detailed account of his voyage and Australian tour;



SAPIO, Clementine De Vere
Soprano vocalist
Born Paris, 1864
Died 1954

SAPIO, Romualdo
Pianist, conductor
Born Palermo, Sicily, 1858
Died 1943

Arrived (1) Adelaide, 2 May 1894 (per Ville de la Ciotat, with Camilla Urso’s company)
Departed (1) Melbourne, November 1894
Arrived (2) Sydney, January 1902
Departed (2) Perth, March 1902


References: “ADELAIDE”, The Argus (3 May 1894), 6:; “ROMUALDO SAPIO”, The Mercury (31 May 1894), 3:; “SAPIO AND URSO CONCERTS”, South Australian Register (22 October 1894), 7:; “Signora De Vere Sapio”, Australian Town and Country Journal (18 January 1902), 42:

Resources: Recording (1914) Valse de serpents:;



SAQUI, Austin
Pianist, band leader
Active Beechworth, Victoria, by April 1855
Died Clifton Hill, Melbourne, 28 August 1889, aged 54

Summary: The son of Isaac Saqui (1817-1873), “professor of music” of London, Austin Saqui was working in hotels in the northern Victorian goldfields in 1855, as this report from Beechworth (Ovens and Murray Advertiser), in April-May, reveals: “A grand vocal and instrumental concert was to take place yesterday evening at the Salle de Valentino, but has been postponed until Tuesday evening, owing to the inclemency of the weather, We have really some excellent musical artistes now at Beechworth, an addition having been made to their number during the past week, by the arrival of Messrs. Peck and Saqui, the former a violinist of some celebrity; and we anticipate a great treat at their first concert.” The Peck in question was indeed the “violinist of some celebrity”, George Peck; he and Saqui played at the concert room of the Eldorado Hotel, Beechworth in April (the venue in 1857 to be visited by Octavia Hamilton and Emile Coulon). Peck’s main interest in the tour, however, may have been to run one of his trademark art unions, which he reportedly duly did at the Eldorado in June. Saqui was still working in Beechworth in June 1857. Patterson reproduces a letter from Saqui, written from Beechworth, that was printed in the Bendigo press in September 1857, prior to a projected visit there. Saqui there identifies his band as consisting of “Mr. Austin Saqui, Pianist; W[illiam] Radford, Violinist; F. Percy, Bass; W. Harrison, Tenor, Charles Oakey, Comic”. Later in Melbourne, Saqui was a bookmaker and a racehorse owner; his horse Warrior won the 1869 Melbourne Cup. Recalling that even in 1910, the Sydney Mail’s turf historian “Milroy” recorded: “Saqui was a musician attracted to Victoria by the glitter of gold in the digging days, but he quickly forsook the piano for the [bookmaker’s] pencil, and at one time was a very wealthy man, but I have heard he died very poor indeed.”

References: “GOLD FIELDS OF THE OVENS DISTRICT”, Portland Guardian (7 May 1855), 3:; “MR. PECK’S ART UNION”, The Argus (3 July 1855), 5:; “THE OVENS. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) Beechworth, 27th Nov., 1855”, The Argus (4 December 1855), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 December 1866), 8:; “Deaths”, The Argus (18 November 1873), 1:; “Deaths”, The Argus (30 August 1889), 1:; “NOTES”, The Sydney Mail (2 November 1910), 25:,1518814

Bibliography: Richard Patterson, Nobblers and lushingtons: a history of the hotels of Beechworth and the Ovens District (Beechworth: Endymion, 2009):



SARGOOD, Frederick Thomas
Musical amateur, vocalist, philanthropist
Born Walworth, Surrey, England, 30 May 1834
Arrived Melbourne, 12 February 1850 (per Clifton)
Died (on holiday) New Zealand, 2 January 1903

SARGOOD, Marian Australia (Miss ROLFE)
Amateur pianist, vocalist
Born Middlesex, England, 1839
Died Rippon Lea, Melbourne, 6 January 1879, aged 40

Summary: Daughter of merchant George Rolfe, Marian Rolfe married Frederick Sargood at St. Kilda on 9 September 1858. From 1868 the Sargoods lived in their new Melbourne mansion Rippon Lea. Evidently like her husband a keen musical amateur, probably a pianist and vocalist, Marian Sargood’s musical legacy consists at least three albums of songs and piano pieces, each including a few Australian publications, and compiled from individual printed sheets collected during the 1850s and 1860s, which she then had bound. Two of these are in public collections: and A third album, held privately by her descendent Beverley Stevens (NZ), was collected by Marian Rolfe c.1853-56, contents given below:

Obituary:  [...] the firing party, from the Field and Garrison Artillery, who were [...] formed in front of the grave, fired three volleys of blank cartridge as a last salute, and as the echoes of the firing died away the members of the Metropolitan Liedertafel, of which the late Sir Frederick Sargood was president, sang Sullivan's beautiful part song, “The Long Day Closes,“ under the conductorship of Mr. Ernest Wood. Then the great crowd quietly dispersed.

References: “MARRIAGE”, The Argus (14 September 1858), 4:; “Deaths”, The Argus (24 January 1879), 1:; “THE LATE SIR FREDERICK SARGOOD“, The Argus (19 January 1903), 5:

Resources: John Rickard, Sargood, Frederick Thomas (1834–1903), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)

Contents of Marian Rolfe album (private collection; Australian works/prints bold):

1 The Melbourne Varsovienne (Composed by G. M. Weinritter) (Melbourne: for the author by J. Wilkie, [185-?])
2 Sontag Polka (Composed/Arranged by Charles D’Albert) (London: Chappell, [nd] copy inscribed: “Marian A. Rolfe, July 1856”
3 Wanda Varsovienne (by Réné Favarger, Dedicated À Miss Powell) (London: Cramer Beale & Co.)
4 The Kangaroo Hunt Polka (Composed by C. M. Weinritter) (Melbourne: for the author by Joseph Wilkie, [185-?])
5 The Victorian Waltz (Composed by Mrs Charles Terry) (Melbourne: Cyrus Mason. Lith, [???])
6 Mazurka Brilliante, Etude (By Adrien Talexy) (London: Addison & Hollier,) cover inscribed: “Marian Australia Rolfe”
7 Echos Du Theatre, Don Carlos, Set 1. Fra Diavolo (By Alphonse Santillane (sets 2-4 not included -  2. Puritani, 3. Ernani, 4. Rigoletto) (London: Leoni Lee); cover inscribed: “Marian A. Rolfe”
8 The King Pippin Waltz (composed by Charles D’Albert, arranged by Edward F. Rimbault;  from a series of a series of 24 favourite melodies arranged by Edward F. Rimbault for The Young Pupil and expressly intended to follow the Instruction Book (London: Chappell); cover inscribed: “M. A. Rolfe”
9 Varsoviana Nationale (composed by Aplhonse Leduc) (London: Robert Cocks & Co., [ ] [with brief instructions on the steps for the Varsoviana and for the Polka Mazurka or Redowa]; cover inscribed “M. A. Rolfe”
10 The May-Bells (by Mendelssohn arranged by William Hutchins Callcott) (London: Addison & Hollier); cover inscribed: “M. A. Rolfe, February / 5(?6), Melbourne”
11 The Wedding March (composed by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) (London: Metzler & Co); cover inscribed: “M. A. Rolfe, March / 56”
12 Morceau Elegante (Sur la Cavatine favorite de l’opera de Bellini “Montecchi E Capuletti” Par Ferdinand Beyer) [publisher details missing, cover torn]; cover inscribed: “Rolfe”  
13 Il Mio Tesoro (From Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Transcribed by G. A. Osborne) (London: Addison & Hollier)
14 Luisa Miller (No 8 of Operatic Airs for the Pianoforte by J. Rummel (London: Cramer Beale & Co)  
15 Ellen, Mazurka Brilliante et Facile (Par P. De Vos; Dedicated À Miss E. Leary) (London: Cramer Beale & Co)
16 La Plui de Perles, Valse Brilliant (Par G. A. Osborne; Dedicated to Miss Grace Chappell) (London: Jullien & Co.); cover inscribed: “M. A. Rolfe”  
17 Home Sweet Home (No 4. Of Household Melodies arranged by J. M. Gibson) (London: Duff & Hodgson); cover inscribed: “M. A. Rolfe, Aug. 7/53”  
18 Le Jet de Perles, Grande Polka Brilliante (By W. Neuland) (London: Leoni Lee)
19 Largo al Factotum (From the opera of the Barber of Seville composed by Rossini arranged as a pianoforte piece) (No.46 of Davidson’s Popular Piano Pieces) ([London]: )  
20 Dans Ces Instants Où Le Coeur Pense (No. 3 of the Oeuvres Choises by J. Rummel) (London: Wessell & Co.)
21 Auf Leichtem Zweig (No.17 of the Oeuvres Choises by J. Rummel) (London: Wessell & Co.)
22 De Conte, Conte Li Prendi (From Bellini’s opera Norma; Arranged for the pianoforte by Henri Schubert) (London: H. White)
23 Herz Mein Herz (by Weber; Arranged for the Piano Forte with a Flute or Violin) (London: H. White); cover inscribed: “M. A. Rolfe, Aug. /5[?]  
24 La Germandrée Valse (Par Stephen Glover) (London: Duff and Hodgson); cover inscribed: “M. A. Rolfe, [date unreadable]”)   

My thanks: To Sargood descendent Beverley Stevens for kindly supplying information about the family album in her possession (May 2013)



SAUERBIER, Gus. (August)
Pianist, composer (Late Pianist and Composer of the Tom Thumb Troupe)
Died Sydney, May 1888

DDied ? Sydney, 1 August 1925

1885: August Sauerbier, the petitioner, deposed that he was married to the respondent, Maria Sauerbier (then Kell) on April l, 1869, and for two years they lived comfortably together. There were two surviving daughters of the marriage. The witness was a musician by profession, and then left on a tour with a travelling entertainment, and was away for two years, giving her ample means of maintenance during that time. Shortly after his return, he found that his wife was giving way to drink and to stopping out at nights. Subsequent information convinced him that she was leading an immoral life, and these proceedings were ultimately begun.

References: “ARRIVED”, The Argus (8 September 1870), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 December 1872), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1876), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 March 1880), 2:; “DIVORCE COURT”, Evening News (20 May 1885), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 January 1887), 2:; “Funerals”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 May 1888), 24:; “IN MEMORIAM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 August 1926), 10:  



Vocalist (a pupil from the Royal Academy of Music)
Born England, 1831
Arrived Adelaide, late 1857
Died 1891

Summary: Thanks to John Bishop of Adelaide for sharing information on his great-great grandmother. She came to Adelaide late in 1857 to marry her cousin, Robert Caldicott. She first appeared in public as Miss Saunders (accompanied by her cousin Harriet Caldicott) in April 1858, and again at Cesar Cutolo's concert in November as Mrs. Caldicott.

1858: Miss Saunders, a young lady, a pupil from the Royal Academy of Music, next made her debut before a South Australian audience. She possesses a fine voice highly cultivated, and, notwithstanding the nervous diffidence inseparable perhaps from a first appearance, aquitted herself in a charming manner. The air “Vaga Luna”, by Belllini, was judiciously chosen, and her delightful execution of it elicited a spontaneous and hearty burst of applause, which was followed by an imperative redemand. Miss Saunders was accompanied by Miss Caldicott, an accomplished pianist. 

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (23 April 1858), 1:; “SOUTH AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (28 April 1858), 3:; “MARRIED“, South Australian Register (30 June 1858), 2:; “ST. PAUL’S CHURCH CONVERSAZIONE”, South Australian Register (23 October 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (25 November 1858), 1:



SAUNDERS, William (R.A.M.)
Pianist, harpist
Arrived Sydney, by December 1870

1870: MR. WILLIAM SAUNDERS, R.A.M., Harpist from the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, having just arrived from London, is prepared to receive Pupils for HARP and PIANO. N.B. Colleges, private academies, concerts, and quadrille assemblies attended. 40, Buckingham-street, near Exhibition Building.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 December 1870), 1:; “THE PROMENADE CONCERT IN THE EXHIBITION BUILDING”, Empire (27 December 1870), 2:; “LAUNCESTON”, The Mercury (17 May 1875), 2:; “FIGARO’S AT HOME”, Queensland Figaro and Punch (5 December 1885), 33:



Tenor vocalist, violinist

Active Melbourne, from 1853; Ballarat from 1857

SAYERS, William
Active Gulgong, NSW, 1873

Summary: W. F. Sayer, “from the London Concerts”, was newly arrived in Melbourne in February 1853. He was in Ballarat by November 1857, when he took his benefit at the Montezuma Theatre. He appeared with Julia Harland, Octavia Hamilton and John Gregg in Balfe’s Bohemian Girl at Ballarat’s Theatre Royal in January 1859.

Gulgong 1873: On Saturday night last a complimentary benefit was given at the Prince of Wales Opera House to Mr. William Sayers, a very clever musician and violinist in the orchestra of the theatre for a long time. Mr. Sayers had been laid up for nearly two months by a serious illness, so that apart from his excellent musical ability he had claims upon the public. It is to be regretted that the house was not better filled.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (7 February 1853), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 February 1853), 6:; “THE WEEKLY CONCERT”, The Argus (3 March 1853), 5:; [Advertisement], The Star (10 November 1857), 3:; “THE BALLARAT PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Star (23 November 1858), 2:; [Advertisement], The Star (26 March 1858), 3:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Star (25 January 1859), 2:; “GULGONG. AMUSEMENTS“, Empire (12 May 1873), 3:



SCARFE, Henry Cornelius
Vocalist, leader of a juvenile temperance band
Born Bury St. Edmunds, England, 1816
Arrived Adelaide, 1854 (per Leuconia)
Died Adelaide, 30 October 1895, in his 80th year

19 May 1862: Mr. Scarfe’s juvenile band […] consisted of the following Sunday scholars:—Arthur Scarfe, Samuel Trigg, and William Harding, fifes; Walter Scarfe, drummer: and Jabez Golding, triangle; Mr. Scarfe leading on the fife. (24 May 1862): By 1 o’clock the children were all formed into marching order, Mr. Scarfe’s juvenile band striking up the tune of “There is a happy land” arranged as a march.

References: “PORT ELLIOT”, The South Australian Advertiser (19 May 1862), 3:; “PORT ELLIOT”, South Australian Register (24 May 1862), 3: 2012,; “PORT ELLIOT”, South Australian Register (2 January 1863), 3:; “PORT ELLIOT”, South Australian Register (21 April 1863),  3:; [News], The South Australian Advertiser (25 April 1863), 7:; “DEATH OF MR. H. C. SCARFE”, Chronicle (2 November 1895), 16:;” DEATHS”, The Advertiser (5 November 1895), 7:



Music Master
Arrived Hobart, 10 August 1823 (per Francis, from England)
Arrived Sydney, September 1823
Died NSW, 1 November 1855

A convict John Scarr (per Surry) of Windsor was granted a ticket of leave in July 1823. However, this appears not to have been the John Scarr who advertised as a music master in Sydney in October that year. We can safely trace Scarr's arrival in Hobart on the Francis in August and, perhaps having already found John Philip Deane established there as music master, his departure for Sydney shortly afterward. After Robert McIntosh several years earlier, Scarr, claiming to be a pupil of Cramer and Dale (probably either J. B. or William Cramer, and either Joseph of James Dale) was only the second music master to advertise in the Sydney press: “INSTRUCTION IN MUSIC AND SINGING. Mr. John Scarr, lately arrived in the Colony per Brig Francis, avails himself of this Opportunity to acquaint the Public, that it is his Intention to establish himself in New South Wales, as a Music Master, confining himself to the Use of the Piano-forte and Singing. Having made the Study of Music his Profession, under those experienced and admired Masters, Cramer and Dale, J. S. anticipates the gratification of giving satisfaction to those who may deem his Services worthy their Notice. J. S. will give Lessons either at his own Lodgings, or attend his Pupils at their Residence; has no objection to attend Families in the Country once in three weeks, provided he meets with sufficient encouragement. From professional skill and experience, J. S. will undertake to tune Piano-fortes, on moderate terms. Any Person, in want of a square Piano-forte, will be accommodated, having brought one for Sale; Maker’s Name, Stodart. Address 89, Pitt-street.“ Scarr appeared in the Sydney Concerts in December 1826, when the Gazette judged his vocal performances wanting: “A Mr. Scarr appeared this evening for the first time. His voice is not devoid of sweetness, nor uncultivated, but it wants the softness of Mr. Clark's tones, for which reason, we think, the parts sustained in the glees by the former, would have been more effectively performed by the latter gentleman, whose voice, in our opinion, would have harmonized better with those of Mrs. Paul and Mr. Edwards.” The Australian concurred, but with a caveat: “A Mr. Scarr appeared in the Orchestre; this gentleman attempted some airs; but he was not quite fortunate. Mr. S. is a good instrumental performer.” By late 1827 Scarr was clerk of court at Penrith and Campbell-Town, where married in 1830. He appears to have taken no further professional interest in music. He made a painting of his home, Aird Cottage, in 1828, and he himself sat for several portraits. Later he also owned property at Marengo (Murringo). He died at Campbelltown in 1855.

References: “PUBLIC NOTICE”, The Sydney Gazette (21 July 1823), 1: “SHIP NEWS”, Hobart Town Gazette (23 August 1823), 2:; [Hobart ship news], The Sydney Gazette (4 September 1823), 2:; [Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (13 September 1823), 2: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (23 October 1823), 2s: “The Concert”, The Sydney Gazette (6 December 1826), 3:; “SYDNEY AMATEUR CONCERT”, The Australian (6 December 1826), 2:; “THE CONCERT”, The Monitor (8 December 1826), 3: “MARRIED”, The Sydney Gazette (23 March 1830), 3:

Resources:  John Scarr, DAAO:;;; Colonial Secretary's Office: 1823 Oct 13 Intending to become a music master in the Colony (Reel 6059; 4/1773 p.16)



SCHARF, Eduard
Arrived Melbourne, (1) by July 1892
Arrived Melbourne, (2) by August 1896
Died Munich, Germany, 26 January 1928

Image: (from Album of identification photographs of enemy aliens (civilian and prisoner of war) interned at Liverpool Camp, NSW during World War I)

Obituary: Mr. Eduard Scharf, a brilliant pianist, who lived in Melbourne for some years, died at Munich, Bavaria, on January 26. Mr. Scharf, who was born in Baden, Germany, received his musical education at the Leipzig Conservatoire, and had early success as conductor of the Municipal Opera Company at Metz. For three years, he was a conductor of French opera in various countries of Europe. At Bayreuth he met Ovide Musin, the celebrated Belgian violinist; and for 10 years he travelled with Musin in many countries. In 1898 Mr. Scharf settled in Melbourne, where he became first piano teacher of the Marshall-Hall Conservatorium. For a number of years he taught at the University Conservatorium, and many of the present Melbourne teachers were among his pupils. The war interfered with Mr. Scharf’s career in Australia, and when peace was restored he returned to Germany. His wife and his son, Theodor, had gone to Munich earlier for the purpose of the son’s education in art. Mr. Theodor Scharf’s work in several mediums has become well known in Munich. Recently he married and went to live in Berlin.

References: “THEATRES AND ENTERTAINMENTS”, The Argus (23 July 1892), 9:; “MUSIC. CONCERTS, &c.”, The Australasian (26 June 1897), 35:; “HERR EDUARD SCHARF”, South Australian Register (22 April 1898), 6:; “UNIVERSITY STAFF. GERMANS EXCLUDED”, The Australasian (11 December 1915), 46:; “CONCERTS”, The Australasian (31 March 1928), 19:

Extant published works: Symphony in E-flat (G. W. L. Marshall-Hall; fur Klavier zu 4 Handen bearbeitet von Eduard Scharf (Leipzig: Breitkopf &​ Hartel, 1905)

Associations: Friend and colleague of G. W. L. Marshall-Hall; father of Theodor Scharf (artist); teacher of Louise Hanson-Dyer



SCHEDE, Herman
Pianist, German interpreter
Active Bendigo, VIC, by 1856

1856: WANTED.—A Pianist is open for engagement. Address H. Schede, Cafe Paris, Market-square.

References: “LETTER LIST”, The Argus (27 July 1855), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (17 May 1856), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (17 July 1856), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (4 February 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (30 December 1861), 3:



SCHEINPFLUG, William G. (Wilhelm)
Flautist, teacher of music
Arrived Adelaide, by November 1894

Reference: “HERR HOPP’S LEIPZIG INSTRUMENTAL COMPANY”, South Australian Register (22 November 1894), 7:; “LEIPZIG INSTRUMENTAL CONCERT COMPANY”, The Advertiser (20 November 1894), 6:; “SOCIAL ITEMS”, Evening News (22 November 1902), 3s:



SCHINCH, Miss (?)
Active Ballarat, 1861

References: “DINNER TO HENRY S. LEAKE”, The Star (19 July 1861), 1s:


SCHLUE, Charles
Musician, composer

Musician, bandsman
Arrived Melbourne, by August 1854

SCHLUE, Mrs. (Henry)

August 1854: LIGHTNING Band, newly arrived, consisting of eleven in number, is open for Engagements. The above band will be successful in any kind of performance for Concerts, Balls, and Parties. Apply to Henry Schlue […]

1858: Charles Schlue was charged with stealing two shirts, the property of his employer, a German musician named Jacob Young, living at North Melbourne. The prisoner was one of a German band, and the prosecutor, on the previous night, had locked him up in a room, in consequence of his being drunk, and unable to play his part […]

Wagga 1871: The concert, however, had already been begun by the local baud {under their new director, Mr. C. Schlue) playing, in good time and with precision and spirit, the “Glasgow March,” “Adelong Schottische,” and D’Albert’s waltz, “Star of the Night,” the first two pieces being Mr. Schlue’s own compositions […] [other reports mention his Wagga Wagga Schottische]  

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (24 August 1854), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 January 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (22 November 1855), 4:; “POLICE. CITY COURT”, The Argus (21 July 1858), 1s:; ; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (9 November 1865), 3:; [Advertisement], Ovens and Murray Advertiser (26 July 1866), 4:; “CLUNES”, The Ballarat Star (27 October 1866), 1 s:; “MUSIC IN WAGGA WAGGA. To the Editor”, Wagga Wagga Advertiser (7 June 1871), 2:; [Advertisement], Wagga Wagga Advertiser (24 June 1871), 3:; [News], Wagga Wagga Advertiser (1 July 1871), 2:; [Advertisement], Wagga Wagga Advertiser (9 September 1871), 1:



Bass vocalist (of the Grand Opera, Vienna)
Active Australia, 1857-60

Melbourne May 1857: […] to Herr Schluter. This gentleman exerted himself so entirely to the satisfaction of the audience in the part of Alphonso, that he was compelled to repeat the grand scna in the second act.

References: [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (23 February 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (10 March 1857), 3:; “MADAME CARANDINI’S BENEFIT”, Bendigo Advertiser (12 March 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 March 1857), 1:; “PRINCESS’S THEATRE”, The Argus (12 May 1857), 5:; “MUSICAL NOTES OF THE WEEK”, Empire (28 August 1860), 5:



Arrived Sydney, from New Zealand c. 1886

1884: A New Zealand exchange announces that Her Felix Schmellitscheck is announced to make his appearance at two concerts shortly, and is a violinist of considerable repute. He is a graduate of the Stuttgart Conservatory, and latterly he received instruction from the world-renowned violinist, Herr Wilhelmj, who recognised his ability warmly. Herr Schmellitscheck’s departure for this colony from West Germany was referred to as follows by a local journal:- “Following on the departure of Professor Wilhelmj, the great master of the violin, comes another great loss to our musical circles in the person of the very highly esteemed and excellent violin virtuoso, Herr Schmellitscheck, who, on the recommendation of Herr Wilhelmj, is leaving for New Zealand. Herr Wilhelmj has presented him with a beautiful instrument, and he will start on his tour in a few days. We cannot let one who has done so much to delight every lover of good music leave us without expressing our good will and heartfelt wishes for his future succcss.” ’Tis true, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” and Herr Schmellitscheck may in philosophic mood submit to the inevitable changes which will be rung upon his name among his new colonial acquaintances.

References: “WHAT’S IN A NAME”, The Mercury (17 July 1884), 2s:; [Advertisement], Otago Daily Times (9 April 1886), 1:; “COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1890), 8:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 January 1893), 8:; “SYDNEY QUINTET SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 March 1895), 12:; “THE QUINLAN CONCERTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 November 1913), 9:



Viola (tenor) player
Active Ballarat, January 1859

References: [Advertisement], The Star (24 January 1859), 3:



Choreographer, dancer

SCHMIDT, Thérèse (Mademoiselle THÉRÈSE)

Arrived (1) Melbourne, by August 1858 (from the USA)
Departed (1) Melbourne, after November 1862
Arrived (2) Sydney, October 1867 (per Ruahine, from San Francisco)
Departed (2) Sydney, after June 1872 (for New Zealand)

August 1858: After the comedy came a ballet entertainment, in which Fraulein Fannie, the Leopold Family, Mademoiselle Thérèse, and M. Schmidt took part. The two latter are new to the colonial stage, and made a favorable impression. Mademoiselle Thérèse is a graceful dancer; quiet in style an excelling in posé and repose ; more flexible than agile, and relying more upon beauty of attitude than vivacity of motion or striking tours de force.

References (1): [Advertisement], The Argus (7 August 1858), 8:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (17 August 1858), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 August 1858), 8:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (7 December 1858), 5:; “THE THEATRES”, The Argus (7 February 1859), 5:; ‘PRINCESS THEARTE”, The Argus (19 March 1859), 5:; [News], The Argus (27 September 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 July 1861), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 August 1861), 1:; “THE CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1861), 5:; [News], The Argus (21 October 1862), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 November 1862), 8:;

References (2): [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 October 1867), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (7 October 1867), 8:; [News], The Argus (13 November 1867), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 January 1870), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 December 1871), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 June 1872), 10: [Advertisement], Daily Southern Cross (1 August 1872), 1:



SCHMITT, Carl (Wilhelm Carl; SCHMIDT)
Violinist, conductor, teacher, composer
Arrived Sydney, by December 1858
Died Auckland, NZ, 22 March 1900, aged 66

Summary: Younger brother of the German composer and pianist (Georg) Alois Schmitt (1827-1902), “Schmidt“ was “lately arrived from Munich” when he made his Sydney debut in December 1858. Henry Marsh advertised the publication, on 2 Januray 1860, of a NEW WALTZ 1860 by Carl Schmidt, in no. 8 of his revived Australian Musical Cadeau. The Herald described it as “a very pretty arrangement of a familiar air”. He was probably the Schmidt who spent some time in Ballarat in the mid-1860s (though probably not to be confused with the viola-player active there in 1859). If so, he planned to return to Europe in March 1857, but George Coppin hired him for the theatre in Sydney and he stayed on and married a Tasmanian, Lucy Reeves, in May 1863. Among Schmitt’s own compositions introduced in Hobart were an Overture in October 1860, and his song There’s a time in April 1861. Of four musical prints he advertised for sale in Melbourne in December 1864, a copy of one survives, the Kyneton: Fancy Fair Valse (which he evidently had printed in Europe by John Andre Offenbach & Co.). The  other works were Kyneton (Romance sans paroles), I’ve a welcome for thee (ballad), and Spanish Evening Song. A slightly later edition of the last does survive, as Ave (Spanish Evening Song) printed as musical supplement to The Illustrated Melbourne Post (25 May 1865). In Sydney in 1868 “Schmidt” dedicated to the Countess of Belmore “a new piece of music which he is about to forward to London for publication. The composition consists of the 95th Psalm, is in the key of F, and comprises two choruses, one soprano solo, and a duet for soprano and alto, with accompaniment for the organ”. His largest documented work was the opera Cazille, to a libretto by R. H. Horne, presumably begun before Horne left Australia for England in 1869. Excepts only from it were first performed in Sydney in 1872, and various numbers thereafter continued to appear in Schmitt's own programs. He left Australia for New Zealand in 1881. A detailed obituary appeared in the Launceston Examiner in April 1900.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 December 1858), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 December 1858), 1:; “MR. BOULANGER’S CONCERT”, The Sydney  Morning Herald (16 December 1858), 7:; [Letter] :To the Editor”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 January 1859), 3:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 February 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 December 1859), 8:; “THE AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL CADEAU”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 January 1860), 5:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (25 October 1860), 1:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (26 April 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (29 July 1862), 1:; ‘MARRIAGES”, The Mercury (11 May 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 December 1864), 3:; “BALLARAT”, The Argus (24 August 1866), 5:; “BALLARAT”, The Argus (15 March 1867), 7:; “PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 April 1867), 4:; “THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 December 1867), 4:; “MUSICAL”, Empire (13 May 1868), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 July 1869), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 March 1870), 1:; “NEW OPERA”, Australian Town and Country Journal (24 June 1871), 8:; “Musical and Dramatic Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (13 April 1872), 20:; “NEW ZEALAND”, The Argus (23 March 1900), 6:; “DEATH OF PROFESSOR SCHMITT: AN EX-RESIDENT OF LAUNCESTON”, Examiner (10 April 1900), 5:

Resources: Charles Nalden, Schmitt, Carl Gustav (1837-1900), DNZB:; Horst Zänger, Alois Schmitt: Ein Leben für die Musik (2011):



Tenor vocalist
Died Perth, 10 April 1847, in his 37th year

1845: that majestic piece of recitative from the Messiah, “Comfort ye my people”, &c, which, together with the accompanying air “Every valley”, was sung, greatly to the delight of the audience, by Mr. Schoales. Although we have had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Schoales in better voice, it is impossible to speak too highly of his performance of this most exquisite composition; the air especially, with all its intricate cadences, was most sweetly and correctly sung, and we are by no means inclined to quarrel with the taste of those who consider this to have been the best performance of the evening.

References: [Advertisement], Inquirer (25 January 1843), 6: “Performance of Sacred Music”, Inquirer (14 May 1845), 1:; “DIED”, The Perth Gazette (17 April 1847), 2:; “CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Inquirer (20 January 1869), 3:



SCHOFIELD, John Fenwick
Music teacher, organist
Active Ipswich, 1870

References: “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Brisbane Courier (17 May 1870), 2:; “IN THE ESTATE OF JOHN F. SCHOFIELD”, The Brisbane Courier (23 August 1870), 2: “RELIGIOUS”, The Brisbane Courier (24 December 1870), 3:



SCHOTT, James Arthur, R.A.M.
Professor of music, oboist, conductor, bandmaster, composer
Active Bendigo, by 1854; Melbourne, by January 1863 (having arrived from India)
Died Battery Point, Hobart, 31 August 1888, aged 57

Note: I am assuming for the moment - whether correctly or not, I can't yet say - that the Schott active as a bandmaster on the goldfields in the 1850s and the oboist James Schott who arrived in Melbourne from India in January 1863 are the same person. Insolvent in mid 1874, he was reported in October to have “bolted“ to England, to avoid his creditors, leaving his wife and family without support. He was still in London in March 1876, when The Argus reported on the publication of his song Come to the Fairy Dell. However, he was back in the colonies by early 1878.

Obituary: This once talented musician died yesterday at his residence, Battery Point, in his 57th year, after a long period of physical prostration. He arrived in this colony about 10 years ago with one of the Italian Opera Companies, as conductor, and very shortly afterwards determined to settle in Hobart. Having qualifications of no mean order, as a musician, and many estimated social qualities, he rapidly obtained pupils and a large circle of friends, and would have attained a comfortable competency, had his health been retained. Unfortunately for social musical institutions of Hobart, he was stricken by paralysis some three years ago, and was a helpless invalid from that day, his death proving in many respects a happy release. During the short time he was permitted to exercise an influence in musical circles in this city, his labours were eminently successful. He started the Orchestral Union, which flourished under his leadership, and the best brass band ever organised in this city owed its success to Herr Schott’s musical abilities and social tact. His private pupils were numerous, and when sickness overtook him his pupils frequently testified their sympathy, and the respect he had engendered, in a variety of ways. The deceased was the eldest son of Adam J. Schott, a music publisher of Brussells, Paris, and London, and was well-known in several other places, having enjoyed a very wide popularity in Melbourne at one time.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (10 February 1853), 1:; “BENDIGO”, The Argus (9 May 1854), 4:; “MARYBOROUGH”, The Argus (8 May 1856), 5:; “MR. THATCHER’S CONCERTS”, Portland Guardian (20 June 1860), 2:; [News], The Argus (26 January 1863), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (20 June 1863), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (13 July 1863), 8:; [News], The Argus (14 July 1863), 4:; “TURN UND GESANG FEST”, The Star (31 December 1863), 3:; “TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (26 December 1866), 8:; “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Argus (29 July 1874), 5:; [News], The Argus (20 October 1874), 4:; “TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCH”, The Mercury (21 October 1874), 3:; [News], The Argus (31 March 1876), 4:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (27 December 1866), 3:; “Deaths”, The Mercury (1 September 1888), 1:; “DEATH OF HERR SCHOTT”, The Mercury (1 September 1888), 3:

Musical works:
The Manners-Sutton Waltz
(composed expressly), The Illustrated Melbourne Post (24 December 1866).
The Amy Polka (Melbourne: J. Wilkie, [1867])
The Alfred Choral March (“Performed at the Prince Alfred Reception Concert, given by the Melbourne Philharmonic Society” (Melbourne: J. Schott, [1868])

On Schott’s father: Schott, Adam Joseph (1794-1864), son of founder of Schott's, Bernhard Schott, became a bandmaster in the British army [...] serving in Canada, and India where he died in 1864:



SCHRADER, Herr (Heinrich Ludwig Fredrich) (Henry)
Band-master (Herr Schrader’s Band), violinist, orchestra leader, teacher
Active Adelaide, by 1857
Died Adelaide, 13 July 1884, aged 49 years

SCHRADER, Hermann Theodor
Musician, teacher, composer
Born Adelaide, 1860
Died Melbourne, July 1934

Musician, composer

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (29 October 1857), 1:; “GAWLER INSTITUTE”, South Australian Register (11 March 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (11 July 1859), 1:; “THE ITALIAN OPERA COMPANY”, The South Australian Advertiser (19 February 1861), 3:; “THE SOUTH PARKS”, The South Australian Advertiser (26 April 1880), 6:; “DEATHS”, The South Australian Advertiser (15 July 1884), 4:; “FAREWELL TO HERR SCHRADER”, South Australian Register (26 February 1889), 4:; “PIANOFORTE MUSIC”, South Australian Register (28 April 1893), 5: ; “NEW MUSIC”, South Australian Register (1 January 1901), 3:; “MUSICAL NOTES”, The Register (12 January 1904), 8:; “DEATH OF MR. H. T. SCHRADER”, The Argus (11 July 1934), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (12 July 1934), 1:; “OBITUARY”, The Advertiser (17 July 1934), 11:

Resources: Works (post 1900) by Hermann Schrader in TROVE; Beneath the Southern Cross (Australian national military grand march composed for full military brass band and arranged for pianoforte by Otto W. Schrader) (Adelaide: Otto W.Schrader, [1900]); Papers of Hermann T. Schrader (NLA MS 9734)

Web: Hermann Friedrich Schrader (1815-1863), DAAO



Musician, leader of quadrille band
Active Ballarat, 1865

References: [Advertisement], The Star (15 August 1860), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (17 March 1862), 3:; [News], The Star (12 November 1864), 2:; Ballarat and Ballarat District Directory (1865), 110:



SCHULTZ, Charles
Conductor, orchestra leader, composer
Arrived Sydney, October 1867 (with Lehman Family from San Francisco)
Departed ? Melbourne, after December 1867 (or earlier)

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 October 1867), 8:; “PRINCE OF WALES OPERA HOUSE”, Empire (14 October 1867), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 October 1867), 8:

Works: The Fireman’s March (performed Sydney, October 1867); Chinese Song and Dance (written and composed for Miss Maggie Moore by Charles Schultz) ([Melbourne]: J. C. Williamson, 1879) [but not composed in Australia]



SCHÜRMANN, Clamor Wilhelm
Recorder of indigenous language, songs, and customs, Lutheran missionary
Born Schledehausen, Hanover, Germany, 7 June 1815
Arrived Adelaide, 12 October 1838 (per Pestonjee Bomanjee)
Died Bethany, SA, 3 March 1893  

Resources: Heide Kneebone, Schürmann, Clamor Wilhelm (1815-1893), Australian Dictionary of Biography Suppl. (2005)



SCOTT, Andrew George (alias “Captain Moonlite”)
Bushranger, “accomplished musician”, pianist
Born Rathfriland, County Down, Ireland, baptized 5 July 1842
Arrived NZ, 22 November 1861; Sydney, early 1868
Executed Darlinghurst, NSW, 20 January 1880

1879: It will be remembered that Scott admitted that he joined the gang only a day or two previous to the Wantabadgery outrage. It was reported at the trial that he was an accomplished musician, but it seems that he only possesses a slight knowledge of the piano.

References: “THE CONDEMNED BUSHRANGERS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1879), 3:; “CERTIFICATE OF EXECUTION”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 January 1880), 7:

Resources: Scott, Andrew George (1842–1880), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



SCRASE, Samuel
Amateurs, member(s) (Australian Harmonic Society; ? Philharmonic Society)
Arrived Sydney, 4 January 1839 (per Eweretta, from London, 28 August 1838)
Samuel died South Yarra, VIC, 15 August 1893, “aged 80 years and 8 months, a colonist of 55 years”

Summary: Samuel and Edwin Scrase arrived in Sydney as steerage passengers in January 1839, bringing with them from London an assortment of cheap readymade clothing to stock the “cheap clothing warehouse” they opened in March. In June and July 1841, the recently former Australian Harmonic Society reportedly met in a private room at their Pitt-street dwelling and premises, abutting the Victoria Theatre. They later settled in Victoria.

References: “ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Gazette (5 January 1839), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (18 March 1839), 2:; “TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Monitor (24 April 1839), 2:; “THE DEVIL AMONG THE TAILORS”, The Sydney Gazette (25 April 1839), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (1 May 1839), 1:; “THE AUSTRALIAN HARMONIC SOCIETY”, Australasian Chronicle (5 June 1841), 2:; ; “PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS IN SYDNEY”, The Sydney Herald (5 July 1841), 2:; “MARRIAGE”, The Star (10 March 1860), 2:; “Deaths”, The Argus (17 August 1893), 1:



Boy soprano, ? music publisher
Active Adelaide, 1859

References: “FIRST TIME HEARD”, The Register (3 December 1917), 6:

Publications: Music for the Easter service of Song (to be held in the Town Hall, Adelaide on Thursday, April 5, 1877) (Adelaide: Scrymgour &​ Sons, 1877)



SEA, Henry
Amateur musician, lecturer (School of Arts)
Arrived Sydney, 21 July 1837 (per Achilles, from London, 22 March)

SEA, James
Amateur, secretary (Australian Philharmonic Society)
Active Sydney, 1834
Died Sydney, 6 March 1846, aged 46

June 1839: The [Cecilian] Society and all who attend its concerts are indebted to Mr. Sea, whose polite and courteous attention to visitors, and general exertions for the interests of the Society and the arrangementof its concerts, are particularly appreciated.

November 1839: CECILIAN SOCIETY. THE Members and Subscribers are hereby informed that the next CONCERT will take place on WEDNESDAY, the 11th DECEMBER, being the Anniversary of the formation of the Society; and that from thenceforth the Society’s Concerts will be held on the first instead of the last Wednesday in each Month. By Order of the Committee, HENRY SEA, Secretary.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (16 August 1834), 1:; “Shipping Intelligence”, The Sydney Gazette (22 July 1837), 2:; “MUSICAL CLASS”, The Sydney Gazette (20 October 1838), 2:; “THE SCHOOL OF ARTS”, The Sydney Herald (12 April 1839), 2:; “CECILIAN CONCERT”, The Colonist (8 June 1839), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (26 November 1839), 1:; “SCHOOL OF ARTS”, The Sydney Herald (15 July 1841), 2:; “MARRIED“, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 September 1847), 3:; “DEATH“, Empire (23 January 1851), 3: [sic]; “DEATHS“, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 March 1851), 3:



SEAL, Andreas (Andrew)
Double bass player (Royal Lyceum), bandmaster (Volunteer Band), euphonium player, composer
Born Wiesbaden, Germany
Arrived Australia, March 1855 (from London)
Died Brisbane, 10 September 1904
SEAL, August (William)
Musician, bandsman

Image: From Austin (1962), Quick Step by Andrew Seal

Summary: According to Austin (1962), Seal was brought to Australia by G. V. Brooke in 1855, along with the 4 musician brothers named Cramer. Seal and his brother, and 2 of the Cramer brothers, first came to Brisbane in 1857 to perform in the Botanic Gardens, having been engaged by Robert Ramsey Mackenzie.

Obituary: Mr. A. Seal, bandmaster of the Police Band, who has been an inmate of St. Helen’s Private Hospital, died at that Institution on Saturday evening. That the late bandmaster’s end was near at hand his relations and friends have known for some days. Of Mr. Seal, it might have been truly said that he was the father of Queensland brass bands, for most of the local bandsmen have either received some of their training at his hands, or from pupils whom he had tutored. The late musician was a native of Wiesbaden, on the Rhine. When but a lad he went to London, and was there engaged for the orchestra of the Princess Theatre. In 1854 [recte 1855] he came to Australia with the late Mr. G. V. Brooke, the eminent tragedian. In 1857 he was engaged by the late Sir Robert Mackenzie to play for a season in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens. He was for many years in the service of the Queensland Defence Force as a bandmaster, and since the formation of the Queensland Police Band he has been its head. A man of much talent and activity, the late bandmaster found time, besides performing his duties as conductor, to compose several pieces of music. He was of a generous nature, and he had been a favourite with those witih whom he has been associated during his forty-five years in Queensland. His wife and three daughters have survived him […]

References: [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (16 August 1860), 3:; [Advertisement], The Darling Downs Gazette (24 January 1861), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 August 1861), 1:; “THE VOLUNTEER BAND CONCERT”, The Courier (21 June 1862), 2:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (26 May 1867), 1:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (30 May 1868), 1:; “PERSONAL”, The Brisbane Courier (12 September 1904), 4:; “FUNERAL OF THE LATE BANDMASTER SEAL”, The Brisbane Courier (13 September 1904), 4:

Resources: C. G. Austin, “Early history of music in Queensland”, Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland 6/4 (1962), 1052-1067:; Frederick John Erickson, “The bands and orchestras of Colonial Brisbane” (Ph.D thesis, university of Queensland, 1987):; Clem Llewellyn Lack, “Early musicians on the wallaby: the Seal brothers and some Australian contemporaries”, Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland 8/1 (1966), 155-161:  



SEARELLE, William Luscombe (SEARELL)
Pianist, conductor, impresario, composer
Born Devon, England, 1853
Raised and educated in New Zealand
Active Australia, from 1874
Died Surrey, England, 18 December 1907

Summary (from NLA Searelle): Born in England, Searelle grew up in New Zealand. He claimed that the only musical training he ever received was from his mother during his childhood, and two lessons from Charles Packer in Sydney. After leaving school in 1869 intending to study law, he made his living as a touring pianist and repetiteur for small opera companies in New Zealand and Australia. He gave the first performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore in Sydney in 1879. The first opera of his own to be produced was a sequel, The Wreck of the Pinafore, in Christchurch in 1880. In Australia, Searelle found that although he could readily obtain work as a conductor and repetiteur, no one was willing to perform his works. When Williamson declined to take his next work, The Fakir of Travancore, he went to America, where the work played to great acclaim in San Francisco. At this point he decided to lend distinction to his surname by the addition of the final “e“. In 1882 he revived The Wreck of the Pinafore at the Opera Comique, London, the very theatre in which Gilbert and Sullivan's work had been premiered. Although hounded by the press for his impunity in emulating Britain's most popular librettist and composer, he had established himself in the public eye. Another work Estrella was successful in England, but was discontinued in New York after the theatre caught fire. Illness caused Searelle to return to Australia in 1884, where he completed his next opera Bobadil, and gave the Australian premiere of Estrella. It enjoyed great popularity in Sydney and Melbourne. Bobadil also enjoyed similar success, as did his Isadora in 1885. Following an 1886 visit to New Zealand, Searelle organised an operatic troupe and toured with it to South Africa. He made a fortune in property investment there at the beginning of a gold rush. In 1891 he gave the premiere of his cantata Australia in New Zealand, which described the evolution and history of the continent. Returning to South Africa, he became a noted impresario, importing numerous eminent singers, actors, and whole opera companies from England. With the outbreak of the Boer War, he was ordered to join the Boer army, and his refusal precipitated his financial ruin. He lived in England and America until his death.

Sydney, 1874: Mr. Luscombe Searell, a young composer of promise, who may be said to be almost a native of New Zealand, has arranged as a fantasia, in a very spirited manner, the celebrated duet “The bold Gens d’Armes”, from Offenbach’s opera of “Geneviève de Brabant”. This effort of the young musician displays a considerable knowledge of effective composition for the pianoforte. Master Searell, we are informed, is engaged on the construction of an opera which he intends to produce in Sydney.

Sydney, 1874: LUSCOMBE SEARELL, the youngest Composer in the world, and celebrated Piano Soloist, will perform the CARNIVALE DE VENICE, with variations on the Piano, with a common clothes-brush.

Obituary (Sydney): The death is announced of Mr. Luscombe Searelle, whose comic operas used to entertain Sydney people years ago.

Obituary (Perth): Many Australians will regret to hear of the recent death of Mr. Luscombe Searelle, at the age of 50. After leaving Australia Mr. Searelle sought theatrical fortune in all quarters of the globe, and until the South African war broke out was proprietor of the Theatre Royal, Johannesburg. Subsequently he went to America, and collaborated with the poetess, Ella Wheeler Wilcox in writing a religious drama, “Mizpah”, for the London production of which arrangements have been made with the Lyceum preprietory [sic].

References: “A POPULAR FANTASIA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 August 1874), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 August 1874), 8:; “AUSTRALIANS ABROAD”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 January 1908), 5:; “MAINLY ABOUT PEOPLE”, The Daily News (7 February 1908), 7:

Selected prints:
The Bold Gens-d’armes: fantasia on Offenbach’s air in Genevieve de Brabant (by Luscombe Searell [sic]) (Sydney: J.R. Clarke, 1874)
Song of the Bul-Bul (“Sing to me, birdie” from Fakir of Travancore) ( San Francisco: M. Gray, 1881)
Estrella, comic opera in three acts [complete vocal score] (New York: Wm. A. Pond &​ Co., 1883)
Estrella, opera comique in three acts [wordbook only] (libretto by Walter Parke; the music by Luscombe Searelle) ([Sydney]: [Williamson, Garner and Musgrove's Royal Comic Opera Company], 1884)
Bobadil,comic opera in three acts [wordbook only] (libretto by Walter Parke; composed by Luscombe Searelle with several lyrics written by the Composer) (Sydney : Jas Miller &​ Co., 1884)
Estrella Valse (on melodies from Luscombe Searelle’s comic opera) (London: Duff &​ Stewart ; Sydney: W. H. Paling &​ Co. Ltd., [188-])
Broken-Hearted (song written by C. Russell Blackman ; composed by Luscombe Searell [sic]) (Sydney: [s.n., 189-?]) (Chas. Troedel & Co.)
The Soudan March ([Sydney: s.n., 1885])
Bobadil Waltzes ([? Sydney: s.n., 188-?])
Love me (from … Bobadil; words & music by Luscombe Searelle) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen &​ Co., [188-?])
The Babies on our Block Galop (for the pianoforte /arranged from the popular song introduced by Miss Maggie Moore by Luscombe Searell [sic]) (Sydney: Elvy &​ Co., [189-])
My Grandfather’s Clock: divertimento for the piano on the popular song (Sydney: C. Troedel &​ Co., [18--])

Resources:; Mark Pinner, Mr. Luscombe Searelle, the popular composer (Ph.D thesis, University of Sydney, 2012); Mark Pinner, “Racial stereotypes as comedic mechanism: Luscombe Searelle and Walter Parke”, Grainger Studies 1 (2011):



SEDDON, Frederic Paul
Pianist, composer
Arrived Melbourne, 1851 (with father, the Rev’d David Seddon)
Died Canterbury, England, 26 February 1882, aged 37

SEDDON, John Sumner
Organist (Christ Church, St. Kilda), pupil of Charles Edward Horsley
Active Melbourne, by 1863
Died Canterbury, England, 28 September 1880

1866: A very pretty hymn, composed by F. P. Seddon, Esq., was, also given with very good effect.

1866: We have received from the author, Mr. F. P. Seddon, a song “The Voice of the Wind.” The music is well adapted to words which are plaintive and sweet. The composition is very creditable, especially to an amateur.

1873: The anthiem was Dr. Nare’s ,”Blessed is he that considereth the poor and needy,” and was introduced by a choral recitative for male voices written for the occasion by Mr F. P. Seddon to the words “He that hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Lord: and look, whatsoever he layeth out, it shall be paid to him  again.”

1872 (Benalla): Mr. J. S. Seddon, a pupil of C. E. Horaley, who brought together a fine array of talent, vocal and instrumental, consisting of some of the most distinguishod soloists in and about Melbourne; yet shall it be said of the St. Kilda Elite to their shame that during the evenieg concerts the din and noise caused by a few insignificant pemons was so great that scarcely a note of the music could be beard. Some persons have a peculiar way of annoying their neighbours, and this intolorable practice has become so great a nuisance latterly that it is high time steps were taken to put it down. Benalla folk will remember Mr. C. E Horsley. They will no doubt be glad to hear that he is beginning to do very well in the old country, but complains bitterly of the climate; the latest cable is that he has been appointed conductor of a Liverpool Madrigal society.

References: “HER MAJESTY’S BIRTHDAY”, The Argus (27 May 1863), 4:; “CHRIST CHURCH SCHOOLS, ST. KILDA”, The Telegraph (15 December 1866), 2:; [News], The Argus (15 December 1866), 5:; [News], The Argus (23 October 1866), 4:; “MEMORANDA”, The Telegraph (27 October 1866), 2:; [Advertisement], The Telegraph (8 December 1866), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (10 January 1868), 3:; “MUSIC IN MELBOURNE”, The Benalla Ensign (30 March 1872), 2:; “THE ORGANIST FOR THE GREAT ORGAN. TO THE BDITOR”, The Argus (12August 1872), 6:; “CHRIST CHURCH”, The Telegraph (4 October 1873), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (24 November 1880), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (26 April 1882), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (8 May 1882), 1:

Resources:; the brothers were (? great-) uncles of Summer Locke Elliott       



SEWELL, Richard Clarke
Amateur musician, lawyer
Baptised Newport, Isle of Wight, 6 February 1803
Arrived Melbourne, 1856
Died St. Kilda, VIC, November 1864

Obituary: [...] The labors of the deceased were not confined to the bar, he was also the writer of several professional works of merit, “Sewell’s Coroner’s Law” being still a standard work. He was also the author of several works of fiction, and in this labor shared the honors with a talented sister, who survives to mourn his loss. As an artist and a musician his merits were known and appreciated by those who were intimate with him [...].

References: “DEATH OF DR. SEWELL”, The Australian News for Home Readers (25 November 1864), 3:

Resources:; “Sewell, Richard Clarke“, Dictionary of National Biography 51 (1897):,_Richard_Clarke_(DNB00)



SEYLER, Frederick & Albert
Professors of Music, pianists
Arrived Adelaide, 5 December 1848 (per Thomas Lowry, from London and Plymouth)
Active Adelaide 1848-49
Frederick died Melbourne, 18 June 1866, aged 42

Summary: Though listed as merchants on the manifest of their English ship (they indeed later set up as general retailers), Frederick and Albert Syler, from Hamburg and having “studied under the best German masters”, advertised that they would both give “instructions on the Pianoforte”. With fellow arrival George Fischer, they both appeared in a quarterly Conversazione with Mrs Murray in January 1849. One of the brothers appeared at Griffiths’s concert in March 1849, and one in a musical melange at the Queen’s Theatre in December, with Spencer Wallace, Frederick Ellard, Fischer, George Coppin, and the Lazars. Frederick Seyler sailed out on a ship for California in January 1850, though his destibation may have been Melbourne. He returned to Adelaide, and later both he and Albert relocated to Melbourne.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (6 December 1848), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (23 December 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian (13 March 1849), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (27 January 1849), 2:; “LOCAL NEWS”, South Australian (2 February 1849), 2:; “LOCAL NEWS. MR. GRIFIFTHS’S Concert”, South Australian (16 March 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (21 March 1849), 2:; “NATURALIZATION OF ALIENS”, South Australian Register (18 August 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian (18 December 1849), 3:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (12 January 1850), 2:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (3 June 1850), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (19 June 1866), 4:



SEYLER, Hermann
Violinist, teacher of piano and violin
Active Victoria, 1858-59

References: “MR. WHITE’S BENEFIT”, Bendigo Advertiser (11 June 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (3 July 1858), 1:; “HAYMARKET THEATRE”, Bendigo Advertiser (5 July 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (6 December 1859), 3:



SHALL, William
Active Eaglehawk, VIC, 1867

1867: William Shall, a teacher by profession, an accomplished linguist, speaking no less than five modern languages fluently, and an experienced  musician, was sent to gaol for a month by the magistrates of Eaglehawk for stealing a blanket. A man named Norman, who found Shall about four weeks ago in a destitute condition, took him home with him, and afterwards got him a situation. The ungrateful scamp rewarded his benefactor by breaking into his house and stealing the blanket.

References: “AN EDUCATED THIEF”, Launceston Examiner (20 June 1867), 2:



SHALLARD, Joseph Thomas
Music compositor, printer, and publisher
Active Melbourne, by 1859
Died Lecihhardt, NSW, 21 June 1893

1866: THE PARTNERSHIP existing during the last seven years between the undersigned, under the style of CLARSON, SHALLARD, & Co., as Printers and Publishers, has this day been renewed, and will henceforth be conducted in Sydney and Melbourne in the names of the resident Partners, as under: GIBBS, SHALLARD, & Co., SYDNEY. CLARSON, MASSINA, & Co., MELBOURNE. (Signed) JOSEPH T. B. GIBBS, JOSEPH T. SHALLABD, ALFRED MASSINA, WILLIAM CLARSON. January 1st. 1866

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (7 October 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], The Illustrated Sydney News (16 February 1866), 16:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 June 1893), 10:

Publications: TROVE:; F. S. Wilson, Australian songs and poems (Sydney: Gibbs, Shallard, & Co.,1870):



Bandmaster (58th Regiment)
Active Parramatta, 1844-45
Died New Zealand, late 1848

References: “CHARGE OF FELONY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 February 1845), 3:; “LAW INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1845), 2:; “NEW ZEALAND”, The Courier (14 February 1849), 4:



Violinist, dancing master, vocalist, banjo player
Arrived ? Sydney, 1842
Died Waterloo, NSW, June 1878

SHAPTER, William
Musician, bandmaster
Born Devonshire, England, ? 1840/41
Died Surry Hills, NSW, 26 May 1910, aged 69

Piccolo player
Died Sydney, 28 May 1910, aged 69

SHAPTER, Lizzie (Mrs. Edward McLean)
Active by 1874

Obituary (1910): The death of Mr. William Shapter, a well-known resident of Surry Hills, took place on Friday, May 28th last, at the age of 69 years, after a  somewhat long and painful illness. Deceased was a native of Devonshire, England, and came to Australia when he was a boy, and settled in Sydney. For the past 44 years Mr. Shapter resided in Surry Hills, where he was held in the highest esteem. For fifty years he was connected with the volunteer force of this State, and was also a prominent figure in musical circles. Being a musician of much ability, his services were much in request, and he was from his youth connected with a number of military and other bands, and for years Shapter’s String Band was a house hold term among the dancing portion of the community.

References: ? “ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Herald (11 July 1842), 2:; “NEW INSOLVENT”, The Maitland Mercury (13 September 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (7 September 1850), 5:; [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (28 September 1850), 1:; “BATHURST SERENADERS”, Bathurst Free Press (12 October 1850), 4:; [Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press (21 September 1850), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (5 February 1874), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1876), 4:; “FUNERALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 July 1878), 16:; “NEWS OF THE DAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 October 1878), 5:; “AMUSEMENTS”, The Advertsier (12 January 1893), 6:; “LONG SERVICE MEDALS”, Evening News (1 October 1902), 7:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 May 1910), 6:; “WILLIAM SHAPTER”, Freeman’s Journal (16 June 1910), 23:

Thanks: To Louise Reynolds for information about the Shapter family.



SHARP, Cecil J.
Musician, folk-music collector, composer
Born Camberwell, England, 22 November 1859
Arrived Adelaide, 27 November 1882 (per Potosi, from London and Plymouth via Melbourne)
Departed Adelaide, early 1892 (for London)
Died London, 23 June 1924

NLA persistent identifier:


December 1882: TO THE EDITOR. Sir — As a new comer and a lover of music, will you permit me to endorse the opinions expressed in your leader of the 12th inst. Although I am a resident of only a few weeks’ standing, and therefore feel much diffidence in expressing any decided opinion, I have already noticed that whilst what you have said as regards the want of a first-class master may be perfectly true, there is nevertheless no lack of that class of musician which I may term the “professional amateur”— a class who only require a competent man at their head to render them a very serviceable body of performers. […] I see no reason why, with the material at present to hand, and with that which a thoroughly able man would speedily manufacture, South Australia should not be able to present to the colony at the time of the approaching Exhibition a programme which would compare favourably with the one recently published for performance next week at Melbourne. Apologising for thus encroaching on your space— I am, Sir, &c., CECIL J. SHARP. St. Barnabas College, North Adelaide.

1886: Mr. Everard was hardly in such good voice as he has been heard previously, yet he gave a creditable rendering of a song, “Bright Fedalma,” composed expressly for him by Mr. Cecil Sharp. The song is one requiring not only a good voice but considerable skill for its execution.

August 1890: After a brief interval a light operatto [sic], “Dimple’s Lovers,” was staged, the music for which was written by Mr. Cecil Sharp, and the libretto by Mr. Guy Boothby. The piece consists of one act, and is humorous and almost farcical in character. It is worked out in the easiest style of Gilbert & Sullivan, bearing some resemblance to the well-known “Box and Cox.” There are four characters, with no chorus […]

December 1890: To-night will witness a special event in the annals of South Australian music, namely, the first production of “Sylvia,” a new comic opera written by Mr. Guy Boothby, and music composed by Mr. Cecil Sharp, both of this city. The cast comprises some well-known local musical talent of Adelaide, ably supported by a powerful chorus of trained voices and an efficient orchestra of thirty performers […]

References: “ARRIVAL OF THE POTOSI IN MELBOURNE”, South Australian Weekly Chronicle (25 November 1882), 10:; “TO THE EDITOR”, South Australian Register (22 December 1882), 6:; “MENDELSSOHN’S ST. PAUL”, South Australian Register (28 July 1884), 6:; “ADELAIDE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, South Australian Register (23 July 1886), 6:;  “MISS CARANDINI’S MATINEE CONCERT”, South Australian Register (28 July 1886), 7: ; “GOVERNMENT HOUSE AT HOME”, The Advertiser (13 August 1890), 5:; “ALBERT HALL. DIMPLE’S LOVERS”, South Australian Register (10 September 1890), 7:; “THEATRE ROYAL. SYLVIA”, South Australian Register (4 December 1890), 3:; “The Week”, South Australian Chronicle (28 March 1891), 12:; “OUR ANGLO-COLONIAL LETTER”, The Advertiser (22 March 1892), 6:

Resources: Sue Tronser, Sharp, Cecil James (1859-1924), Australian Dictionary of Biography 11 (1988); Maud Karpeles, Cecil Sharp: his life and work (Faber reprint, 2012), : 



Teacher of music (former band sergeant, 31st Regiment)
Born UK, 1798
Died Bathurst, 1 September 1846

References: “DIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 September 1846), 2:




SHARP, William
Musician, music retailer
Died Launceston, 27 January 1875, aged 65

Obituary 1875: We sincerely regret to record the death of Mr William Sharp, the well-known and respected musician of Cameron-street. Mr Sharp appeared to be in his ordinary robust state of health on the 27th January, and industriously at work during the day tuning instruments and attending to his garden, but during the night he was attacked with apoplexy, and expired in a very short time. Mr. Sharp was a native of Kent, who emigrated to this colony about 20 years ago, with the late Mrs. Sharp, their son Mr. T. Sharp, and Miss Sharp, who, for the benefit of her health, resides at Sydney— the climate there suiting her constitution best— and she recently paid her annual visit to her father. Being a shrewd, intelligent man, a good musician, of active industrious habits, a skilled gardener and florist, he soon acquired a competency and built the fine block of houses known as Sharp’s Buildings in Cameron-street, where he resided and had his musical emporium. His first wife died about six or seven years ago, and be married again the present Mrs. Sharp, whom he leaves with two fine children. Mr Sharp was an enthusiastic florist and importer of some of the finest species of flowers exhibited at the shows of the Northern Horticultural Society, of which he was a leading member. For eighteen years he had been a member of the choir of St. John’s Church (Mr T. Sharp being the organist), and he attended morning and evening service, as usual, on the 24th January. He was a hale, healthy-looking man of robust appearance; apparently full of life and vigor when thus suddenly cut down by a stroke of apoplexy at the age of 65 years His funeral, which took place on the 29th January, was very largely attended.

References: “TASMANIA”, Bendigo Advertiser (28 January 1875), 2: “MISCELLANEA”, The Cornwall Chronicle (22 February 1875), 4: 

SHARPE, Robert
Organist, pianist, composer
Arrived Launceston, 1 August 1859
Departed Australia, 1863
? Died 8 December 1916, in his 81st year

Professor of Music, organist, violinist, conductor
Active Launceston, 1860s
Died at sea, 2 January 1912, in his 78th year


Summary: Robert Sharpe had “just arrived from England” when he advertised that he would teach the Organ, Harmonium and Pianoforte in Launceston in August 1859. He also offered to show his “large assortment of classical music, containing the most admired works of the great masters, Oratorio, Psalmody, and a varied selection of dance and other music”. At his second concert of the year 1860, in August, he included two works of his own, a ballad Fare thee well, and a Volunteer Song, “a stirring composition with a cornet obligato; the words by Carpenter”. One listener thought that the air of the latter bore too striking a resemblance to that of Oh give me back my Arab steed to rate as entirely original, and wrote accordingly to the Examiner, which in turn printed another letter in Sharpe’s defence. Sharpe‘s Volunteer Song is one of the very rare Australian compositions of the entire early colonial period on record as having been performed in Britain, at a concert by the band of the 1st Battalion of Derbyshire Volunteers, at Belper in February 1862, when it was considered an “attractive feature in the programme”. Sharpe himself would soon follow his music “home”; having been in the insolvent court in July 1862, he left to return to England late the following year. (He was still in England in 1880; but was he the Robert Sharpe who died at St. Helen’s, TAS, in his 81st year, in 1916?) Probably a relative, Thomas Sharpe was already in Launceston when Robert arrived. Organist of St. John’s Church, Thomas is also on record as having composed “some fine chants”, sung during the choral services at St. John’s on 24 August 1862. At Farquharson’s farewell concert in 1863, it was advertised that “Miss Sharpe and Mr. Thos. Sharpe will perform a grand duo concertante for piano and violin, Miss Sharp using Collard and Collard’s splendid toned grand piano-forte.” Thomas appears to have left the district by 1872. He advertised in Sydney as a Professor of Organ, Harmonium, Pianoforte, Violin &c.” in July 1875, and in 1877 as organist of St. Philip’s Church Hill. He was a “professor of music” at Stanmore, NSW, in 1885. At the time of his death in 1912, at least two of his sons were practising musicians.

References: “LAUNCESTON SACRED HARMONIC SOCIETY”, Launceston Examiner (4 July 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], The Launceston Examiner (4 January 1859), 1:; “Shipping Intelligence: ENTERED INWARDS”, Launceston Examiner (2 August 1859), 2:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (3 August 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], The Launceston Examiner (16 August 1859), 1:; “MUSICAL”, Launceston Examiner (18 August 1859), 3:; “TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (28 December 1859), 4:; “THE CONCERT”, Launceston Examiner (31 May 1860), 3:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (7 July 1860), 2:; “TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (1 August 1860), 4:; “CONCERT IN AID OF THE ORGAN FUND”, Launceston Examiner (30 August 1860), 3:; “NEW VOLUNTEER’S SONG. [To the] EDITOR”, Launceston Examiner (6 September 1860), 3:; “THE NEW VOLUNTEER SONG: [To the] EDITOR”, Launceston Examiner (8 September 1860), 3:; “SUPREME COURT, LAUNCESTON”, The Cornwall Chronicle (2 January 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (11 May 1861), 6:; “VOLUNTEER SONG”, Launceston Examiner (29 April 1862), 5:; “MARRIAGES”, The Mercury (23 May 1862), 2:; “THE LAUNCESTON MUSICAL UNION“, The Cornwall Chronicle (4 June 1862), 4:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, Launceston Examiner (10 July 1862), 5:; “RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE: CHURCH OF ENGLAND”, Launceston Examiner (23 September 1862), 4:; “TOWN TALK AND TABLE CHAT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (8 May 1863), 5:; “LAUNCESTON HARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Cornwall Chronicle (4 July 1863), 4:; “COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO MR. R. SHARPE”, Launceston Examiner (22 October 1863), 6:; “VOLUNTEER SONG”, Launceston Examiner (26 May 1864), 5:; “VOLUNTEER SONG: To the Editor”, Launceston Examiner (28 May 1864), 4:; “STREET MUSIC. To the Editor”, Launceston Examiner (10 December 1864), 3:; “SACRED AND  SECULAR CONCERT”, Launceston Examiner (3 July 1873), 2:; “THE CONCERT TO MR. SHARP”, Launceston Examiner (15 April 1875), 2:;  [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 July 1875), 7:; “REPETITION OF THE MESSIAH”, Launceston Examiner (4 January 1877), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 July 1877), 9:; “MR. ROBERT SHARPE”, Launceston Examiner (2 August 1880), 3:; “DEATHS”, Launceston Examiner (25 August 1883), 2s:; “Marriages”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1885), 1:; “REMINISCENCES”, Launceston Examiner (12 November 1892), 2:; “DEATH AT SEA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 January 1912), 11:; “OBITUARY”, Goulburn Evening Penny Post (9 January 1912), 2:; “A DEPARTED ORGANIST”, Evening News (13 January 1912),; “PERSONAL”, Barrier Miner (17 January 1912), 2:; “DEATHS”, Examiner (20 January 1912), 1:; “DEATHS”, Examiner (14 December 1916), 1:



Gentleman amateur musician
Arrived Sydney, 23 April 1827

1830: [Preparing to emigrate]: Mr. Shelly found he had about £1,400 in cash. He immediately expended about half this sum in purchasing personal necessaries, conveniences, and comforts, suitable to his habits as a Gentleman; such as a two-years’ stock of clothes, a liberal supply of linen, together with plate, books, mathematical instruments, expensive fowling pieces &c ,drawing materials &c., music and musical instruments &c. The guns alone cost £40. And the music cost him £35. After paying his passage to the Colony and the incidental expenses of the voyage, Mr. Shelly found on his arrival here, that he had property which he considered valuable as capital, if necessity required […]

References: [Editorial], The Sydney Monitor (26 December 1829), 2:; [Editorial], The Sydney Monitor (9 January 1830), 2:; [Editorial], The Sydney Monitor (11 January 1830), 2:



SHERAR, George
Musician, bagpipes player, music retailer, musical instrument maker
Born Scotland, 1809/10
Arrived Sydney, 1832 (per Betsy)
Died Sydney, 4 May 1887, aged 77

1844: [...] On the evening in question, I left home at the request of a few friends, with the intention of proceeding to the theatre, and, on our way thither, we call in at Sims’s, the “Currency Lass.” Whilst there, I was desired by an Irishman and a Catholic, who happened to be in company with us, to play the tune of the “Boyne Water,” to which I objected, saying that I had once had my head broken for so doing. He replied “Oh, nonsense, there is no such party feeling at present,” and in consequence of his repeated solicitations I was induced eventually to play this tune, which appears to have nothing but discordant sounds to the sensitive Mr. D’Arcy. Now, I solemnly aver that this was the only time I played the same tune that evening. But the assault was not committed then. We went afterwards to the “Star and Garter,” where I played the well-known tune of “Sich a getting up stairs,” which, I trust, could not be offensive even to Mr. D’Arcy himself. But I was not struck whilst playing any tune whatever. At the time the brick was hurled at me in so cowardly a manner, I was lighting my pipe, and I had not the most remote idea of having given offence to any one. As to the tune itself, I would beg to say that it is an old favourite Scottish air, known as “The bonny House of Airlie,” composed, I believe, during the reign of James the Fourth of Scotland, consequently long before the battle of the Boyne took place [...]

References: “LIST OF CITIZENS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 September 1842), 4:; “To the Editors”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1844), 2:; “ENGLISH NEWS. THE GREAT EXHIBITION. NEW SOUTH WALES”, Empire (6 September 1851), 3:; “DEATH ON THE RAILWAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 May 1887), 8:




Soprano vocalist
Born Huonville, TAS, 23 March 1855
Died Bromley, Kent, England, 20 September 1935

SHERWIN, Sarah Elizabeth (Mrs. James BARCLAY)
Soprano vocalist

October 1872: […] This is the first appearance of these ladies in Launceston, though their reputation as singers of the first order had preceded their arrival. Miss Sherwin is possessed of a deep, rich, clear soprano voice, with a considerable range, and is under excellent control—the highest and lowest notes being executed with ease and grace, without the slightest apparent straining. Perhaps, to give honor to whom honor is due, we may state that Miss Sherwin has been for some time a pupil of Mr. A. Alexander. Miss Amy Sherwin has a very sweet voice, of contralto order, which, properly speaking, may be termed a mezzo soprano […]

Hobart, May 1878: The present season of Opera will always be a marked one in the memories of the musical world of Hobart Town, as having witnessed the débuts of two colonial ladies upon the operatic stage. Of the appearance of Miss Bessie Pitts as “Rosina” we have already written, and we have now to record the unqualified success of Miss Amy Sherwin, who appeared last night, for the first time, as “Norina” in Don Pasquale […]

Obituary UK: Amy Sherwin, noted operatic soprano, died here today. She was eighty-one. The singer, who once filled the concert halls of America with her golden voice and earned as much as 3,00 pounds sterling yearly, died almost forgotten, lonely and penniless. Living in a fine style had depleted her resources and charges of the nursing home where she died had to be paid by charity.“

References: “NAAMAN PRODUCED BY THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY, HOBART TOWN”, The Cornwall Chronicle (23 August 1872), 3:; “MISS SHERWIN’S CONCERT”, Launceston Examiner (5 October 1872), 5:; “MISS SHERWIN’S CONCERT AT THE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, Cornwall Chronicle (7 October 1872), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, The Mercury (13 April 1874), 1:; “THEATRE ROYAL. ITALIAN OPERA COMPANY”, The Mercury (2 May 1878), 3:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (3 October 1879), 3:; “SUMMARY OF NEWS FOR HOME READERS”, The Mercury (28 July 1883), 4:; “MUSIC AND MUSICIANS Alderman E. J. Rogers A Chat About Old Times”, The Mercury (28 August 1929), 5:; “Amy Sherwin Dies At 81, Penniless”, Rochester Journal (21 September 1935), 3:; “TASMANIAN SINGER Madame Amy Sherwin Death in London Noted Prima Donna”, The Mercury (23 September 1935), 7:; “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. Amy Sherwin’s Career”, The Mercury (24 September 1935), 8:

Resources: Deirdre Morris, Sherwin, Frances Amy Lillian (1855-1935), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



SHERWIN, Walter (alias of John SHICKLE)
Tenor vocalist
Arrived Sydney (via Melbourne), 30 June 1856
Died Darlinghurst, Sydney (en route from China to Melbourne), 22 September 1881, aged 53

Summary: Sherwin arrived in Australia in 1856 as tenor of a touring operatic party including Julia Harland, Robert Farquharson and Linley Norman. He was returning from Hong Kong with the Carandinis when he fell ill and died in Sydney in 1881.

References: “THEATRICAL”, The Argus (27 June 1856), 5:; “SHIPPING”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 July 1856), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (23 September 1881), 1:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 September 1881), 5:



Violin maker
Active Tasmania, 1858

April 1858: Mr. William Shield, the maker of a violin (exhibited) which is constructed of colonial woods, namely Musk-wood  and Huon Pine. The instrument is artistically executed, and its tone was pronounced by some members present to be full, fine, and mellow in a degree beyond what could have been anticipated from timbers so imperfectly seasoned. The following resolution was passed upon a motion made by the Ven. Archdeacon Davies, seconded by Dr. Agnew: “That the Secretary will be good enough to procure the attendance of Shield, the maker of the violin now exhibited, at the next monthly meeting of the Society, in order to have the benefit of his observations on the fitness and adaptability of Tasmanian timber to such purposes.”

May 1858: In the course of the evening Mr. Vautin was introduced, together with Mr. Shiel, the maker of the violin which was exhibited at the last monthly meeting as having been constructed of colonial woods-namely, Musk Wood and Huon Pine, and the opinions of the latter stated upon the value and adaptability of various Tasmanian timbers to such purposes […] Mr. Shiel having promised to bring under notice of the society everything worth reporting which might present itself in the course of trials about to be made by him to test the value of several Tasmanian woods for the construction of musical instruments.

References: “ROYAL SOCIETY OF TASMANIA”, The Courier (28 April 1858), 2:; “ROYAL SOCIETY”, Launceston Examiner (22 May 1858), 2:



SHOOBERT, Wild Abercormbie
Amateur musician, composer
Born Mount Keira, NSW, 28 December 1845
Died Mosman, 1901

Summary: Son of captain James Conrad Shoobert, Sydney shipowner and maritime identity, Wild Schoobert composed The Bombay Galop (“dedicated to Captain Burne and the officers of the R.M.S.S. Bombay”), published by James Reading & Co. of Sydney in November 1867 (cover only image: An unidentified “waltz, composed by Mr. Shoobert, an amateur musician”, appeared in 1864. Wild Schoobert was later a surveyor-draftsman (see, e.g.: and

References: “BIRTH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (31 December 1845), 3:; “WATER POLICE COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 May 1860), 5:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 October 1864), 8:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 November 1867), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 1867), 1:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 June 1879), 3:



SHORN, Edward
Itinerant musician
Active Sydney, 1852

1852: Edward Shorn, an aged itinerant musician, was charged with being illegally at large in Sydney, he holding a ticket-of-leave for Maitland.

References: “WATER POLICE OFFICE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 January 1852), 2:



SIDONIA, pseudonym of SALWAY, William



SIEDE, Julius
Flautist, conductor, composer
Born Dresden, Saxony, 1825
Active Victoria, by September 1856
Died Auburn, VIC, 23 April 1903

SIEDE, August
Pianist, conductor, composer, music journalist (The Argus)
Born Melbourne, c.1870
Died London, 16 September 1925

Image (Julius):

Summary: Julius Siede, “Flautist from the Opera, Berlin”, had joined Anna Bishop and George Loder’s touring company in Victoria by September 1856. In fact, he had lived in the United States since 1848, touring there with Jenny Lind and previously with Bishop. Siede stayed on in Melbourne, and lived until 1903, contributing over almost four decades toward the professionalisation of musical life of Melbourne (his son, August, was also an occasional composer).  In 1859, at a performance of “Verdi‘s new and most popular opera La Traviata“, he introduced a “new National Song”, Advance Australia (“Composed expressly for, and sung by, Mons. Emile Coulon”), and a Grand Overture for “a complete orchestra”, the first of several overtures he introduced in Victoria, variously performed by orchestra or military band (also including Faust and Margarethe, Festival, and Anthony and Cleopatra). He wrote choral works for the Melbourne Liedertafel, including Hymn to the Night and The Occultation of Orion (Longfellow), as well as a great deal of military band music. None of his works is known to survive. August Siede’s Ancient Dance for the pianoforte was published in Melbourne in 1908.

Ballarat October 1856: Herr Siede gave another of his delightful executions upon the flute, over which instrument he seems to have a perfect mastery; the expression, with which his countenance is by no means largely endowed, appearing to have accumulated with unwonted power in his nimbly moving digits, giving to them the faculty of rapid and faultless manipulation.

Obituary 1903: Herr Julius Siede, the well known musician, died at his residence in Auburn on Thursday night, at the age of 78. Herr Siede was one of Melbourne’s oldest musicians, having been a resident of the city since 1855. He had previously travelled through America as solo flautist with the celebrated singer, Jenny Lind, and, after arriving in Australia, made a two-years’ tour with Madame Anna Bishop. Subsequently he was conductor of Lyster’s famous opera company, and in 1872 became conductor of the Melbourne Liedertafel, in which position he continued until 1890. Herr Siede’s wife pre-deceased him. He leaves two daughters and five sons, one of whom is Mr. August Siede, also well known in the musical world, who is now on a trip to Europe. The funeral will be held this afternoon at half-past 2, and will be attended by past and present members of the Melbourne Liedertafel, who will sing a requiem over the grave.

December 1903: Mr. August Siede, of Melbourne, an Australian composer, produced last night at Dreaden his lyric symphony, “The Australian Walpurgisnight.” The performance was well received. Mr. August Siede is the son of the late Mr. Julius Siede. He left Melbourne two years ago for a course of study in Europe. He was known in Melbourne as the conductor of the Melbourne Liedertafel, and as a composer and excellent organist. His chief compositions are a setting of the last three stanzas of Shelley’s “Adonais”, which was performed by the Melbourne Liedertafel, and a symphonic overture, performed by Mr. Marshall Hall’s orchestra, under the composer’s direction, at its 49th concert in the Melbourne Town Hall.

Obituary 1923: Private messages received in Melbourne yesterday announced the death in London on September 16, of Mr. August Siede, well known in musical circles in Melbourne as a pianist, organist, conductor, and critic. A cultured and accomplished musician and a scholarly writer on musical subjects, Mr. Siede was for some years musical critic of The Argus […] He was aged about 55 years.

References: “GEELONG”, The Argus (10 September 1856), 6:; “MONTEZUMA THEATRE”, The Star (21 October 1856), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (13 April 1859), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 December 1859), 8:; “MR. JULIUS SIEDE”, The Argus (30 September 1887), 7: ; “HERR JULIUS SIEDE”, Illustrated Australian News and Musical Times (1 April 1890), 9:; “PERSONAL”, The Argus (24 April 1903), 13:; “A MELBOURNE COMPOSER. SUCCESS IN EUROPE”, The Mercury (29 December 1903), 5:; “AN AUSTRALIAN COMPOSER. MR. AUGUST SIEDE AT DRESDEN”, The West Australian (29 December 1903), 5:; “PERSONAL”, The Argus (27 October 1925), 10:

Resources: Thérèse Radic, Siede, Julius (1825-1903), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



SIGMONT, William Abercrombie
Professor of music, pianist, bass vocalist, guitarist, organist, composer
Arrived Sydney, 13 August 1849 (per Madawaska, via Adelaide and Melbourne)
Died Goulburn, NSW, 6 October 1867, aged 70

Summary: Sigmont, in his early 50s (and, I imagine, of mixed Scottish-German-Hungarian Catholic descent), arrived in Sydney with his wife and three children on 13 August 1849, and advertised on 18 August as: “late professor of Music at Vienna, in the family of Prince Metternich, begs to inform the public of Sydney that he has just arrived from England, and is desirou« of giving instruction in Singing and the Guitar, Pianoforte, Violin, and the Organ. Mr. S., whilst in England, having been appointed Professor of the German and French Languages at two of the head grammar schools, is desirous of tesching the above languages either in private or at schools”. He had been in England since 1830 or earlier, active as a Catholic organist and choirmaster in Newcastle and Hull. He dedicated his first few years in NSW to concert giving, eventually working with most of the major Sydney musical fraternity. At his second concert in March 1850, Bell’s Life found: “This gentleman improves on acquaintance … There was a boldness and full tone in the performer’s singing”; Schubert’s Erl King “deserves to be better known here than it hitherto has been. None can make it become so, better than Mr. S.” (though James Waller had previosuly sung it); and in Thalberg’s God Save the Queen and Rule Britannia he “evidenced consummate talent”. He presented several of his own compositions, including the Zigueuner Waltzes, and The Red Cross Banner (“a patriotic Ode, the music by Mr. Sigmont, consisting of an Overture, a triumphal march, a double chorus, and four other chorusses; three solos and a duet”). At his fourth concert in August he was assisted by Abraham Emanuel and the Gautrots, and later that month and into September he accompanied Maria Carandini and Sara Flower in three concerts in Maitland. He also lectured on Scottish music, accompanied St. Mary’s Choral Society, and took music classes for the School of Arts. He settled in Goulburn in 1854, and the following January was accompanist for concerts there by Miska Hauser and Ali-Ben Sou-Alle.

References: ““NEW MUSICAL WORKS”, The Harmonicon 8 (1830), 442:; [Music reviews], The National Standard of Literature, Science, Music (13 April 1833), 239:; “1837 (Oct. 29)”, The local historian's table book of remarkable occurences 4 (Newcastle: M. A. Richardson, 1844), 398:; “HULL HOLY CATHOLIC GUILD”, Bengal Catholic Herald (17 April 1841), 84:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 August 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1849), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1849), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (21 January 1850), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 January 1850), 1:; “MR. SIGMONT’S CONCERT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (2 February 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 March 1850), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 April 1850), 1:; “MR. SIGMONT”S MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (23 March 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 March 1850), 1:; “A NIGHT WITH SIGMONT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (6 April 1850), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 July 1850), 1:; “THE PATENT HARMONIUM”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (27 July 1850), 2:; “THE PATENT HARMONIUM”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (3 August 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 August 1850), 1:; “CONCERT”, The Maitland Mercury (31 August 1850), 2:; “CONCERT” , The Maitland Mercury (7 September 1850), 2:; “MR. SIGMONT’S MUSICAL LECTURE”, Empire (5 November 1851), 3:; “MR. A. MOORE’S SOIREE MUSICALE”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (29 November 1851), 2:; “ST. MARY’S CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, Empire (24 February 1852), 2:; “MUSIC IN THE METROPOLIS”, Empire (19 April 1852), 2:; “MR. WALLER’S CONCERT”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (11 September 1852), 2:; “IMPROMPTU”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (5 February 1853), 2:; “GOULBURN”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1854), 3:; “MATTERS MUSICAL. THE HUNGARIAN AND THE TURK”, Empire (1 February 1855), 5:; “SOIREE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 February 1864), 6:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1867), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1867), 1:



SIMEON, Michael
Singer, choir leader (Hobart Synagogue)
Born 1824
Arrived Hobart, 22 October 1843 (free per Flying Squirrel, with his wife Sarah)

Summary (Levi): Chorister at the Consecration 1845, Hobart Town Courier reported he “possesses a falsetto voice of good quality rarely met with”; assisted Isaac Solomon in arranging the music for the dedication of the Synagogue building; returned to England in early 1850s. [CSO 92/11, p. 103; Levi, These are the names (2006), 694].

Summary (GS): According to the Colonial Times, Simeon “had assisted in a similar ceremony at home, and remembering the melodies, sung them to Mr. [Joseph] Reichenberg, who most felicitously melodized them. Mr. R attempted, and it must be admitted, accomplished the teaching five persons to sing in parts, and acquiring himself sufficient Hebrew to comprehend what he had to teach, in a manner which must increase the already high opinion entertained by the Tasmanian public of his professional superiority.“  

References: “OPENING OF THR SYNAGOGUE ARGYLE STREET”, The Observer (8 July 1845), 3:; “THE SYNAGOGUE”, The Observer (15 July 1845), 3:; “THE SYNAGOGUE”, Colonial Times (11 July 1845), 3:



Actor, manager, comedian, songwriter
Born ? UK, c.1827/28
Arrived Sydney, 16 August 1855 (per Fanny Major, from San Francisco)
Died Auckland, NZ, 17 October 1870

Summary: Described at least once later as an “American actor”, Simmonds arrived in Australia with Lola Montez, Charles Eigenschenck, and Harriet Fiddes in August 1855. His published collection, Lyrics: a Collection of Songs, Ballads, and Poems (by James Simmonds, Comedian) (Sydney: James Fryer, 1858) contains some songs previously published set to music by J. R. Thomas and others in the United States where Simmonds was associated with several minstrel companies, including Buckley’s Serenaders. However, the most famous of these, Let us speak of a man as we find him, set to music by Thomas and publihsed in the USA in 1854, was not his original lyric , and is known in several earlier sources.  Another song from this collection, The World Within and the World Without was set in Australia by Sidney Nelson in May 1857. Henry Squires also sang, and J.R. Clarke published in Sydney in 1861 the Thomas/Simmonds song , Some one to love. Simmonds’s last documented new song was Viva l’Australia, for Raffaele Abecco, in April 1865. Simmonds died suddenly of apoplexy in Auckland in 1870, reportedly aged 42 (elsewhere 38). George Loder arranged the music for his August 1857 extravaganza, The Lady Killer, Or The Devil in Sydney. He was at least once in the 1860s described as an American actor. According to Mimi Colligan, J. E. Neild later recalled him as a “low Jew who was for a time a theatrical man in Melbourne. He died poor and miserably in New Zealand.”  W. H. Stephen, in his MS journal, “My diary from Sydney” (1 May 1858 to 6 June 1859; University of California Library, Los Angeles, Special Collections, MSS 170/11), gives an account of the decline of drama in New South Wales, a decline that he blames on the arrival of the comedian James Simmonds, a performer brought to Australia by Lola Montez:

Obituary (Echuca): James Simmonds, manager, actor and poet, we learn by telegram, died at Auckland, on the 18th instant, aged 38 [? 42]. Whatever may have been his faults, his faults, his death will be keenly felt by many who knew his natural kindness of heart and geniality of disposition. This last quality indeed was the rock on which, like many more of his calling, he wrecked a life which at one time was full of promise.

1894: Mr. James Simmonds was well known as an actor and a manager. At one time he managed the Eagle theatre, in Sudbury street, Boston, Mass.. He was the author of several songs, one of which, entitled Speak of a Man as You find Him, has enjoyed much popularity. 

1908: It was then my fortune to be introduced to Mr. James Simmonds, of East Melbourne, virtual proprietor of the new Princess Theatre, who was bringing Joseph Jefferson to Australia. He lived with his mother in a charming villa in that exclusive quarter, where I remember two delightful evenings. He was known amongst his friends as a poet. Some poems he had composed attracted favorable notice in the Press, and subsequently a small volume was published.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 August 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 May 1857), 1:; [Advertisement]: “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1857), 1:; “THE DRAMA. THE ROYAL VICTORIA”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (29 August 1857), 2:; “Review”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (20 February 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (18 April 1865), 8:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Ballarat Star (30 September 1865), 2:; G. B. Barton, Literature in New South Wales (Sydney, 1866), 103:; [Advertisement], The Ballarat Star (25 December 1866), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (30 January 1868), 1:; “REVIEW”, The Ballarat Star (11 January 1867), 2-3:; “DEATHS”, Daily Southern Cross (7 November 1870), 2:; “TELEGRAPHIC DESPATCHES”, The Argus (24 October 1870), 6:; [News], Riverine Herald (26 October 1870), 2:; “STAGE RECOLLECTIONS … By C. W.”, Evening News (1 August 1908), 4:

Resources: William Winter, Life and art of Joseph Jefferson (New York: Macmillan, 1894), 172:; Mimi Colligan, “Theatre in the Neild Scrapbooks”, La Trobe Library Journal 83 (May 2009):



SIMMONS, Joseph (? alias RAY)
Vocalist, falsettist, songwriter
Born England, ? 1810
Arrived ? (1) Hobart and Sydney (1) May 1830 (per Arab); departed Hobart, November 1832 (per Arethusa, for England)
Arrived Sydney (2), 21 December 1833 (per Brothers, from Land’s End, 3 September)
Died Sydney, 9 August 1893, aged 84

Image: Portrait of Joseph Simmons, the country storekeeper (Heads of the People, 1847):

Hobart, November 1832 (following Oppenheim’s identification of Simmons with Ray): Mr. Ray does not shine as a musician, his voice is rather powerful in the lower notes, and the falsetto decent, especially the upper tones, but he has little idea of cleverly passing from his natural voice to the falsetto-there is a degree of difficulty when he arrives at passages requiring the b'ending of the two-beside one very serious drawback to Mr. Ray, being considered a good musician, is that, his ear is by no means perfect, and he frequent- ly gives whole passages far from being in tune.

Summary: Having been in business in Sydney first as an auctioneer and, on after his return visit to England in 1833, as a shopkeeper, in February 1834 Simmons went into a theatrical partnership with Barnett Levey, taking “the entire management of the stage”. In his early months at the theatre he sang Dibdin’s Farewell my Trim-built Wherry, as well as introducing topical parodies, such as that on Thomas Hudson’s comic song The Spider and the Fly. According to the Australian, one of his colleagues tried to match him in September by introducing an “extemporaneous song (after the manner of Mr. Simmons) which it had been perhaps more judicious, to omit.” In the farce High Life Below Stairs in January 1836, Simmons both danced a Mock Minuet de la Cour and sang a Mock Italian Bravura. The Gazette reported: “The Gavotte [sic] by Simmons and Mrs. Jones was danced with a comic aping of ton, highly amusing, and Simmons’s mock Bravura, which was executed with foppish extravagance, together with his tremor and nervous agitation at the close of the song, relieved by the application of “O’Colleen” by Lady Charlotte, and the put on exquisite solicitude of the rest of the party, was highly comic and entertaining.”

In spirit if not perhaps in detail, he later revived this as the Mock Italian Aria in Charles Nagel’s Mock Catalani in 1842. Later examples, in May and June 1843, were his An Extemporaneous Song in the character of Billy Barlow and An Extemporaneous Song upon the Election. He announced his retirment from the stage in April 1845. He was given a benefit at the Theatre Royal as late as June 1879, and was still advertising as a dramatic instuctor in 1890 (“the pioneer of the drama in Australia; every branch of the art taught”).

References: “VAN DIEMEN’S LAND NEWS”, The Sydney Monitor (2 June 1830), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (30 June 1831), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (10 April 1832), 3:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (16 November 1832), 3:; [News], Colonial Times (20 November 1832), 2:; [News], The Hobart Town Courier (23 November 1832), 2:; “ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Gazette (24 December 1833), 2:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (21 January 1834), 2:; [News], The Sydney Monitor (14 February 1834), 3:; “The Drama”, The Australian (21 February 1834), 2:; “A PARODY ON THAT CELEBRATED SONG SUNG BY MR. SIMMONS”, The Australian (14 April 1834), 4:; “THEATRICALS”, The Australian (3 June 1834), 2:; “THEATRICALS”, The Australian (26 September 1834), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (16 January 1836), 3:; “SYDNEY THEATRICALS”, The Sydney Gazette (19 January 1836), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (7 May 1842), 2:; [Advertisement]: “ROYAL CITY THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 May 1843), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 June 1843), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 June 1843), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 April 1845), 1:; “AMUSEMENTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 June 1879), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 February 1890), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1890), 2:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 August 1893), 1:

Resources: H. L. Oppenheim, Simmons, Joseph (1810–1893), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967)



SIMMONS, Julia (later Julia SYDNEY; ? Mrs. W. ORR)
Soprano vocalist, composer
Born Sydney, 1839

Summary: Daughter of auctioneer Isaac Simmons (“a well-known musician of Sydney” (1862)), and “pupil of Signor Luigi Arditi” (1863), Julia Simmons announced her grand concert for 16 August 1861, assisted by Frederick Ellard, Alfred Anderson, the harpist T. H. Brooks, and Douglas Callen and the Band of the 12th Regiment. She then sang Ah, fors e lui from La Traviata, and Arditi’s duet, Trema o vil (with Sara Flower) for Callen and the Sydney Philharmonic Society in September. The press greeted her as “our new Australian debutante”, and later: “In the prayer and cavatina, “Casta Diva,“ the highly cultivated voice, and correct musical taste of Miss Julia Simmons were heard to the greatest advantage, her execution of the grand invocation of the druidical priestess being honoured with a rapturous encore”. At the Orpheonist Society concert in August 1862, “As an encore [Miss Simmons] gave Lily Lee, a ballad of her own composition. Mr. [Frederick] Ellard accompanied Miss Simmons on the pianoforte”. She sang a solo at York Street Synagogue in Sepetmber 1862, under musical director Lewis Moss. Earlier, in November 1861, Moss had publihsed her composition The Ladies Polka (“Composed &​ inscribed to the Ladies of N.S.W.”), and in 1863 J. R. Clarke published her ballad Lily Lee (“arranged by C. Packer”) in the Australian Musical Album for 1863. She spent the 1870s in London, appearing there as Julia Sydney.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 August 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (14 August 1861), 1:; “CONCERT”, Empire (16 August 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1861), 1:; “MUSIC AND THE THEATRES”, Empire (21 September 1861), 3:; “SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 September 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 November 1861), 8:; “NEW POLKA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1861), 5:; “LANCASHIRE DISTRESS FUND: ORPHEONIST CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 August 1862), 5:; “RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES IN THE JEWISH SYNAGOGUE, YORK STREET”, Empire (15 September 1862), 5:; “PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS”, Empire (21 April 1863), 3: CONCERT IN AID OF THE RANDWICK ASYLUM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 June 1863), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 October 1863), 1: “MISS JULIA SYDNEY”, The Musical World 48 (28 May 1870), 368:; “Dramatic and Musical Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (8 October 1870), 21:; “Music and the Drama”, Australian Town and Country Journal (15 April 1882), 13:



Amateur baritone vocalist, artist, sculptor
Born Rome, 1838
Arrived Brisbane, by June 1872
Died Balmain, NSW, 23 March 1900, aged 62

Hobart 1876: On the 20th ult. a very attractive concert was given at the Oddfellows’ Hall. The concert had been specially arranged to afford the musical public an opportunity of hearing Signor Achille Simonetti, an Italian visitor, who is said to be one of the finest amateur vocalists that has visited Australia. Signor Simonetti gave several operatic selections, which displayed to advantage a fine baritone voice. On the 14th inst. a second concert was given at the Town Hall, under the conductorship of Mr. F. A. Packer. On this occasion also Signor Simonetti confirmed the high opinion previously formed of his powers. He sang the aria “Di provenza” from Traviata, and a cavatina from Faust in such a manner as to stamp him as a first-class artist, and we are sure it will be long before the public of this city have an opportunity of hearing a better baritone singer.

References: [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (21 June 1872), 1:; “MR. A. ANDERSON’s grand concert …”, The Brisbane Courier (2 July 1872), 2:; “MUSIC”, The Queenslander (28 September 1872), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 February 1875), 10:; [News], Illustrated Sydney News (10 March 1875), 21:; “ST. JOHN’S CHAPEL CONCERT”, Freeman’s Journal (10 April 1875), 13:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (29 February 1876), 3:; “SPORTS AND AMUSEMENTS”, The Mercury (20 March 1876), 2s:; “DEATHS”, Evening News (24 March 1900), 4:; “DEATH OF SIGNOR SIMONETTI. THE WELL-KNOWN SCULPTOR”, Evening News (24 March 1900), 4:

Resources: Noel S. Hutchinson, Simonetti, Achille (1838-1900), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)

Disambiguation: Not the violinist-composer Achille Simonetti (1857-1928):

Associations: Friend of Domenico Carmusci



Soprano vocalist (“Prima Donna from the Opera Comique, of Paris”)
Died St. Kilda, VIC, 19 September 1896, aged 61

Violinist, conductor, operatic manager (“Solo Violinist to His Majesty the King of Denmark”)
Arrived Melbourne, August 1865
Died (suicide), Melbourne, 28 November 1899

Obituary: Mr. Martin Simonsen, the head of the well-known musical family of that name committed suicide yesterday afternoon by shooting himself. Since the death of Madame Simonsen, three years ago, Mr. Simonsen had resided with Mr. and Mrs. Goulding at 588 Elizabeth-street, a two-story house, standing between Victoria     and Queensberry streets. For some time past he has been very unsettled, but had never shown any suicidal tendencies. On Monday night he was visited by his youngest son, Martin, and the evening was spent pleasantly in a game of cards, the father appearing cheerful and contented […]  Many years ago Mr. Simonsen was one of the most prominent figures in the musical circles of Australia. A German by birth, he arrived in Melbourne about 25 years ago, with his wife, Madame Fanny Simonsen. He was a violinist, and Madame Simonsen a vocalist, and both were considered by competent critics to be possessed of rare ability. Opening at St. George’s Hall with a concert company, they achieved such success that Mr. William Saurin Lyster, the leading operatic manager of the day, prevailed upon them to join his company, Mr. Simonsen as conductor and his wife as prima donna. The first opera with which they were associated was “L’Africaine”, and in this, as in the succeeding operas of the season, the Simonsens were warmly received. After a time they severed their connection with Mr. Lyster, and started an operatic company of their own, playing throughout Australia with varied success. Mr. Simonsen’s skill as a manager was, however, unequal to his ability as a musician, and few of his ventures were successful in the end. Madame Simonsen in later years applied herself to teaching, and was the means of bringing into prominence such world-renowned vocalists as her daughter, Madame Frances Saville, and Miss Ada Crossley. About 12 years ago, Mr. Simonsen brought to Australia an Italian opera company, which had a very successful season at the Alexandra Theatre, and two members of which, Signorina Rebottaro and Signor De Alba, remain with us still. Tempted by the success of this company, Mr. Simonsen repeated the experiment with the Italian Opera Company of about eight years ago, but failed to make the enterprise a financial success. He followed this failure with one even more disasterous –the importatation of the Spanish Students—and was so crippled by the ventures that he never afterwards recovered his financial position. Mr. Simonsen was about 70 years of age, and leaves a large family, nearly all of whom are prominently known in the musical world.

References: “MAUTITIUS”, Empire (6 May 1857), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (14 August 1865), 8:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (13 November 1865), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (21 September 1896), 1:; “THE TROUBLES OF AN OPERATIC MANAGER. MARTIN SIMONSEN’S INSOLVENCY. OBLIGED TO SELL HIS VIOLIN”, The Argus (13 March 1897), 11:; “DEATH OF A WELL-KNOWN MUSICIAN. MR. MARTIN SIMONSEN SHOOTS HIMSELF”, The Argus (29 November 1899), 8:

Australian works (?): Redowa (for the piano, Op. 22) (dedicated to the Ladies of Tasmania)  (“All ladies present this evening will be presented with a finely engraved copy of the “Hobart Town Redowa” for piano, expressly composed by Martin Simonsen, and dedicated by him to the Ladies of Tasmania.”)

European publications including:
Souvenirs d'Allemagne (Oberländler) (pour violon avec accompagnement de piano, Op. 7 composé par Martin Simonsen) Hambourg: Fritz Schuberth, [between 1857 and 1861?]
Souvenir de Caracas et Puerto Rico (rondo aguinaldo pour le violon avec accompagnement de piano, op. 16) (Hambourg : chez Ernst Berens, [186-?])

Performance materials from Simonsen’s opera companies including:
Lucrezia Borgia [Donizetti] (Martin Simonsen's Royal English Opera Company) J.C. Williamson collection of performance materials (NLA)
Haydee [Auber] Martin Simonsen's English Opera Company The Richard Bonynge collection of musical scores (NLA)



Bugler (51st Regiment)
Departed Hobart, August 1846
Died India 1846/47

References: [News], The Courier (12 August 1846), 3:; “THE 51ST REGIMENT IN INDIA”, The Courier (15 may 1857), 2: “We regret to record that, since the arrival of the head-quarters of this fine regiment in the China and Agincourt, at bangalore, there have been many deaths, among whom we may mention [… ] sergeant Jones (of the band,) […] Kelly (of the band,) Simpson (of the buglers.)“



Bandsman (HMS Carysfort)
Visiting Sydney, August 1845

References: “FLEECING NEPTUNE’S MUSICIANS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 August 1846), 2:



SIMPSON, William
Clarinettist, bandsman (99th Regiment)
Regiment active Australia, 1843-56

References: “THE BAND OF THE 99TH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Australian (29 November 1845), 1:



SIMPSON, William
Clarionet player, teacher
Active Hobart, by 1869; until 1892 (? perhaps = the above)

April 1899: SUNDAY CONCERT. The GARRISON BAND (by permission of the Commandant) will give a CONCERT in the Barrack reserve NEXT SUNDAY AFTERNOON, commencing at 3 o’clock. The proceeds will be for the benefit of MR. WILLIAM SIMPSON (an old musician) and family who are in very reduced circumstances. The public, doubtless, are aware that no charge can be made for these afternoon concerts, but all who enter the gates are expected to put a Coin in the Boxes.

References: “COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT”, The Mercury (31 March 1869), 2:; “TOWN HALL PROMENADE CONCERTS”, The Mercury (8 June 1869), 2:; “COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT TO MR. BIGGS”, The Mercury (30 June 1869), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (10 July 1869), 1:; “SIGNOR GAGLIARDI’S BENEFIT CONCERT”, The Mercury (12 July 1869), 2:; “PROMENADE CONCERT”, The Mercury (13 July 1869), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (21 September 1869), 1:; “MUSIC AT THE BOTANICAL GARDENS”, The Mercury (30 January 1873), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (10 May 1878), 3:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (6 January 1881), 1:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (12 April 1889), 3:; “BENEFIT CONCERT”, The Mercury (25 June 1892), 3:



Bandmaster, violinist, publican
Born ? Derby, England, baptised 31 October 1841 (a family history)
Active Wagga Wagga, NSW, by 1870

1870: A very excellent concert was given on Monday night at the Court House in aid of the Flood Relief Fund by the Wagga Band, assisted by the Eastwick family and several amateurs. The Band performed several of their best pieces with great success, and certainly do great credit to their skilful band-master, Mr. Simpson, who must have taken no small pains to bring his band in so short a time up to such comparative perfection.

1871: Sir,—Among the many evidences of progress in the lively little town of Wagga, during the last year or two, the study, of music has been conspicuous. The town band (consisting of about a dozen tradesmen) led the van by engaging an instructor for twelve months, and resolutely practising under him till they hid attained a tolerably degree of proficiency. After a short interval, the late bandmaster (Mr. Simpson) having left the town, the band has just been reorganised, and has effected an engagement, for another twelve months’ tuition, with Mr. Schlue, a German professor of music, under whose zealous conduct hard practice for two or three hours is enforced three times a week […]

References: ? “OFFICIAL BULLETIN”, Colonial Times (25 July 1851), 3:; “MONSTER CONCERT”, Wagga Wagga Advertiser (30 October 1869), 2:; [News], Wagga Wagga Advertiser (29 January 1870), 2:; “WAGGA WAGGA BAND CONCERT”, Wagga Wagga Advertiser (11 May 1870), 2:; “WAGGA WAGGA POLICE COURT”, Wagga Wagga Advertiser (15 February 1871), 2:; “MUSIC IN WAGGA WAGGA. To the Editor”, Wagga Wagga Advertiser (7 June 1871), 2:



Musician, contra bass player, band master
Active Ballarat, 1860-64

References: “BALLARAT WEST FIRE BRIGADE”, The Star (20 October 1860), 1s:; “CHARLIE NAPIER CONCERT HALL”, The Star (25 February 1861), 3:; “SACRED CONCERT AT THE CHARLIE NAPIER”, The Star (1 April 1861), 2: ; “The Ballarat Harmonic Society …”, The Star (23 September 1864), 1s:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Star (24 October 1864), 2s:



SINCLAIR, Frederick
Teacher of music, music critic (Australian Town and Country Journal), poet, journalist, editor, lecturer, composer
Born Dublin, ? 1812
Arrived Sydney, 1848
Active NSW, by 1855
Died Marrickville, NSW, 31 December 1903, “65 years a journalist … in his 92nd year”

Summary: In his 1858 lecture on music Sinclair mentioned Wagner’s Flying Dutchman, one of the very earliest documented references I’ve found to Wagner in Australian sources. My hunch, however, is that Sinclair probably did not have firsthand knowledge of any of the music; but rather was reporting on things he had read in imported British press. As of March 2014, I have found no bibliographic record of his 1874 journal publication, Mind and matter, having survived.

Obituary: Mr. Frederick Sinclair, one of the oldest journalists in Now South Wales, died at his residence, Renwick-street, Marrickville, on December 31, at the advanced age of 92. The deceased gentle man was a native of Dublin, Ireland, and, after having been connected with journalistic work in England for some years, he came to Sydney in 1848, being accompanied by his wife and son. Shortly after his arrival in New South Wales he became connected with “The Empire” newspaper, which subsequently became incorporated with the “Evening News.” During the fifties, he was associated with the “Northern Times” in the Hunter River district, and was one of the founders of the Maitland School of Arts. Subsequently, he became the editor of the “Braidwood Dispatch,” and a few years later purchased the “Illawarra Express.” He then threw up newspaper work, and for some time was engaged as a teacher under the old Council of Education. Later on, he joined the staff of the “Town and Country Journal,” and an article of his appeared in its first number. He remained on the “T. and C.” for many years, during which time he was the musical critic for that paper. Although he had been ailing for the past 18 months, death was practically due to senile decay. The demise of his wife, six months ago, was a great shock to him, and since that time he gradually failed. He leaves two children, Mrs. M. Eagar, and Dr. Henry Sinclair, of 213 Elizabeth-street, Sydney. The funeral took place on January 2.

References: [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (24 March 1855), 3:; “LECTURE ON MUSIC”, Illawarra Mercury (15 July 1858), 2:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 April 1867), 2:; “Mind and matter … ”, Empire (1 June 1874), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1904), 4:; “OBITUARY”, Australian Town and Country Journal (6 January 1904), 55:

Musical works: My own New England Home, Australian Town and Country Journal (15 October 1881), 27:; The Wedding Hymn (referred to in 1874 above); The Stolen Child (Ballad opera) (1874)


SINCOCK, Joyce Flamank (Miss)
Born ? Andover, England, 11 July 1844
Arrived Melbourne, ? mid 1860s
Died Melbourne, VIC, 2 October 1904, aged 60

1868: We have received a copy of a set of quadrilles, entitled the “Abyssinian Quadrilles”, composed by J. F. Sincock, and published by Messrs. Turner and Gill, of Flinders lane. The title-page, which hears the name of Charles Turner, is an exceedingly good and creditable specimen of chromo-lithography, and tho musical notation is lithographed in a style certainly better than that of any similar colonial publication we remember to have met with. We cannot say anything in praise of the music. Notwithstanding the circumstance that the proofs have been corrected without due care, and that, in consequence, notes evidently not intended by tho composer appear here and there in the course of the composition, in many instances the harmonies obviously intended are altogether wrong, tho progressions are sometimes grammatically incorrect, the chords are occasionally badly arranged, and generally the melodies (the melodies of dance music should always be striking) are of the most common-place character. After a dozen or so more attempts, under the supervision of some well-skilled tutor, the composer, who has undoubtedly a turn for musical composition, may possibly produce a set of quadrilles worthy of publication. However, our present author is not singular in “rushing into print'” without having first submitted his or her manuscript to the judgment of an experienced connoisseur.

References: [News], The Argus (6 August 1868), 5:; “EXCELSIOR CLASS. TO THE EDITOR”, The Independent (4 July 1885), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (8 October 1904), 9:

Works: The Abyssinian Quadrilles (by J. F. Sincock; 1 Zulla, 2 Senafe, 3 Adigerat, 4 Dalanta, 5 Magdala) (Melbourne: Turner &​ Gill, [1868])

Resources: Diary of Mary Louisa Sincock, 1869 Feb. 10-Mar. 3 (Describes family life in Melbourne; also contains dates of births, marriages and other biographical details of the Sincock family):



SINGER, Mr. (? John McDonald)
Active Hobart, 1843-53
? Died Hobart, 20 May 1866, aged 53

Summary: Singer appeared regularly as a violinist in Hobart concerts between 1843 and 1846, often playing second or third to Joseph Gautrot. When Gautrot’s “real Cremona” fiddle was raffled in 1846 to raise him cash, Singer won the instrument. One of his violins appeared in the Tasmanian Exhibition in 1895: “In the interesting collection of violins exhibited by Messrs. Walch & Sons is a very old instrument, the maker being the celebrated German violin-maker, Jacob Stainer, who was bom in 1616 and died in 1683. The instrument is the property of Mr. [Alfred] Singer, dentist, Macquarie-street, in whose family it bad been for 160 years previous to his father's death in 1845 [query date]. His father used to lend it to Professor Toms when playing obbligato to Jenny Lind's songs. It is in an excellent state of preservation, and has an exquisite tone. Jacob Stainer, it is said, worked at Cremona under Antonius or Nicholas Amati, and made violins of special excellence. He was the first to introduce into Germany the Italian principles of construction, and which are the principles of sonority. Some trace his models to the early Tyrolean viol-makers, but in the opinion of other authorities the peculiarities of the Stainer violins are strictly original. They are now very rare and valuable.“

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (17 February 1843), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (30 April 1844), 1:; “MRS. GATTEY HOPKINS’S BALL”, Colonial Times (30 April 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (16 November 1844), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (21 June 1845), 1:; [Advertisement], The Observer (1 July 1845), 1:; “CONCERT”, Colonial Times (6 February 1846), 3:; “GAUTROT’S FIDDLE”, The Courier (14 March 1846), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (31 October 1853), 3:; “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE … GRAND MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Colonial Times (5 November 1853), 2:; “DEATHS“, The Mercury (21 May 1866), 1:; “Tasmanian International Exhibition“, The Mercury (4 March 1895), 3:



SIPP, Rudolph (Rudolf; Rodolfo)
Pianist, violinist, composer
Born Leipzig, Germany, 16 February 1836
Arrived Sydney, by September 1865
Departed Sydney, September 1866

Summary: A detailed account of Sipp’s world travels through America, the Pacific, Asia, and anticipating his arrival in Australia, appeared in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (10 March 1865). Having played in Victoria in August and arrived in Sydney in September 1865, in December he advertised over a dozen compositions, many of them souvenirs of his travels to date, for sale at the major music retailers: Fantasia on Linda di Chamounix [perhaps the work he later repackaged as Souvenir de North Shore, see below]; Les Bomberos de Valparaiso [suggesting he may have had contact there with the former Ausrtralian firefighter-composer James Aquinas Reid]; Julia Mazurka de Concert; Fantasia brillante on Traviata; Traversée de l’Isthme of Panama; March brillante; Samacueca Milena de Salon; Rosa Valse brillante; Jena Mazurka de Concert; Adios Notturno; El Carnival de Huacho; 1st Fantasia on Trovatore; Las Canpanas de Chorillos; Le Rêve Caprice Etude; Deutche Lieder; Romance variée; Polonaise brillante. His piano solo arrangement of the popular ballad Dear mother I’ve come home to die, Op.41 was published in Sydney by J. H. Anderson in June 1866 [piano solo] (third edition: Sydney: J. H. Anderson, [18-]). At Sipp’s July concert he and Alfred Anderson performed the Souvenir de North Shore (Grand Duo, composed and arranged for two Pianos, on Linda di Camounix [by] R. Sipp), as well as other piano works (the Deane brothers’ string quartet also assisted). He failed to appear at his concert in September 1866, having apparently skipped town.

August 1866: HERR SIPP, THE PIANIST, WAS born at Leipzig, on the 16th of February, 1836, where his father is still an active member of the musical profession. Amongst many eminent pupils of Herr Sipp's father, we may mention the name of Richard Wagner, the celebrated composer. After Herr Sipp left school,he went to Berlin and studied under Marks Stern and Cullak [Kullak]; and in 1855 he composed an opera, entitled “Le Deserteur”, which has never been performed, and perished five years later in the celebrated fire of Valparaiso, hence the so popular composition of Herr Sipp, “Los Bomberos (the Firemen) de Valparaiso”, which has gained immense popularity in South America, and which was played at Herr Sipp’s last concert, as an encore, with Mr. Anderson. Before Herr Sipp left Europe, he played in Berlin and Leipzig with great success; and on his arrival in Valparaiso in the month of September, 1857, and at many towns along the west coast, he gave the first concerts ever heard in that remote region. There he had to play for amber, instead of the usual recompense, gold and silver. After two years travelling, he went to Lima, where he conducted the opera; In his journeyings he visited nearly all the South American republics, went to Panama and the West Indies, and from thence to Europe after an absence of nearly five years. From that time to the present he has seen nearly all parts of the globe, including Paris, London, Berlin, Leipzig, Rome, the United States, as well as Lima and California, the Sandwich Islands, China, Japan, the Phillipine islands, Java, Sumatra, and finally Sydney. As a pianist, Herr Sipp belongs more to the saloon than to the concert room. There is no doubt the piano, when it is properly played, belongs more to the drawing room than to the large concert room; for the latter it is necessary to play for effect, while the saloon is more suitable to listen to the fine pianissinios in which Herr Sipp excels. In San Francisco Herr Sipp gave a great concert, where his “Fireman’s March” was performed on ten pianos, with two performers at each. He conducted choral societies in several places, including the “Qintra” in San Francisco, and the Musical Society in Honolulu, where he had the honour to havè the patronage of Queen Emma as a pupil. Herr Sipp has for the present settled in Sydney, and practises his profession. He gave his first concert during the past month.There was a crowded house, and we understand he intendsgiving another concert shortly.

September 1866: […] the audience, which was not very numerous, were doomed to complete disappointment, so far as Mr. Sipp was concerned, who neither appeared, apologised, or proved an alibi. Whatever may have been the cause of his absence, an apology was due […] and one can scarcely conceive a cooler insult (in the absence of further information) being offered to the public than that of last night. […] However, that clever young pianist, Mr. Alfred Anderson, was asked at a moment’s notice to supply Herr Sipp’s place, and he, after some little and not unnatural hesitation, consented to do so, and played some of the music from Gounod’s “Faust” in such a brilliant style as to obtain an irresistible encore.

References: “Nachrichten”, Neue berliner Musikzeitung (12 March 1862), 85:; “Tagesgeschichte”, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (21 March 1862), 99:; “Vermischtes”, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (10 March 1865), 95:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 September 1865), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1865), 1:; “CONCERT AT THE STAR THEATRE”, Ovens and Murray Advertiser (1 July 1865), 3: h; “HERR RUDOLPH SIPP”, Empire (22 September 1865), 4:; “AMUSEMENTS”, Illustrated Sydney News (16 October 1865), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 December 1865), 10:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 June 1866), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 July 1866), 8:; “HERR SIPP THE PIANIST”, Illustrated Sydney News (16 August 1866), 4:; “PROMENADE CONCERT AT THE PRINCE OF WALES OPERA HOUSE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 September 1866), 4:; “PROMENADE CONCERT AT THE PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE”, Empire (18 September 1866), 5:; “THE THEATRES”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (29 September 1866), 3:


SIPPE, George
Master of the band of the 57th Regiment, Professor of Music, violoncellist
Born ? Ireland ?
Arrived Sydney, 1826
Died Sydney, 1842


See also: Death notice, reprinted from the Irish press, for George Sippe’s father, Andrew Sippe: [News], The Sydney Gazette (21 February 1833), 2:



Musician, entertainer, publican
Active Sydney, 1844-early 1850s

See main entry: George Skinner



Musician, violinist, barman
Active Deniliquin, 1856

References: “EDWARD RIVER DISTRICT. DENLIQIQUIN PETTY SESSIONS “, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 August 1856), 2: “Mr. Frederick Marshall, landlord of the Highlander Inn, South Deniliquin, was summoned on the information of one of the police in having music at the Highlander, the said house not being licensed for music. John Skipper, barman of the inn, appeared for Mr. Marshall, who was from home; the barman, who is a musician, was tuning his fiddle a few evenings since in the bar of the house, as he said, merely practising. This was the defence. Mr. Cockburn, the chairman, stated that the Bench had given strict orders that there was to be no music played in the public-houses without special permission, and fined the defendant £10, with 11s. 6d. costs.”



President (Australian Harmonic Society)
Active Sydney, 1841

1841: THE AUSTRALIAN HARMONIC SOCIETY. A new society, under the above name, has lately been formed in Sydney by several of the leading harmonists, for the purpose of enjoying a few social hours after the business and cares of the day. We understand that it meets every Wednesday evening, in a private room of Mr. Scrase’s, Pitt-street […] On Wednesday evening last our informant was introduced as a visitor, and was highly delighted with the evening’s entertainments, consisting of vocal and instrumtental music. Mr. [S. W.] Wallace, in his usual effective style, played several solos on the violin, and Mr. Deane some beautiful overtures on the pianoforte. The eloquence and wit of the president of the society, Mr. Slattelie, contributed much to the enjoyment of the evening. 

References: “THE AUSTRALIAN HARMONIC SOCIETY”, Australasian Chronicle (5 June 1841), 2:



First Banjo (Melophonic Concert Room)
Active Hobart, 1853

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (7 May 1853), 3:



Saxhorn player
Active Melbourne and Sydney, April to August 1853

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1853), 1: [Advertisement], Empire (25 April 1853), 3:; “MR. EVANS SLOPER’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 June 1853), 2:; “CONCERTS”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (2 July 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 August 1853), 7:



SMALL, Joe (Joseph)
Bass vocalist, comic singer, songwriter
Born ? (“native of Sydney”)
Arrived Sydney, 1836
Died at sea near Hong Kong, December 1874

Bendigo 1858: The singing (in character) of “The Unfortunate Man,” “The Bold Soldier Boy,” &c., by Mr. Small, was received with most vociferous applause and roars of laughter. An additional verse, with reference to the late war in India, was well received. In this gentleman we recognise a very good substitute for Thatcher.

References: “MR. SMALL’S BENEFIT”, Bendigo Advertiser (5 September 1855), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (6 October 1855), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (15 January 1856), 3:; “PEDESTRIANISM”, Bendigo Advertiser (25 January 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], Bendigo Advertiser (5 March 1858), 3:; “LYCEUM THEATRE”, Bendigo Advertiser (16 September 1858), 3:; “LYCEUM THEATRE”, Bendigo Advertiser (29 November 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (7 March 1860), 3:; “NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIAN SONGSTER”, Wellington Independent (13 March 1866), 5:; [News], New Zealand Herald (14 April 1866), 5:; [News], The Brisbane Courier (24 August 1866), 2: ; [News], The Brisbane Courier (7 August 1873), 2:; “DEATH OF A WELL-KNOWN PROFESSIONAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 February 1875) 5:; [News], Australian Town and Country Journal (6 February 1875), 24:; [News], Thames Star (27 February 1875), 2:

Works: The New Zealand and Australian songster (containing a collection of comic songs, to which is added, extracts from his diary on the Australian goldfields written and sung by J. Small) (Christchurch, NZ: Tribe, Mosley and Caygill, 1866)

Resources: Robert H. B. Hoskins, “Small, Joe”, The encyclopedia of New Zealand:

Associates: Charles Thatcher, Edward Salaman, Nathan Family



Violincello [sic] and Double bass player (New Queen’s Theatre)
Active Adelaide, 1848

References: [Advertisement], South Australian (29 February 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3:



Second Banjo (Melophonic Concert Room)
Active Hobart, 1853

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (7 May 1853), 3:



SMITH, Arabella
Soprano vocalist
Arrived Melbourne, by July 1853

1853: … a lady recently arrived, who has, for some time passed, been a leading favourite at all the Dublin concerts, and whose performances have elicited the warmest encomiums from the Irish press. Miss Arabella Smith, even if she were not possessed of vocal talents of a very high order, has claims upon our sympathy, which we feel assured a Melbourne public will not be slow to acknowledge. This Lady was among the passengers by the ill-fated '”Earl of Charlemont,” and, we regret to say, sustained considerable loss by that sad catastrophe.

References: “WRECK OF THE CHARLEMONT”, The Argus (21 June 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 July 1853), 8:; “THIS EVENING”, The Argus (1 August 1853), 5:; “ALI-BEN SOU-ALLE”, The Cornwall Chronicle (7 October 1854), 5:



SMITH (Schmidt), Charles
SMITH (Schmidt), Gottfried
Flautist, musician
SMITH (Schmidt), Henry
Active Sydney, 1859

References: [Advertisement], Empire (2 July 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], Empire (4 July 1859), 6: “DEATHS’, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 February 1867), 1:



SMITH, Charles
Professor of Music and Dancing
Active Brisbane, by February 1861, until November 1862

References: [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (5 February 1861), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (10 November 1862), 3:



SMITH, Christopher
Professor of Music (“A German”)
Active Sydney, 1853

Summary: Christopher Smith, Professor of Music of Castlereagh-street was insolvent in July 1853. At his examination, “the insolvent being a German, and but imperfectly acquainted with the English language”, an interpreter was used. He was eventually “allowed to retain his household furniture, wearing apparel, and musical instruments”.

References: “INSOLVENT COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 July 1853), 2:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 July 1853), 2:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 July 1853), 3:



SMITH, Emilie (Miss)
Pianist, piano teacher
Active Melbourne, 1855-58

Summary: “Miss Emilie Smith (the celebrated pianiste)”, playing Thalberg and Schulhoff,  appeared in concert in Melbourne with Elizabeth Testar, Miska Hauser and Charles Bial (who was perhaps her teacher) in June 1855. At her own concert in February 1856, again playing Thalberg, the Argus noted with “pleasure a great advance toward that perfection of delicacy of touch which was all that was wanting to enable this charming young artiste to justly claim rank with the best modern professors of the pianoforte. It appeared as though Miss Smith had caught a new inspiration from the great maestro on the violin, Miska Hauser, with whom she has now played at a considerable number of concerts here.” She was teaching from Glass Cottages, Victoria-parade in 1858.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (21 June 1855), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 February 1856), 8:; “MISS EMILIE SMITH’S CONCERT”, The Argus (26 February 1856), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 August 1857), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 January 1858), 7:



SMITH, Fanny Cochrane
Indigenous leader, singer
Born Flinders Island, TAS, December 1834
Died Poet Cygnet, TAS, 24 February 1905

Clark: In 1899 and 1903 she recorded songs on wax cylinders: held in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, these are the only recordings ever made of Tasmanian Aboriginal song and speech.

Audio recording: Fanny Cochrane Smith’s Tasmanian Aboriginal Songs (1903), NFSA/Screen Australia,

Resources: J. Clark, Smith, Fanny Cochrane (1834-1905), Australian Dictionary of Biography 11 (1988)



SMITH, George
Amateur musician (Dilletanti Society), music retailer
Active Sydney, 1840

Summary: On 17 January, W. A. Duncan drew to the attention of Chronicle readers the newly established firm of Reid, Smith, and McCrohan, who had taken over the music shop and business of Andrew Ellard. On 23 January, the Gazette reported: “AS we were passing the shop of Messrs. Reid, Smith, & M’Crohan (late Mr. A. Ellard’s), on the night of Tuesday last, between the hours of 9 and 10 o’clock, we had the pleasure of hearing several airs played by a very full and efficient orchestra. On enquiry we were informed that it was the rehearsal night of a new musical society called the ‘Delatanti Society’. We heard in particular one set of Mozart’s celebrated waltzes played in a style we have never heard surpassed in this colony. Dr. Reid, we are informed, is the leader […]”. On 28 January, the Dilletanti Society warned the public “on account of this Society, to George Smith, late Secertary, he having been expelled by unanimous vote of the General Meeting”, and on 31 January James Reid and Jeremiah McCrohan also advertised that Smith was no longer associated with their business.

References: “Music”, Australasian Chronicle (17 January 1840), 3:; “DELATANTI SOCIETY”, The Sydney Gazette (23 January 1840), 2:; “DILLETANTI SOCIETY”, Australasian Chronicle (24 January 1840), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (27 January 1840), 3:; [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (28 January 1840), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (31 January 1840), 2:



SMITH, James
Writer, reviewer and commentator on music and drama (The Argus)
Born Loose, Kent, England, 1820
Arrived Melbourne, 1854
Died Hawthorn, Melbourne, 19 March 1910

Obituary: […] Mr. James Smith was one of the oldest journalists of note in Australia. He was connected with the Victorian press for upwards of 50 years. Born near Maidstone, in Kent, he was educated for the Church, but scruples of conscience kept him from taking orders. He then turned to journalism […] In 1854 he came out to Victoria, and a year later he joined the staff of the “Age”. An offer from the proprietors of “The Argus” drew him in 1858 to the editorial staff of this journal, for which he wrote leaders, literary articles, and dramatic criticisms. To the country press of Victoria he also contributed numerous articles. […] Some years ago his long connection with “The Argus” was broken, and he resumed his old place on the staff of the “Age”, with which he was associated principally as a literary writer and dramatic critic up to the time of his death. Mr. Smith was a fluent and versatile writer. He could illuminate almost any topic. This was because he had been throughout his life an omnivorous and systematic reader. […]

References: “AMATEUR PERFORMANCE”, The Argus (28 July 1855), 5:; “DEATH OF MR. JAMES SMITH”, The Argus (21 March 1910), 6:

Works: James Smith, “The social development of Australasia”, in Australasian Federal Directory (Melbourne and Sydney: J. W. F. Rogers, [1888]):; “THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. BY J. S. No. I.”, The Argus (17 May 1890), 4:; “THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. BY J. S. No. II.”, The Argus (24 May 1890), 13:; “THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. By J. S. No. III.”, The Argus (31 May 1890), 4: “THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. By J. S. No. IV.”, The Argus (7 June 1890), 4: 

1888: Before the discovery of gold, theatres had been established in Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong, Adelaide, Hobart, and Launceston, and possibly elsewhere in the colonies. But that event brought Australia prominently into notice at the other end of the world, and it was regarded as a country worth exploitering by professional people of considerable repute in Europe and the United States. Catherine Hayes, the vocalist, made the tour of the colonies and reaped a golden harvest; Miska Hauser, a Hungarian violinist, was equally successful ; and Anna Bishop was the pioneer of Italian opera, the first entertainment of the kind having been given at the Princess's Theatre (since pulled down) in Melbourne. It was a polyglot performance, for one of the principals sang his part in Italian, another in German, another in French, another in Spanish, and another in English. People cared little for the libretto, however, but a great deal for the music ; and, considering that a chorus had to be organized, drilled, and instructed, and that all sorts of difficulties had to be surmounted, the performance was a remarkably successful one. Among other professional visitors to the colonies in those early days were Miss Emma Stanley with her monological entertainment, Mr. Stephen Massett, Jacobs and Anderson the conjurors, the Backus Minstrels from New York, and Lola Montez, bent upon turning to pecuniary profit the notoriety she had acquired by her amours with the then King of Bavaria, and by the insurrection, which had resulted in her expulsion from Munich […] MUSIC. The cultivation of music in the various colonies belonging to this group commenced at a comparatively early period of their existence, and it could be scarcely more widely diffused than it is among all classes of society. This is a fact which impresses itself on the attention of foreign visitors more particularly. One of these, the Baron Michel, in a lecture delivered before the Societe des Etudes Coloniales et Maritimes, in Paris, last year, remarked to his hearers, “You cannot imagine how widely disseminated is the pianoforte in Australia. I will not say that there is one on every floor, because most of the houses are of one story only, but certainly every village, every cottage, and, in shorty every habitable dwelling possesses one if not two of these instruments. And, indeed, they are so prevalent that some mischievous wag proposed to give Sydney the name of Pianopolis.” There may be a trace of exaggeration in this statement, but it is nevertheless substantially true; and you cannot walk through the suburbs of any of the chief centres of population in either of the colonies without being reminded of the gratifying fact that a pianoforte of some kind constitutes a portion of the furniture, not only of middle-class houses, but of the back parlours of small shopkeepers, and of the cottages of prosperous artisans. As a natural consequence, musical entertainments are extremely popular, and associations for promoting the study and practice of the divine art are exceedingly numerous in proportion to the population. In Sydney the Metropolitan Liedertafel numbers 400 subscribers and 60 performing members, and the Sydney Liedertafel 1000 subscribers, and 74 vocalists and 25 instrumentalists as performing members ; while there is also an efficiently conducted Western Suburbs Musical Society. In Melbourne the Philharmonic Society has been in existence upwards of thirty years, and is one of the most important organizations of the kind in Australasia. It has an influential competitor in the Metropolitan Liedertafel, with which must be bracketed the Melbourne Liedertafel. In addition to these, there is the Musical Association of Victoria, the Tonic Sol-fa Association, the Continental Concert Society, and the Brighton, the Hawthorn and Kew, and the Toorak Harmonic Societies. Adelaide has its Deutsche Liedertafel, with 200 subscribers and 22 performing members; Hobart, its Philharmonic Society, its Orchestral Union, its Orpheus Club, its Liedertafel, and its Metropolitan, Reserve, and Rifle Bands. There are also five bands of music in Launceston. Brisbane has its Musical Union, with 300 subscribers, 86 practising and 20 auxiliary members; its Orchestral Society, its Liedertafel, and its South Brisbane Musical Society. Of similar musical associations in New Zealand we have no accessible record, but the inhabitants of that colony, are certainly not behind those of the continent in their affection for and cultivation of the most refined and humanizing of the arts […] A pretty good index to the prevalence of a popular taste for music is afforded by the fact that so many musicians of eminence have visited the Australasian colonies  […] [several pages more]  for the purpose of giving concerts in them, and generally speaking with satisfactory results to themselves. Miss Arabella Goddard, MM. Pouasard and Douay, Henri Ketten, Wilhehnj, Kowalski, Remenyi, Köhler, Ley, Madeline Schiller, and Herr Pabst may be enumerated among those who have crossed the Equator in search of fame or fortune — some of them obtaining both— in these Southern land. And the munificent gift of £20,000 by a private citizen, the Hon. Francis Ormond, for the foundation of a chair of music in the Melbourne University, is a splendid recognition of the importance of this form of culture as a branch of the higher education. Some mention has already been made of the beginnings of opera in Australia. But its institution as a permanent source of enjoyment was due to the enterprise of Mr. F. S. Lyster, an Irish American gentleman who came hither from California about five and twenty years ago, bringing with him a well-organized and remarkably efficient company, together with a skilful conductor, for the performance of grand opera. He produced the masterpieces of Meyerbeer, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Gounod, Flotow, Verdi, Auber, Balfe, Wallace, Weber, and other composers upon the boards of the principal theatres in Australasia, with a completeness which may have been subsequently equalled, but has certainly not been surpassed; and he contributed in no unimportant degree to raise the taste of the play-going public in many instances, to educate it in some, and to provide an intellectual form of entertainment for all. The news of his success, from a financial point of view, induced some speculative managers in Italy to engage a specifically Italian company of lyric artists for a professional tour through the Australian colonies, and the result was a succession of operatic performances which, if they did not reach the high standard of great European capitals, were such as to satisfy all reasonable expectations. Indeed the lighter productions of Rossini and Donizetti were interpreted as efficiently as they could have been in Milan or Naples; while wandering stars like Ilma di Murska and Carlotta Patti, with other vocalists of lesser note, occasionally made their appearance in the principal concert-rooms of the colonies. As a private accomplishment, there is no art more popular than music throughout the whole of Australasia, and the quantity of musical instruments and the amount of sheet music imported, to say nothing of the pianos and organs locally manufactured, as well as the number of qualified persons engaged in tuition, would be found, on examination, to reach a total that is literally astonishing, when regard is had to the limits of the population.

Resources: Ann-Mari Jordens, Smith, James (1820-1910), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



Musician, violinist, fiddler
Active Melbourne, 1856

1856: DESERTING A WIFE AND FAMILY. A man named John Smith was brought up at the City Court yesterday on a charge of deserting his wife and three children. The wife, a very decent-looking woman, stated that the prisoner, who is a musician, had been in the habit of treating her very brutally. She was married to him at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, and during the time they lived together in England the prisoner beat her so severely that he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment in Stafford gaol, and the wife and her mother, a person of very respectable appearance, appear to have used every endeavor for the prisoner’s release from custody, and by some means obtained £45, which they paid for his passage to this colony. Since their arrival here the poor woman had been obliged to support herself and family by washing, while the husband was squandering his earnings in debauchery. A few days ago he returned home, when she was in bed, and broke his fiddle over her head, and stabbed the bedclothes in several places with a knife, one of which stabs inflicted a wound in her left arm. […]

References: “DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE, The Argus (15 April 1856), 5:



SMITH, John Washington
Minstrel, manager
Born USA, c.1815
Died South Yarra, VIC, 31 August 1877

Obituary: We regret to have to announce the death of Mr. John Washington Smith, the well-known theatrical manager, which occurred this morning, at 3 O’clock, at his residence, South Yarra. Mr. Smith, who was 58 years of age, has been well known in connection with the theatrical profession in these colonies, having been identified in a managerial character with public amusements here for many years. He was associated with Mr. W. S. Lyster in the management of the first theatrical company which Mr. Lyster brought to this colony, and since then has introduced a large number of artists of all lands to the colonies. Mr. Smith also travelled much, and was in the habit of doing the round of all the colonies, and then taking his various companies to Japan, China, and India, in all which countries his name was almost as well-known as it was in Australia. The veteran manager died, it may be said, in harness […]

1911: John Washington Smith was one of the earliest and best negro delineators ante-dating minstrelsy proper, although he was later associated with several prominent organizations. His earliest recorded appearance was with the Lion Circus in Cincinnati, December, 1838. The following year he played in New York, and a year later went to Europe, where he performed with “Pickaninny“ Coleman. Returning to America, he played at the Bowery Amphitheatre, April 25, 1842. In 1849 he wrote and first sung the song that was afterwards in the repertoire of many famous minstrels — “Old Bob Ridley;” this occurred in New Orleans, La. In the Fall of 1855 he was with the original San Francisco Minstrels in the California metropolis. He subsequently went to Australia and other foreign countries, where for many years he piloted various minstrel organizations. John Washington Smith was born in the United States about 1815; he died in S. Yarra, Australia, August 31, 1877.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (18 May 1871), 3: ; “Deaths”, The Argus (1 September 1877), 1:; “DEATH OF A THEATRICAL MANAGER”, Evening News (3 September 1877), 2:

Resources: Edward Le Roy Rice, Monarchs of minstrelsy from “Daddy” Rice to date (New York: Kenny Publishing Company, 1911), 24:



SMITH, Josephine Villeneuve (Miss; Mrs. Eccles)
Amateur composer
Active Tasmania, 1854

Summary: Marie Josephine Villeneuve, formerly of the West Indies, and husband Francis Smith came to Tasmania in 1826. Their son Francis was later premier of Tasmania (1857-60), and daughter Hester married captain John Williams of the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment. I had thought Josephine was perhaps a grand-daughter, but Tony Marshall discovered the record of her 1869 marriage that states she too was a daughter. Her The Lanarkshire Polka (Hobart: Huxtable & Deakin, [1855]) appeared in H. B. Stoney’s The Tasmanian Lyre, an anthology closely connected with the 99th.

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (13 November 1854), 3:; Colonial Times (9 March 1855), 4:; “DEATH”, Alexandra Times (10 December 1868), 2:; “MARRIED“, Alexandra Times (11 June 1869), 2: 

Resources: J. M. Bennett and F. C. Green, Smith, Sir Francis Villeneuve (1819–1909), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976);



Piano tuner and maker (fifteen years with Broadwood and Sons)
Active Melbourne, 1853

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (19 February 1853), 8:



SMITH, Robert
Music master, fiddler
Active Hobart, 1836

References: “Hobart Town Police Report”, Colonial Times (8 March 1836), 7:



SMITH, Robert
Pianoforte maker
Active Collingwood, VIC, 1853

References: “HORRIBLE OCCURRENCE. SUICIDE OF MR. SPENCE, THE DRAPER. (From the Melbourne Herald.)”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 June 1853), 1s:



SMITH, Sydney
Mouth organ player
Active Sydney, 1831

References: “Police Incidents”, The Sydney Herald (30 May 1831), 2: “Sydney Smith, for being riotous, drunk, &c., and dancing in the street to the tune of Drops o’ Brandy, which he himself played on a mouth organ, had to cash up five bob, and was warned in future to hide his musical talents under a bushel.”



Composer, bandmaster (Imperial Band)
Active Sydney, by 1879

October 1979: NEW MUSIC— We have received from Mr. William Bullard, the “Australian Exhibition Schottische” composed by Mr. W. H. Smith. It is dedicated to P. A. Jennings, Esq., C.M.G., Executive Commissioner for the International Exhibition. The music is nicely arranged, and the “Exhibition Schottische” is sure to become a favourite. The printing, which is good, is done by Messrs. Gibbs, Shallard and Co. The price is Is. 6d.

1880: Mr. W. H. Smith, the composer of the “Australian Exhibition Schottische,” has been elected bandmaster of the Imperial band.

1882: Mr. W. H. Smith, Bandmaster of the Imperial and Mercantile Bands, writes on the subject of Brevities, which have appeared as to the practising of band music in Selwyn-street, that on Wednesdays night (referred to in Thursday’s “Brevities”), the drum was not touched, the drummer being absent from practice, and that the playing of the other instruments ceased a few minutes past 10. As to the band being discordant, he avers that they play well together, and in tune. When they practiced in Brisbane-street there were no complaints, though they were merely learners and practising their scales.

References: “THE BRASS BAND CONTEST. To the Editor”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 July 1879), 5:; “BRASS BAND CONTEST. To the Editor”, Evening News (28 July 1879), 3:; “NEW MUSIC”, Freeman’s Journal (11 October 1879), 16:; “TEMPERANCE HALL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 June 1880), 6:; “Brevities”, Evening News (26 June 1880), 5:; “Brevities”, Evening News (29 April 1882), 4:



SMITH, William
Precentor (St. Stephen’s, Macquarie Street), conductor (Presbyterian Psalmody Association)
Active Sydney, by 1865
Died Waverley, 30 August 1893, in his 51st year

Summary: Mr. William Smith was precentor of St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Macquarie Street, Sydney, from 1877 until his resignation in March 1880, only a month after the inauguration of the new Willis organ on 8 February 1880 which, no doubt, seriously impacted on the simpler style of vocal music prevailing there hitherto.

Obituary: At Waverley Presbyterian Church yesterday funeral service was conducted by the Rev. Macaulay, M.A., having special reference to death of Mr. William Smith, of the Waverley Quarries, who was buried at the Waverley Cemetery on Friday […] Mr. Smith was for many years precentor of St. Stephen’s Church, Sydney, and also took an active part in the Liedertafel, where his voice was of great service.

References: “PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, PYRMONT”, Empire (8 November 1865), 5:; “TEA MEETING AND ENTERTAINMENT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 November 1873), 7:; “Presbyterian Psalmody Association”, Evening News (18 January 1876), 2:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 September 1893), 1:;“FUNERAL SERVICE AT WAVERLEY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 September 1893), 6:




SMYTHE, Carlyle
Music journalist and reviewer (The Argus), musical and artists agent, writer
Born Umbana, Himalayas (son of Amelia BAILEY and Robert SMYTHE)
Active Melbourne, 1869-1925
Died Nice, France, December 1925

Obituary: Mr, Carlyle Smythe was the son of the late Mr R. S. Smythe and Mrs Smythe […] Mr. [Robert] Smythe sen, was, as is well remembered, an entrepreneur for eminent lecturers, and also for some years a concert manager. Mrs R. S. Smythe (who was Miss Amelia Bailey) was a soprano singer on one of the tours conducted by Mr. Smythe, and it was while they were on a tour in the East that Mr. Carlyle Smythe was born at Umbana, at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains. His childhood and boyhood were spent in Melbourne, and he was educated at Hawthorn Grammar School, under Professor Irving […] He became a student of the University, where he gained the degree of bachelor of arts. […] After leaving the university Mr. Carlyle Smythe assisted in managing some of the more notable tours which his father arranged. Subsequently, he spent some time in Europe, during which he engaged in journalism in Brussels, where he was for four years editor of the “Belgian Times”, a journal published in English and French. He also published a history of Belgium. Upon his return to Australia he took up the interests that his father had made practically a family possession […] After his father had retired Mr. Carlyle Smythe made engagements on his own account, and among other notable persons who came to Australia under his auspices were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mr. Alexander Watson, Captain Amundsen and Annie Besant. The promise of Mr Carlysle Smythe’s early life in literature and art was thoroughly fulfilled during his connection with journalism in the intervals between his other engagements which involved travelling. He was for a considerable time a valued contributor to these columns, both as art and musical critic and as a writer on the broad questions of international policy […]”

References: “MR. CARLYLE SMYTHE. Death in France”, The Argus (18 December 1925), 21:



SMYTHE, Robert Sparrow
Concert Agent, musical commentator (husband of Amelia Bailey)
Born Lambeth, London
Active Australia, by 1862
Died Depedene, VIC, 23 May 1917

Obituary: [...] Early in the fifties Mr. Smythe was recommended by his medical adviser to try the long sea voyage to Australia as a sort of last hope in an aggrevated case of pulmonary weakness. That voyage not only provided a complete cure, but was the beginning of wanderings that made Mr. Smythe familiar with most of the inhabited portions of the earth. Upon reaching Australia he joined the ranks of the newspaper press and in the course of his journalistic experiences in Melbourne and Adelaide witnessed and described some of the historic incidents of the early days. [...] But Mr. Smythe in the early sixties discovered that, like Ulysses, “ he could not rest from travel ”, and he organised a small concert party, headed by two young French instrumentalists, Poussard and Douay, whom he piloted for five years through Australia, Asia and South Africa [...] 

References: “STATE ACADEMY OF MUSIC. TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Morning Herald (24 June 1891), 5:; “THE MOST TRAVELLED MANAGER IN THE WORLD”, New Zealand Herald (19 September 1891), 1:; “DEATH OF MR. R. S. SMYTHE”, The Argus (24 May 1917), 6:



Professor of Music, pianist, organist (St. John’s Church, Launceston)
Active Launceston, 1854

References: ? “CONVICT DEPARTMENT … Coniditional Pardons”, Launceston Examiner (3 July 1847), 8:; [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (18 March 1854), 2:; “REMINISCENCES.[BY. B]”, Launcetson Examiner (12 November 1892), 2:



SOBELS, Richard
Bassoonist (Tanunda School Band)
Active Tanunda, SA, 1853

References: “TANUNDA SCHOOL EXAMINATION”, South Australian Register (29 March 1853), 2:



Bugler (9th Regiment), convict
Active Sydney, 1840

References: [Notice of absconders], The Sydney Herald (29 October 1840), 4: “Solly John, Coramandel (3), 41, Canterbury, bugler in the 9th Foot, 5 feet 11 inches, fair and ruddy comp., sandy hair, grey eyes, holding a Ticket of Leave for the district of Windsor.”



Violinist, vocalist
Active Sydney, 1839

1839: Mr. Solomon’s performance on the violin, as usual, gave universal satisfaction and was encored. Mr. Wallace’s flute was listened to with the same pleasure it always is. “The Maid of Judah” was very well sung by Mr. S. a [?] (Secretary to the Society), although Mr. S. was labouring under a severe cold.

References: “CECILIAN SOCIETY’S ANNIVERSAY CONCERT”, The Colonist (14 December 1839), 2:



See Edward SALAMAN



Singer (Hobart Synagogue)
Born Sheerness, 1814
Arrived 1833, free
Died Dunedin, NZ, 1897

Summary (Levi): 1842 census: Shopkeeper, Collins Street, Hobart; Member of Hobart Hebrew Congregation; 17 Jan 1845, Hobart Town Advertiser he’s imported 400,000 “Segars”. [Levi, These are the names (2006), 730-31]

References: “OPENING OF THR SYNAGOGUE ARGYLE STREET”, The Observer (8 July 1845), 3:; “THE SYNAGOGUE”, The Observer (15 July 1845), 3:; “THE SYNAGOGUE”, Colonial Times (11 July 1845), 3:



SOTHERN, John Russell
Organist, composer, author, printer, publisher
Active Melbourne, by 1862
Died North Queensland, 21 November 1895

Summary: Sothern published a volume of verse, Zephyrus, and other poems in Melbourne in July 1862, and his first musical publication followed in March 1863, an anthem, The Lord is My Shepherd. In June 1863 his Patriotic song The British Volunteers (word by S. H. Banks of the Collingwood Rifles) was sung at the Royal Haymarket Theatre in Melbourne. A few months later he relocated to Sydney, where in April 1864, it was reported that “Mr. Southern [sic] has composed a very excellent Magnificat which it is said he intended to send to England for publication. This gentleman has also composed other pieces possessing merit, particularly the Australian New Year’s March.” This latter was published for New Year 1864 under the imprint of Wilkie, Elvy, and Co., Sydney, “Dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel Kempt, of the XII Regiment”. It was perhaps the same work as the “Original Grand March, composed by J. R. Southern Esq. [sic …] performed on the Organ, by the composer” during the interval at a concert in Sydney in October 1863, and perhaps too the same as the “AUSTRALIAN CHRISTMAS MARCH […] by J. R. SOUTHERN, Esq., that was advertised as about to be published in December by George Peck’s widow and son, Felix. And again, at a charity concert in July 1864, “An Australian march, performed by the composer, Mr. J. R. Southern (who kindly volunteered his services as accompanist) concluded the first portion of the entertainment“. Before the end of 1864, Sothern had relocated again to Queensland, where, in Ipswich, in June 1867, he released part 1 of The Queensland Comic Song Book (unidentified). According to a later (Barker, 1927) account, Sothern had brought printing plant with him from Sydney “for the purpose of printing a sporting newspaper. He told me the original cost of the plant was £1100. His partners were Messrs. Controy and Hunt […] The name of the paper was “Bell’s Life” and its columns were open to sporting advertisements and news. It was a failure and his partners left him to battle with a load of debts […] Then came the historical opening up of Gympie in October, 1867 and Mr. Sothern joined the big rush to that field […] After a couple of months, however, Mr Sothern came back from Gympie a sad and poor man, one of many unlucky diggers. He resumed work and continued until January, 1868, when Messrs. Parkinson and Kidner purchased the plant and took it to Gympie, where they established the Gympie Times.” Back in Sydney in June 1876, James Reading and Co. published Sothern’s Empress of India Grand March (see second edition: The Empress of India March). He was living in Castlemaine, VIC, in June 1879 when his ballad A Passing Dream was awarded bronze medal for musical composition at the Sandhurst Exhibition. He was piano tuning in Cairns by 1889, and died there, intestate, in 1895.

References: [News], The Argus (5 July 1862), 4:; [News], The Argus (3 March 1863), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 June 1863), 8:; [Advertisement], Empire (19 October 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (5 December 1863), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1863), 2:; “MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1864), 6:; “TONIC SOL-FA ASSOCIATION”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 July 1864), 4:; “DENISON HOUSE MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY. BENEFIT FUND CONCERT”, Empire (6 July 1864), 4:; “SHIPPING”, Brisbane Courier (10 December 1864), 4:; “News of the Week”, The Queenslander (8 June 1867), 5: ; [Advertisement], Rockhampton Bulletin (4 March 1871), 3:; [Advertisement], Rockhampton Bulletin (9 March 1871), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 June 1876), 11:; [News], The Argus (3 July 1876), 4:; “MUDGEE”, Australian Town and Country Journal (19 August 1876), 10:; “SANDHURST”, The Argus (18 June 1879), 3:; [News], The Argus (12 March 1881), 5:; [Advertisement], Cairns Post (5 June 1889), 4:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (24 July 1899), 8:; “OLD IPSWICH NEWSPAPER HISTORY. MR. G.A. BARKER’S RECORD”, Queensland Times (26 Jul 1927); “Some Rare Australian Books”, The West Australian (23 September 1933), 4:




SOU-ALLE, Ali-Ben (Soualle, Augustin Edmond)
Saxophone-turkophone player, pianist, composer
Born Arras, Pas-de-Calais, France
Arrived (1) Melbourne, by June 1853; departed 20 February 1855 (for Auckland)
Arrived (2) Sydney, 28 May 1855 (from Auckland); departed ? Sydney, after June 1855

Summary: Ali-Ben Sou-Alle, the self-styled “turkophone” (saxophone) virtuoso, and convert to Islam who habitually performed in his adopted Turkish “national costume”, toured the world during the 1850s, later in Paris publishing musical “souvenirs” of Natal, Shanghai, Java, Mauritius, and Australia, among others. Sou-Alle performed in London for Jullien during the Great Exhibition of 1851, and perhaps lured by reports of the healthy new market for entertainers in the far east, eventually arrived in Australia in mid 1853. As well as making a hit with his mixture of musicianship and showmanship, he also produced several local compositions. At the official opening of the Geelong Railway in September 1853, it was reported that: “During the déjeuner, an anthem [...] set to music by the celebrated Ali Ben Sou Alle, was sung by Mr. Hancock, and received with rapturous applause” (performed again in Melbourne in March 1854 with full orchestral accompaniments). The lyricist was the English poet Martin Farquhar Tupper, the words perhaps identical with his Advance Australia, “A National Ballad for the Times 1853”, published by Woolcott and Clarke in Sydney. At the Mechanics‘ Institute in Melbourne on 5 August 1853, Sou-Alle introduced a Valse L’Australienne, “(first time), composed expressly for this concert”, and Cheerily, men, “the sailor‘s song, by desire, a piece of descriptive music”, also expressly composed, and described in a detailed program note in the advertisement. It was probably the same piece reviewed earlier in the Argus: “[...] we perceive that Mr. Sou-Alle is a composer of considerable merit. A piece composed by him, representing a storm at sea, and containing an adaptation of the well-known sailors‘ song, was very well received at the last concert, and is to be repeated to-night.” In Melbourne in March 1854 he introduced his Turki-Russian Historical Polka (“composed on the arrival of news of the late victories of the Turks at Kalafat and Oltenitza”), and at his concert ins Hobart in November 1854, Sou-Alle dedicated to the governor William Denison his Tasmanian Polka. In Melbourne that same month, with the band of the 40th Regiment, he presented his Digger’s Polka, which, according  to the press, “though not fully appreciable to the fairer portion of hearers, was interesting to many present, who would be reminded of the differences between the dash of the lucky miner’s cardle and the slow plaintive tone of that of the solitary man who g’comily collects his pennyweights” (the polka remained in the 40th band’s repertoire, and they played it again in Melbourne in June 1856). At least one of his compositions was printed locally, The Goulburn Waltz, dedicated “a mes amis de Goulburn”, where he gave two concerts in January 1855. Miska Hauser attended a farewell breakfast given Sou-Alle at the Goulburn Hotel on his departure for Windsor. Both his and Hauser‘s Goulburn concerts created a minor sensation, when a local music-lover, none other than Daniel Deniehy, was charged, in effect, with lèse-majesté for, on each occasion, sitting with his hat on during the God Save the Queen. Sou-Alle is last heard of in Sydney in June 1855, having previously reported that he was “starting for Europe, where he has an engagement to perform at the approaching Exhibition of Paris [1855].” His extant musical recollection, Souvenirs d’Australie was published in Paris in 1861 (see modern edition).

Sou-Alle’s nationality has often been questioned. In South Africa, it was believed that he was an “Patrick Sullivan” (George S. Jackson, Music in Durban, 1970, 14) ; in Australia (according to Lea-Scarlett (1970), 27): “Ben Sullivan attracted crowds as Ali-Ben-Sou-Alle”. However, the Revue et gazette musicale de Paris (1857) states that he was born in Pas-de-Calais, France, and documentation for his naturalisation in Mauritius (as a British subject) identifies him as: “No 26 [de 1863]. Pour naturaliser M. Augustin Edmond SOUALLE, alias ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE” (cf. his modern publishers had identified him as Charles-Valentin Soualle, born in 1820 in Arras, who was perhaps his brother)

(Sydney June 1855): ALI BEN SOU ALLE. After a professional tour through the chief provinces of New Zealand, where his success throughout was of the most flattering, and, we are glad to add, the most substantial character, this clever artiste has returned to the colony, and previous to giving a series of concerts in Sydney, he has accepted a pressing invitation to visit Woollongong and its vicinity. He was accompanied to New Zealand by Monsieur Valere, a tenor singer of much promise, and who continues to assist in the concerts which he is now giving. On the 8th and 11th instant, he gave concerts at Wollongong to crowded audiences, the “familie” of the Turkophone-Saxe, from la petite turkoponini upwards, being most cordially received. The extraordinary efforts produced on each of his instruments, and the exquisite taste displayed in the execution of the classical music selected elicited the warmest demonstrations. On the 10th, he gave a concert at Dapto, with equal success, and was to give another last evening at Kiama, We shall be glad to see Ali Ben-Sou-Alle return to Sydney, and assist in various musical entertainments which are in contemplation tor the winter season. He is a musician of great attainments, and we hope that his reception on his return to Sydney, will induce him to prolong his stay.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (10 June 1853), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (13 June 1853), 5:; “CONCERT”, The Argus (25 July 1853), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (4 August 1853), 8:; “THE INAUGURATION FETE OF THE GEELONG RAILWAY (Abridged from the Geelong Advertiser)”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 October 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (11 March 1854), 8:; “ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE”, The Courier (6 October 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], (1 November 1854), 3:; “Public Amusements: ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE’S concert […]”, The Courier (4 November 1854), 2:; “ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE”, Bell’s life in Sydney (30 December 1854), 2:; “MUSIC IN THE COUNTRY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (23 January 1855), 5:; “YASS. JANUARY 20”, The Sydney Morning Herald (26 January 1855), 5:; “WINDSOR. ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 January 1855), 4:; “BREAKFAST TO ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE”, The Courier (10 February 1855), 2:; “CLEARANCE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1855), 4:; “ARRIVALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 May 1855), 4:; “NEW ZEALAND”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 May 1855), 4: ; “MORE CONCERTS”, The Moreton Bay Courier (16 June 1855), 3:; “ALI BEN SOU ALLE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1855), 5:; D. H. DENIEHY, “To the Editor”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 August 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 June 1856), 8:; “ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE. Pondichery, 1er mai 1857”, Revue et gazette musicale de Paris 2/25 (21 June 1857) 204:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 October 1858), 3:; “MUSIQUE POUR PIANO”, Bibliographie de France (30 November 1861), 574:; “ORDONANCES”, A collection of the laws of Mauritius and its dependencies, Volume 9 (1862-65), 160-61, 198:;; “CHRONIQUE”, La Semaine des familles 6/32 (7 May 1864), 512:; “MUSIC”, The London Review 9 (13 August 1864), 177:; “A VISIT TO THE PROMENADE CONCERTS”, Punch (3 September 1864), 100:

Resources: Richard Ingham, The Cambridge companion to the saxophone‎, 13:; Modern editions:



SOUTH, Mr. G. F.
Organist, composer
AcActive Melbourne, by 1864

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (24 May 1864), 8: ; “LATEST FROM VICTORIA”, The Cornwall Chronicle (27 August 1864), 6: “The Chronicle gives tbe music of an Australian jubilee ode, composed by Mr. G. F. South, organist of Richmond Wesleyan Church“; [News], The Argus (13 September 1867), 4:; [News], Gippsland Times (28 December 1883), 2:



Librettist, writer of farces, vaudevilles &c.
Active Melbourne, by August 1854
Died Albury, NSW, 4 January 1856

Obituary: We regret to have to record the occurrence of a fatal accident to Mr. F. M Soutten, a young man of considerable literary ability and favorably known to the Melbourne public as the author of several clever vaudevilles which were performed by the Nelson family about two years ago. Mr. Soutten lost his life while bathing in the river Murray, at Albury, on the morning of the 4th inst. […] The deceased was only twenty-one years of age, and was a great favourite with all who were in his intimates. […] He was author of the successful vaudevilles, “The Sporting Gent”, “A Midnight Mystery”, “A Brace of Ducks”, “A Turk in Distress”, and “The Russians in Melbourne”, the last of which was the first original burlesque produced in this colony. He was also associated with Mr. W. M. Akhurst in the authorship of a piece de circonstance entitled “The Battle of Melbourne” which, being founded upon the ridiculous circumstance which accompanied the return of the Great Britain from quarantine, met with great success at the Queen’s Theatre […] Mr. Soutten came of a thoroughly theatrical family, his mother [Madame Soutten], when Miss Barnett, being renowned as one of the most accomplished maitresses de ballet of her day, and his uncle Mr. Morris Barnett, being even more famous as the author of “Monsieur Jacques”, the “Serious Family”, and numerous other successful dramatic pieces.

References: “DEATH FROM DROWNING”, The Argus (18 January 1856), 5:

Associates: Sidney Nelson, W. M. Akhurst




Some small confusion remains in conclusively separating the works of the Ernesto senior and Ernesto junior. A few months after Ernesto senior's death, a notice of publication of Ernesto junior's new composition, the St. Leonard's Schottische, by J. R. Clarke, gives a retrospective list of works by E. Spagnoletti, junior understood, that includes a few items that are either certainly or likely to be by Ernesto senior.

References: [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (11 October 1862), 3:


SPAGNOLETTI, Ernesto Domenico (senior)
Professor of music, vocalist, organist, composer
Born London, 1804 (son of Paolo Spagnoletti, 1768-1834)
Arrived Sydney, by October 1853
Died Sydney, 28 September 1862, aged 58


1861: TO THE EDITOR OF THE EMPIRE. SIR,-In a lengthy notice which appeared in your Monday’s issue, relative to musical matters, your   reviewer in his friendly comments, appertaining to one   of my recent compositions, asks, if “I ever had the benefit of sponsors.” For the satisfaction of your critic, allow me to remark, that my godfather was no less a personage than the well-known Dragonetti, whether this circumstance (musically speaking) has been of benefit to me, modesty will scarcely allow one to give forth an opinion; but of sueh a sponsor, I certainly think I may be pardoned in feeling somewhat proud,   and assuredly I shall ever regard his memory with feelings of respect and admiration. I am your most obedient, ERNESTO DOMINICO SPAGNOLETTT, R.A. Balmain, February 5th.

Obituary: This professor of vocal and instrumental music, after a sudden and painful attack of gout in the chest, died on Sunday, the 28th ultimo, at his residence on the Glebe Road. At an early age he commenced his musical education under his father, who was then leader of the Italian Opera house, London. He afterwards became a member of the Royal Academy of Music, and studied under Sir Henry Bishop and other leading members of that institution. Signor Spagnoletti was a great favourite with the president of the Royal Academy, the Earl of Westmoreland, then Lord Burghersh,  himself an accomplished musician, and composer of several successful works; and under that nobleman’s patronage he made his first appearance at the Italian Opera in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and was very cordially received by the most aristocratic audience in England. After the close of the season he joined an opera company formed by Bochsa, which during the recess made a highly successful tour through all the chief towns of the United Kingdom. About ten years ago Signor Spagnoletti arrived with his family in Sydney, where he pursued his profession to advantage, being up to the time of his death organist at St. John’s, Bishopthorpe. His grave in the Newtown cemetery is between that of Bochsa, his preceptor at the Royal Academy, and his fellow-pupil, Lavenu, and, by a melancholy coincidence, he visited the opera only a few evenings before his death to hear the music of Don Giovanni, in which, as above stated, he made his first appearance in London. His son Ernesto has taken his father’s place at St. John’s, and, as an accomplished musician, will continue the duties of teacher of singing and instrumental music. Signor Spagnoletti had also another so in England, of whose ability report speaks highly.   

References: “SIGNOR SPAGNOLETTI”, The Sydney Monitor (14 March 1835) 4:; “TO THE EDITOR”, Empire (6 February 1861), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 1862), 1:; “THE LATE ERNESTO SPAGNOLETTI”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 October 1862), 4:; “MR. ERNEST SPAGNOLETTI”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 October 1862), 5:



SPAGNOLETTI, Ernesto (junior)
Professor of music, composer
Born London, 1837
Died NSW, 1871


 1864 (insolvency): Ernesto Spagnoletti, of H.M. gaol, at Darlinghurst, late of Glebe, musician. Liabilities,£40 3s. Assets, £3. Deficit, £35 3s. Official assignee, Mr. Meckenzie.

1867: SPAGNOLETTI, a name known to the musical world for 100 years, second to none. TUNING, Repairing, and Instruction in MUSIC and SINGING […]

References: “INSOLVENCY COURT”, Empire (29 July 1864), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 July 1867), 8:; “SPAGNOLETTI V. SIMPSON”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 December 1868), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 September 1869), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 February 1871), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1871), 1:


Amateur male vocalist
Active Sydney, 1859 (? son of Ernesto Spagnoletti, senior)
? Departed, before 1862 (see Ernesto Spagnoletti's obituary above) 

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 September 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (17 September 1859), 1:



Soprano vocalist
Arrived Sydney, by October 1853 (daughter of Ernesto Spagnoletti, senior)
Departed Sydney, 1 April 1865 (per Orwell, for London)

Summary: At the Sydney University Musical Festival in July 1859, “A duett from Don Giovanni, La ci darem, sung by Mr. and Miss Spagnoletti, was very much admired”. At Mrs. Chester’s farewell concert in November, “Miss Nina Spagnoletti in Linley's ballad of Ever of Thee, charmingly executed, and wisely substituted for the hacknied [sic] scena from “Robert le Diable”, the vocalist giving for the encore Wrighton’s Sweet Home, equally well sung.” On publication in 1861, Charles Harwood dedicated his song Thinkest thou of me? to her. Nina and her widowed mother sailed for England in April 1865.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 July 1859), 1:; “SYDNEY UNIVERSITY FESTIVAL. EXTRA CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 August 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 September 1859), 1:; “SPAGNOLETTI’S CONCERT”, The Australian Home Companion (24 September 1859), 24:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 October 1859), 1:; “CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 October 1859), 4:; [News], Empire (24 November 1859), 4:; “ENTERTAINMENT AT ST. PHILIP’S SCHOOLROOM”, Empire (11 November 1863), 4:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (7 March 1865), 1:; “COMPLIMENTARY CONCERT TO MISS SPAGNOLETTI”, The Maitland Mercury (11 March 1865), 2:; “DEPARTURES FOR LONDON”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1865), 9:



Vocalist (pupil of Garcia and Negri), teacher of singing and pianoforte
Arrived Sydney, by February 1855

Sydney February 1855: M. Boulanger will be assisted by Mrs. Spence, who will make her first appearance in Sydney. This lady is a pupil of Garcia, and is very highly spoken of in musical circles.

References: “MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], Empire (22 February 1855), 1:; “MR. EDWARD BOULANGER’S SOIREE MUSICALE”, Empire (23 February 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 March 1855), 1:; “MR. MARSH’S SOIREE MUSICALE”, Empire (5 March 1855), 5:; “MISKA HAUSER”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (21 April 1855), 2:



(Rev’d Mr.)
Singer, choirmaster
Arrived Sydney, 12 September 1835 (per Oriental, from Liverpool, April)
Departed Sydney, 28 February 1838 (per Lord William Bentinck, for London)

Summary: A Benedictine monk, he arrived in Sydney with Bede Polding in September 1835. At Polding’s installation at St. Mary’s chapel later than month, he was reportedly one of choir. In February 1836, the Gazette considered the respective offerings of church music round the town, concluding: “The solemnity and superiority of the music at the Roman Catholíc Chapel over the other Churches, has become proverbial, and ¡t is certainly a reflection on the parties concerned that with so beautiful an instrument, the performance and singing at St. James's Church is so mediocre. The singing even at the St. Phillip's Church, with the barrel organ, is superior to St. James's. The praise is more deserting to Mr. Spencer, the performer on the Accordion at the Chapel, as he has greater difficulties to encounter, and fewer singers than at the other Churches, notwithstanding which, the harmony is blended with taste and feeling, and consequently makes a suitable impression on the hearer, and commands devotion“. In May 1836 the press reported: “The admirers of sacred music had a rich treat in the service at St. Mary’s Church last Sunday, the whole of which, we believe, was under the superintendence of the Rev. Mr. Spencer, who displayed great taste in his selection of the music [...]”.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Colonist (17 September 1835), 7:; “DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Herald (21 September 1835), 3:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (13 February 1836), 2:; “ST. MARY’S CHURCH”, The Colonist (2 June 1836), 4:; “DEPARTURES”, The Sydney Monitor (2 March 1838), 2:

Bibliography: John Kenny, A history of the commencement and progress of Catholicity in Australia, up to the year 1840 (Sydney: F. Cunninghame, 1886):, also:; J. P. McGuanne, “The Humours and Pastimes of Early Sydney”, The Australian Historical Society Journal and Proceedings 1 (1901), 40-42: “Father Spencer was a musician and choirmaster.“



Professor of music
Born Liebenau, Bohemia, 1841
Died Adelaide, 21 January 1867, in the 26th year of his age

Obituary: We are informed that Mr. Spietschka, who was about 26 years of age, was born at Liebenau, in Bohemia. His father was owner of a large glass ware manufactory, and died a few years before his son emigrated, leaving a large fortune to be divided among his nine children, one of whom is married to the Chief Secretary of Bohemia. The deceased was educated at the Commercial School, Leipsic. He afterwards held a commission in the Bohemian army, and had been in active service. He had no relations out here, but was in receipt of a good income from Germany. For a short time he was clerk at Messrs. Christen & Co., after which he was engaged in teaching music to a considerable number of pupils. He also became leader of the German Liedertafel about two years ago. Mr. Spietschka had been in the colony nearly five years, and being of an amiable disposition he was much liked by the Germans, who deeply regret his untimely death.

References: “EXPORTS”, The South Australian Advertiser (27 December 1864), 2:; “DIED”, The South Australian Advertiser (23 January 1867), 2: “SPIETSCHKA. -On the 21st January, by accidentally falling from his horse on the Bay-road, Mr. William Spietschka, professor of music, a native of Liebinau, Bohemia, in the 26th year of his age. Much regretted by a large circle of friends.”; “THE LATE MR. SPIETSCHKA”, South Australian Register (23 January 1867), 2:



SPILLER, William Henry
Violinist (“The Australian Paganini”)
Active Melbourne, by 1866
DiDied Hobart, 11 August 1926, aged 81

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (18 April 1866), 8: ht; “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, The Mercury (20 December 1867), 3:; “Theatre Royal”, The Cornwall Chronicle (22 February 1868), 3:; NEW MUSIC”, The Mercury (8 April 1868), 2:; “OUR MUSIC PAGE”, Illustrated Sydney News (29 August 1873), 2:; “MUSICIAN’S SUDDEN DEATH”, The Mercury (12 August 1926), 10:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (14 August 1926), 1: “A VALUABLE VIOLIN. WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN”, The Mercury (27 November 1929), 8: ht

Sample musical works:
The Prince Alfred Waltz
(also Schottische and Galop; and possibly a Galatea Waltz also by Spiller). [Hobart: Walch, 1868] (NO COPY IDENTIFIED)
Flying Squadron Galop
(Hobart Town : J. Walch &​ Sons, [18--])
The Atalante Mazurka, Illustrated Sydney News (29 August 1873), 17:



SPOHR, Henry
Musician, bandsman
Active Sydney, from 1857

Summary: In May 1860, Spohr (listed as musician, aged 22, native of Brunswick) and five colleagues (including Conrad Appel and bandmaster Christian Fredericks) worked was a ship’s band for some or all of a voyage on board the Malta between Suez and Sydney.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (1 December 1858), 1:




Tenor vocalist, choral conductor
Arrived Melbourne, 1855 (from Hamburg)
Died Melbourne, April 1873, aged 62


Summary: By early 1862 and until at least late 1868, Sprinckhorn was a minor member of Lyster’s opera company. In April 1863, he sang Rustighello in Lucrezia Borgia in Hobart. By early 1868 he was conductor of the Melbourner Deutsch Liedertafel. According to his obituary: “Herr Sprinckhorn [… ] as conductor of the Melbourne German Liedertafel and the Melbourne Turn Verein, has been so long and favourably known in this place. Mr. Sprinckhorn had been a resident of Melbourne since 1855, and was at one time connected with Mr. Lyster's Opera Company. He was a native of Hamburg, and at the time of his death, caused by inflammation of the lungs, was aged 62 years. His health had been rapidly failing of late, but the end came very suddenly. He was a man of very independent character, thoroughly upright and truthful in all his dealings, and has has left a large number of sorrowing friends behind him.”

References: [News], The Argus (16 January 1863), 5:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (22 April 1863), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (15 September 1865), 1:; “Wochenbericht ans Victoria”, Süd Australische Zeitung (27 November 1867), 7:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 March 1868), 8:; [News], The Argus (22 February 1868), 5:; “HORSLEY AND KENDALL BENEFIT CONCERT”, The Argus (29 August 1870), 7:; “BEETHOVEN CENTENARY AT THE LIEDERTAFEL”, The Argus (16 December 1870), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (10 April 1873), 4:; [news], The Argus (10 April 1873), 5:; “MUSIC”, The Australian Sketcher (17 May 1873), 23:; “HAMILTON HUME, THE EXPLORER. THE LATE JOHANN SPRINCKHORN”, The Australian Sketcher (17 May 1873), 27:



SPYER, Mr. (? Lawrence Joseph)
Violinist, theatre-band musician, merchant
Active Sydney, 1829-38
Died Toorak, VIC, 9 September 1881, aged 74

Summary: At the Sydney concert in September 1829, John Edwards and Spyer played “a duet for 2 violins by Rhode” [sic]. Presumably the merchant Lawrence Joseph Spyer (his brother Stephen did not arrive in Sydney until later), he was strictly an amateur, until his business partnership, Cohen and Spyer, became insolvent in May 1831. In 1835 he is mentioned, along with Cavendish and Clarke, as a highly paid theatre musician. Early in 1838 he played in Vincent Wallace’s final Sydney oratorio.

1835: Mrs T. kept walking up and down by the foot lights for several minutes, beseeching one or other of our crack violin players to accompany her, but all in vain. Mr. Clarke’s fiddle was mute, and Mr. Spyers’s bow had, as we suppose, beeu soaped by some mischievous wight, “for the deuce a bow would either of them draw.”

References: “THE CONCERT”, The Sydney Gazette (19 September 1829), 2:; “Wednesday’s Concert”, The Sydney Monitor (19 September 1829), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (29 May 1830), 1:; “SUPREME COURT”, The Sydney Monitor (2 February 1831), 4:; “THE THEATRE”, The Sydney Gazette (11 June 1835), 2:; “To the editor”, The Sydney Gazette (1 August 1835), 3:; “SUPREME COURT”, The Sydney Gazette (17 June 1837), 2:; “THE ORATORIA”, The Sydney Herald (5 February 1838), 2:; “MUSICAL CLASS”, The Sydney Gazette (20 October 1838), 2:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 September 1881), 1:




Tenor vocalist (primo tenore, Lyster’s company)
Arrived Melbourne, 1 March 1861 (per Achilles, from San Francisco)



References: [News], The Argus (2 March 1861), 5:

Web: Harold Love, “Henry Squires: an American tenor in Australia”, The La Trobe Journal 16 (October 1975):

Other references: “PHILADELPPHIA. Drese’s National Theatre”, Dwight’s Music Journal (11 July 1857), 119:; [Advertisement], Daily Alta California (25 May 1859), 2:; Fred Lyster, “How an opera company worked its passage”, The New York Mirror: a reflex of the dramatic events of the week (23 December 1882), 1:



STAAB, Franz
Pianist, music teacher, composer
Died Melbourne, 7 September 1871, aged 35

August 1871: The members of the musical profession in Melbourne have resolved to make a charitable effort on behalf of a brother in distress, in the person of Herr Staab, the well-known pianist, who, in consequence of continued illness, has been unable to attend to business, and is now both physically and financially in a very depressed state.

September 1871: Herr Staab, a professor of music of some standing in Melbourne, died there on 7th inst. Some idea of his musical talents may he formed from the fact that when the eminent pianist Thalberg was in New York, giving concerts, he selected Herr Staab to play, in conjunction with himself, concert pieces for two pianos, and we have warrant for stating that the opinion entertained by Thalberg of Herr Staab’s ability was a very high one.

1871: Herr Staab’s last composition, the Marche de Concert entitled “Germania,” was played by fourteen hands, those of the gentlemen above-named and a musical amateur, whose skill was sufficient to warrant his mixing in such company.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (6 August 1866), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 March 1870), 8:; [News], The Argus (3 August 1871), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (8 September 1871), 4:; “THE STAAB BENEFIT CONCERT”, The Argus (18 September 1871), 5:; “VICTORIA”, Launceston Examiner (23 September 1871), 4:

Works (USA): Banner of the Free (1856); The Chicago Skating Polka (1862)



STABEMANN, Mr. (probably recte STAAB, as above)
Teacher of music
Active Melbourne, 1866

References: “WESLEY COLLEGE”, The Telegraph (29 December 1866), 3:



STACE, Robert A.
Vocal instructor, schoolmaster
Active Brisbane, by 1850

Summary: In Brisbane in July 1850, the Church of England schoolmaster, Robert Stace offered “OPEN SELECT ADULT CLASSES, for instruction in VOCAL MUSIC”. In May 1851 he was unanimously elected  “musical conductor” of the Moreton Bay Amateur Musical Society, of which W. A. Duncan was president.

References: [Unclaimed letters], The Moreton Bay Courier (12 May 1849), 3:; [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (6 July 1850), 1:; [Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (27 July 1850), 1:; “MORETON BAY AMATEUR MUSICAL SOCIETY”, The Moreton Bay Courier (24 May 1851), 2:



STAFF, Charles
Musicseller, music instrument dealer, accordeon and concertina maker
Born Norwich, 16 October 1823
Arrived Melbourne, by 1863
Died Moreland, VIC, 29 June 1888, in his 67th year

STAFF, Isabel (Mrs. HORWITZ)
Soprano vocalist
Born Wigan, England, ? 1851
Departed Melbourne, 11 February 1881 (per Sobraon)

1864: Charles Staff, of Melbourne, musical instrument and ornamental wax-flower dealer. Causes of insolvency: Continued sickness in family, unremunerative employment, and pressure of creditors. Liabilities £446.2s.4d.; Assets, £28; deficiency, £418. 2s. 4d.

1870: The pure soprano tones of Mrs. Howitz’s young voice fell very gratefully upon the ear, and great applause greeted the following pieces sung by that lady, namely “Rejoice greatly” (this piece was not named in the programme), and “Come unto Him all ye that labour”;“ but her most successful effort was the air, “I know that my Redeemer liveth”, for which tho singer was also honoured with a recall. When Mrs. Howitz’s declamatory powers shall be equal to the purity of her voice, she will be still more valuable in oratorio than she is even now.

References: UK 1861 census [Charles, accordion maker, Liverpool, wife Esther […] daughter Isabel aged 10 born Wigan Lancs. […]; [Advertisement], The Argus (30 September 1863), 7:; “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Argus (3 August 1864), 6:; “THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Argus (24 June 1868), 5:; “MARRIAGES”, The Argus (9 September 1870), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 December 1870), 8:; “THE MESSIAH”, The Argus (26 September 1870), 6: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 December 1872), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 June 1876), 1:; “THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Argus (18 August 1880), 6:; “MRS. HOWITZ’S FAREWELL CONCERT”, The Argus (7 February 1881), 6:; “The Theatres”, The Australian Sketcher (26 February 1881), 74:; “Deaths”, The Argus (30 June 1888), 1:

Associations (Isabel): pupil of David Lee



STAFF, Eliza Sophia
School teacher, musician, organist, artist
Born Parramatta, 16 January 1831
Died Parramatta, 10 May 1854, in her 23rd year

1854: The Parishioners deserve much credit for having placed a powerful and splendid toned organ in the church. The value is somewhere about £200; it was opened on Sunday last by a celebrated performer, Mr. C. Packer, who has been appointed organist, to succeed Miss Staff, who resigned on account of ill health.

References: “NEEDLEWORK”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 July 1846), 2:; “PARRAMATTA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 July 1846), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (25 November 1848), 1:; “VESTRY MEEETING of All Saints Church in the Parish of Marsfield, Parramatta”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 April 1854), 5: ? “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 May 1854), 5:

Resources: DAAO: Eliza Staff  

Associations: succeeded as organist (All Saints, Marsfield) by Charles Packer 



Active Melbourne, ? c.1860

Summary: According to George Lloyd, David Stanhope of Melbourne—otherwise unknown—wrote the music, and James Grassie the English words, of the Indigenous-based song Black-eyed Zitella sat weeping alone; Lloyd gives the words only.

References: George Thomas Lloyd, Thirty-three years in Tasmania and Victoria (London: Houlston and Wright, 1862), 463; see also Richard Sadlier, The Aborigines of Australia (Sydney: Thomas Richards, government printer, 1883), 44



Vocalist, actor
Born London, 13 November 1823
Arrived Melbourne, April 1858 (from San Francisco)
Departed Sydney, September 1859 (for Calcutta)
Died London, 11 December 1881

References: “ATLANTIC THEATRICALS”, The Argus (7 November 1856), 5:; “STAMMERS v. HUGHES and STANLEY”, Reports of cases argued and determined in the English courts of common law [1856] (Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson, 1857), 527:; “VICTORIA”, Launceston Examiner (20 April 1858), 3:; “SHIPPING NEWS”, The Courier (30 August 1858), 2:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (2 November 1858), 2:; [Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (17 November 1858), 1:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (2 December 1858), 2:; “CLEARANCES”, Empire (30 September 1859), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 March 1860), 3: “DEATH OF EMMA STANLEY”, Launceston Examiner (19 April 1882), 1s:

Australian tour prints:
My ain dear Nell (a new Scottish ballad written and composed by A. Hume. “Sung by Miss Emma Stanley & Mrs. Hancock“ (Melbourne: McCulloch &​ Stewart, [1859/60])
Willie, we have missed you (“written and composed by Stephen C. Foster; Favorite ballad, sung by Miss Emma Stanley in her entertainment of the Seven ages of woman”) (Melbourne: McCulloch & Stewart, [1859?])
Niminy Pym Polka. (“composed by J. B. Wheaton; Respectfully dedicated to Miss Emma Stanley”) (Melbourne: Joseph Wilkie, [1859]) [Wheaton, an American, was Stanley’s pianist and conductor on her Australian tour]

Resources: Dictionary of National Biography 1885-1900, 19, 271:,_Miss_(DNB00)



STANLEY, William
Professor of music, pianist, organist, composer
Born Windsor, England, 29 May 1820
Arrived Sydney, ? 20 January 1836 (per Orissa, from London, 14 August 1835) 
Died Petersham, NSW, 10 September 1902, in his 83rd year


1838: The lovers of music were regaled on Wednesday evening, at Miss Wallace’s concert, with a treat seldom to be met with in this colony. The bill of fare was excellent and all went off in a style highly gratifying to the audience, who consisted of the most respectaule families in Sydney. The overture to “Otello”, by the orchestra, and to the “Bronze Horse” by the military band, were executed in a most superior manner. […] A concerto on the Pianoforte by Mr. W. Stanley was played in a masterly style […]

Obituary: THE OLDEST PIANIST IN AUSTRALIA. It is with regret that we learn of the death of Mr. William Stanley, who was born at Windsor Castle on May 29, 1820. He was a son of the late organist of St. George’s Chapel, Royal Windsor, and was educated at the chapel where he remained until 1836. He started his musical career at the very early age of six years, and at the age of 10 he played solos at Rochester, in Kent, and performed at Windsor Castle before Queen Adelaide, both of these performances being his own compositions. He was also a singer at the funeral of the late King George IV. Shortly after this Mr. Stanley joined the army, having enlisted with the 80th Regiment under the command of Colonel Pitt of Chatham. In this regiment he served for about five years, after which he took his passage to Australia in charge of a vessel sent here by the home Government with prisoners on board, which arrived here about the year 1837. His first performance in Australia was at the opening of the original “Victoria Theatre” in the presence of the Governor at that time (Sir George Gipps), after which Mr. Stanley acted as accompanist to the late Madam Sara Flower the noted contralto, Miska Hansa [Hauser] the celebrated violinist, and Madam Anna Bishop the English soprano. He also played duos with Bolanger [Boulanger], the French pianist. Mr. Stanley s first appointment as an organist was at St. John’s, Parramatta, during the time of the Rev. H. H. Bobart, where he remained for eight years. Later on Mr. Stanley was appointed organist to the Sydney Choral Association, and held the position of bandmaster to the first volunteer artillery band. He was also first lieutenant to the South Sydney Volunteers, for which corps he organised a band on his own account. He also held positions as organist to the following churches viz: St. Andrew’s Cathedral for 16 years, St. Barnabas for seven years, and Christ Church, Sydney, for 12 years. Amongst some of Mr. Stanley’s many excellent compositions are “Variations to God Save the King” an arrangement he wrote at the age of 8 1/2 years; two marches, one in C minor and the other in E flat, written at 10 years of age; an oratorio, “David and the Philistines”, march and preludes to Handel’s “Israel in Egypt”, numbers of church anthems and chants, and over 100 various other pieces in addition to this he wrote a Jubilee Ode to celebrate the Jubilee of our late Queen Victoria, words by the late Edward Baly. In 1879-80, at the musical festival at the International Exhibition here, Mr Stanley conducted “The Messiah” and “Israel in Egypt” before an audience of 10,000 people and on the death of the late Charles Packer that composer’s sacred cantata, “The Crown of Thorns”, was completed by the late Mr. William Stanley. Mr. Stanley also held a high position in the Masonic Lodge. Mr. Stanley, who died at Petersham last week, was buried at Rookwood. He leaves a family of grown up children of three sons and two daughters.

References: “Shipping Intelligence”, The Sydney Monitor (23 January 1836), 2:; “THE CONCERT”, The Sydney Monitor (19 October 1838), 2:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 September 1902), 1:; “THE OLDEST PIANIST IN AUSTRALIA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 September 1902), 8:



STAPLETON, Joseph William
Pianoforte Maker, tuner, repairer, regulator
Arrived Hobart, 27 June 1821 (convict per Lady Ridley, from England 4 January)
Active Hobart, 1822-27

Summary: Found guilty of forgery and sentenced to death on 28 June 1820, aged 23, Stapleton was eventually transported for life in 1821, and awarded a free pardon in 1843. From 1822 until 1827 he advertised regularly in the Hobart press as a piano maker, tuner, and repairer, making him, apart from military bandsmen, one of the very first musical professionals on record working in Tasmania. One of his advertisements was reproduced in the press in 1897, with the explanation: “This advertisement in itself will be an education to those among us who proudly assert there was not a piano in Tasmania 50 years ago”:

“Music. - J. W. Stapleton, pianoforte maker, grateful for past favours, begs to acquaint the gentry of Tasmania that he still continues to clean, regulate, and repair the grand, square, and cabinet pianofortes at his residence, near the Post-office; and trusts from his experience, both in London and parts, to give that satisfaction which alone will ensure a continuance of their favours. J.W.S. respectfully recommends to the gentry the cleaning and regulating their pianofortes at least every six months, as that tends to improve the sound of the instrument. Violins, etc., repaired.“

References: [Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (13 July 1822), 1:; [Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (30 September 1826), 3:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (21 September 1827), 1:; “GOVERNMENT NOTICE … Memoranda of Free Pardon”, Colonial Times (3 October 1843), 4:; “OLD TASMANIA. EDUCATIONAL ADVERTISEMENTS, CONTINUED”, Launceston Examiner (3 July 1897), 11:




STATES, Agatha (Madame)
Soprano vocalist
Arrived Sydney, 15 December 1871 (per Nevada, from California)
Departed Sydney, October 1872 (for New Zealand)
Died New York, 2 September 1874

References: “ANOTHER OPERA COMPANY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (16 December 1871), 6:; “MADAME STATES’ FIRST CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1871), 4:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 October 1872), 6:; “GENERAL NEWS”, Empire (16 October 1874), 3:

Associations: toured with Paolo Giorza and Pietro Cecchi



STEELE, Samuel
Active West Maitland, NSW, 1859

1859: In this action. Samuel Steele was plaintiff, and Joshua Anderson was defendant. The declaration stated that the defendant had falsely and malicioulsy published against the plaintiff certain words, namely, that he was living in open adultery with another man’s wife, and that he was keeping a woman, whereby the plaintiff lost his situation as precentor to the Free Presbyterian Church at West Maitland.

References: “STEELE V. ANDERSON”, The Maitland Mercury (22 March 1859), 2:



STENT, W. J. (Walter Joseph)
Musician, musicseller, banjo player
Born 1859/60
Died Guildford, NSW, 27 July 1930, aged 70

Obituary: Mr. W. J. Stent, who died at his residence, Guildford, on Sunday evening, aged 70 years, was buried in the Rookwood Church of England Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. He had been established in business In Sydney, in musical Instruments, from 1886 until five years ago, when ill-health compelled his retirement His first place of business was in Elizabeth street, and later he moved to Hunter-street During those years he was noteworthy for the number of concerts he promoted in Sydney Town Hall, St. James’ Hall, and various suburban theatres and halls, in aid of charity.

References: “Madame Summerhayes’ Concert”, The Cumberland Argus (6 August 1892), 8:; “MR. W. J. STENT’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 June 1897), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 July 1930), 8:; “MR. W. J. STENT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 August 1930), 20:

Associations: American Banjo Club, Bessie Campbell



Music class leader
Active Newtown, NSW, 1859

1859: THE NEWTOWN SINGING CLASS, conducted by Mr. J. H. STEPHENS, meets every TUESDAY, at half-past seven in the evening, at the Baptist Chapel, Missenden Road, Newtown, for the practice of devotional psalmody. Any persons wishing to become members may do so on application to the secretary, EDWARD SANDERS.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 November 1859), 10:



Choral trainer, leader of the singing (Sydney Congregational Chapel)
Active Sydney, 1851; ? Hobart, 1855

Summary: Mr. Stevens, leader of the singing at the Sydney Congregational Chapel in 1851, was also associated with Arthur Gravely,, and the “SINGING FOR THE MILLION … People’s Singing Classes for the practice of Devotional Psalmody”.

References: “THE PEOPLE’S SINGING CLASS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1851), 2:; [Letter] “To the Editors”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1851), 2:; “SINGING FOR THE MILLIONS. To the Editors”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 April 1851), 4s:; “SINGING FOR THE MILLIONS. To the Editors”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 April 1851), 2:; “BALMAIN SINGING CLASS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 May 1851), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 June 1851), 1:; “TASMANIA”, The Argus (18 January 1855), 5:



Musician, pianist, music teacher, composer, publican
Born Sydney, 31 August 1861
Died London, 1916

Violinist, film actor
Born Sydney, 1896

Christmas 1879: The usual “Adeste” was sung; but in place of the “Benedictus,” a simple, though charming “O Salutaris,” composed by John M. Stevens, was very well rendered by Miss J. Goodridge.

1880: JOHN M. STEVENS (late pupil to Mr. Charles Packer), Teacher of Music, Stanley-ter., Harris St., Ultimo.

 1916: Word has been received by cable, of the death in London of Mr. John M. Stevens, whose accomplished and handsome daughters were educated at the Parramatta convent. Miss Cecile Stevens, one of the daughters, was a talented violinist, and it was to let her take advantage of a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music that Mr. Stevens voyaged to London.

1922: Miss Cecile Ann Stevens, one of the cleverest of Australia’s younger violin artistes, is returning to America next month after a stay of rather over a year on this side […] Miss Stevens is now going direct to Los Angeles for the preparation of a film entitled, “The Story of an Old Violin,” in which she will be the central figure. The violin in question was the property of her father, the late John M. Stevens, of this city, the composer of various songs and a “Requiem,” to whom it was bequeathed by a French musician as a genuine “Nicolo Amati” (Cremona, 1596-1684). Miss Stevens took the instrument to the Royal Academy, where it was examined by various connoisseurs with approval, and finally was pronounced genuine by Hill and Sons, of New Bond-street, who declared It worth more than it thousand pounds.

References: “BIRTHS”, Empire (5 September 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 October 1876), 1:; [News], The Argus (31 May 1877), 5:; “CHURCH OF ST. CHARLES, WAVERLEY”, Evening News (9 August 1879), 5:; “THE FRANCISCANS AT WAVERLEY”, Freeman’s Journal (11 October 1879), 15:; “Christmas Day”, Evening News (26 December 1879), 2:; [Advertisement], Evening News (10 January 1880), 5: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 December 1884), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 December 1884), 2:; [Advertisement], Evening News (7 January 1885), 4:; “Fatality in the Domain. ACCIDENTAL DEATH”, Evening News (11 June 1886), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 June 1889), 2:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Brisbane Courier (23 December 1889), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 April 1891), 1:; “Births”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 January 1891), 1:; “PERSONAL”, The West Australian (5 October 1914), 6:; “PERSONAL PARS”, The Cumberland Argus (18 November 1916), 12:; “MUSIC AND DRAMA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 January 1922), 8:; “DE LUXE STAR PLAYS FOR RADIO”, The Music Trade Review (15 July 1922), 23:

Works include: The Sydney Polka Mazurka (by Master John Stevens) (Sydney, 1876)
The Bulwara Waltzes (“Respectfully dedicated to His Worship, the Mayor of Sydney (John Harris, Esq. M.L.A.) and Mayoress, “Bulwara”, Ultimo; as played by the City Band at the Citizens' Complimentary Ball, August 16th, 1883)
The Sir Joseph Banks Polka (“Respectfully dedicated to Mr &​ Mrs. Frank Smith 'Sir Joseph Banks' [Hotel], Botany“) (Sydney: W. Akhurst &​ Co., [1884])
Good bye (song; words by Phillip D. Lorimer ; music by John M. Stevens) ([Sydney] : W. Akhurst, [1889])

Note: Cecile Stevens and her sister Leonetti Stevens starred as themselves in the 1940 US film Broken Strings



Music teacher, composer
Active Sydney, 1861, until ? 1868

Summary: “Mrs. and Miss Stevenson” ran a girls school in Sydney from 1861, Miss Stevenson also offering private tuition in music. Her Electra Galop (“dedicated to the Belles of Sydney”), publihsed by Elvy and Co., in April 1864, was reviewed by the Herald (the advertisement, apparaently incorrectly, gives the title as the “Election Galop”).

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 July 1861), 10:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (20 April 1864), 6:; “THE ELECTRA GALOP”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 May 1864), 4:; ? “CLEARANCES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (16 November 1868), 4:



Teacher of music and languages
Died Moonee Ponds, 11 March 1917

Obituary: By the death on March 11 of Mrs Sara A. Stevenson, at a private hospital in Moonee Ponds, another old colonist is removed. She was 84 years of age. Mrs Stevenson, who was the relic of Mr William Stevenson, of Clifton House, Kew, and Gippsland, was at one time teacher of music and languages In the family of the late Mr Joseph Chamber lain. She arrived in Melbourne in 185S. Two sons survive her.

References: “Crossed the Bar”, Weekly Times (17 March 1917), 24:



Mezzo-soprano vocalist
Active Ballarat, 1855-57

References: [Advertisement], The Star (22 September 1855), 1:; “THE CONCERTS AT THE JOHN O’GROAT HOTEL”, The Star (18 July 1857), 3:; “STAR CONCERT HALL”, The Star (27 July 1857), 3:



STIER, Charles William Ferdinand
Master of the band of the 11th Regiment, professor of music, composer, first conductor of the Sydney Philhharmonic Society
Born Hanover, Germany
Arrived Hobart, 1845 (with regiment)
Departed Sydney, 20 October 1859 (per Dawsonia, for London)

Summary: Stier presumably arrived first in Sydney and then in Hobart in 1845 with his regiment and band. Two bands, Duly’s of the 51st, and Stier’s 11th played at the Hobart regatta in December, as the Courier differentiated them: “the fine band of the 51st, and the more novel band of the 11th, with newer music, and a different style of excellence.” As a result of disciplinary difficulties with the 99th regiment in NSW, in the News Year the 11th band was back in Sydney, where it played at the public Anniversary dinner in January at the City Theatre. They remained in NSW for the rest of the year, then returned to Tasmania early in 1847. At Launceston in mid 1848, the press reported: “We understand that a vocal and instrumental concert, will be given by Mr. William Stier, under the patronage of Colonel Bloomfield. The selection of music for the evening, will be from the most eminent English and Continental composers, together with Mr. Stier’s own compositions, with which be has delighted the public of Launceston at various times and which have been so highly approved of. Mr. Stier is a native of the kingdom of Hanover, where he finished his musical education under the most eminent composers of the present day.” The programme included the Overture to Euryanthe (Weber) and “Part of the 7th Symphony by Beethoven” (the earliest documented performance of any part of a Beethoven symphony in Australia), as well as an “Overture, by W. Stier” and “Rondeau militaire, by W. Stier”. Stier and the band were back in Sydney, permanently, by 1 November, when they played for the Gautrots' concert (an “Overture, composed by Mr. STEER, bandmaster of H. M. 11th Regiment”, again on the program). A few days later, Mrs. W. Stier was reported to have given birth to “a daughter, still-born”. In November 1851, Henry Marsh advertised the impending publication “for the author” of three works by Stier, the Merry Old England Quadrilles (“Arranged, and in part composed, for His Excellency the Governor-General’s Costume Ball”; contents: 1 Whilst with village maids I stray; 2 Sweet Anne Page; 3 I’ve kissed and I’ve prattled; 4 When the rosy morn appearing; 5 ’Twas merry in the hall), actually published by Woolcott and Clarke, and the two others published by Marsh, Fitz  Roy Schottische (“Composed for the same occasion [the Governor-General’s Costume Ball], and dedicated to the Honorable Mrs. Keith Stewart”), and The Native Flower Polka (“Dedicated to the Ladies of New South Wales”). In its report of the costume ball, on 29 October, the Herald noted “the excellence of the orchestral arrangements, which (including the stringed instruments) were carried out, in their usual style, by the band of H.M. 11th Regiment.” In August 1852, Henry Marsh dedicated his topical Nugget Schottische (no copy identified) “to his friend C. W. F. Stier”. In January 1853, Stier began advertising “Lessons in Music” (later specfically “on the Pianoforte, Flute, and Violin, also in Harmony and Composition” and as an “importer” of music and instruments) and in April 1854 he was named as “Conductor” of Eugene Paris’s newly-formed Sydney Philharmonic Society (“The object of the Society is the practice and cultivation of the most approved vocal and instrumental music, and is based on the principles of the London Philharmonic Society, and other amateur musical societies in England”). At their first concert in December 1854 (at which Miska Hauser and Frederick Ellard appeared), the Empire commented of the band: “it would not be fair to test their performances by the strict rules of criticism. We are, however, convinced that such a body of instrumentalists could not be supplied from the ranks of the profession in Sydney” (presumably here referring to the number of performers). At the society’s concert in 28 August (assisted by Sara Flower, Edward Boulager playing Beethoven’s “Pathetique” Sonata, and Henri Herwyn; Catherine Hayes was indisposed), Stier conducted the band in the first two movements of “Haydn’s famous Symphony No.8” [No.100] and “Beethoven’s magnificent overture to the Men of Prometheus”. Having speculated unwisely in property, Stier was insolvent in mid-1857, though a charge of “fraudulent insolvency” was withdrawn, on the non-appearance of the prosecutor, in November. John Deane, previously leader under Stier, assumed full conductorship of the Philharmonic Society around this time. Stier was advertising again regularly as a teacher by mid 1858. That year, too, at W. H. Paling’s concert for the Indian Mutiny Relief Fund in April, there was a “Grand March, by Mr. Stier, late bandmaster of H.M. 11th Regiment”, possibly the same work that he published in July as The Warrior’s Lament (“March composed for pianoforte by C. W. F. Stier”; no copy identified). According to Bell’s Life, “We know not whether it was contemplated by the author to illustrate the mourning of the British soldiery over the scene of the appalling Cawnpore butchery; but if so, the plaintive strains of his composition fully embody the idea.” Stier was naturalised as British subject in 1854, and had resigned his post as bandmaster of the 11th before the regiment left Australia in 1857. In October 1859, however, he and his family also left for England.

References: “THE REGATTA”, The Courier (6 December 1845), 2:; “THE ANNIVERSARY DINNER”, Morning Chronicle (31 January 1846), 4:; “GRAND CONCERT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (28 June 1848), 2:; “GRAND CONCERT”, The Cornwall Chronicle (28 June 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (15 July 1848), 3:; [Advertisement], The Launceston Examiner (15 July 1848), 7:; “The Concert on Monday …”, The Cornwall Chronicle (19 July 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 November 1848), 1:; “COSTUME BALL AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 November 1851), 5:; “BIRTHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 November 1848), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 November 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (14 January 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (20 April 1854), 1:; “CONCERT OF THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, Empire (28 December 1854), 4:; [Advertisement], Empire (26 May 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1855), 1:; “SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 August 1855), 5:; [Advertisement], Empire (29 September 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 December 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 November 1856), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (12 January 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (21 February 1857), 1:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, Empire (21 August 1857), 3:; “INSOLVENT COURT”, Empire (4 November 1857), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 April 1858), 1:; “NEW MUSIC”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (10 July 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 July 1858), 6:; ; “NATURALIZED ALIENS”, Journal of the Legislative Council of New South Wales (5 October 1858), 5 (271):; “DEPARTURES FOR ENGLAND”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 November 1859), 9:; “HISTORY OF THE HOBART BANDS”, The Mercury (30 August 1917), 2:



Soprano vocalist
Active Sydney, 1845

1845: The Pastoral Symphony was beautifully played, and Mrs. Stirling did tolerable justice to the four succeeding recitatives. [… ] “How beautiful are the feet”, [was] sung with feeling by Mrs. Stirling.

1845: Mrs. Stirling sang “How beautiful are the feet”, with purity, and expression, but her recitatives were inferior, defective in style, vigour, and enunciation. Her tournure is also susceptible of improvement.

References: “THE ORATORIO”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 December 1845), 2:; “THE ORATORIO”, The Australian (27 December 1845), 3:



Arrived Melbourne, 17 July 1860 (per Magdalena, from Hamburg, 10 April)

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (19 July 1860), 4: [Advertisement], The Argus (7 February 1861), 8:; [News], The Argus (16 January 1863), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 October 1863), 8: [News], The Argus (22 February 1868), 5: ; “Miss Meta Buring […]”, The Register (4 March 1901), 5:



Amateur violinist, publican
Arrived Hobart, 22 September 1822 (per Minerva from Leith and Falmouth, 1 May)
Died Bagdad, TAS, 30 April 1848, aged 53

Summary: During his family’s return to Tasmania in 1844, John Philip Deane gave a concert at a fellow old colonist, Robert Stodart’s hotel in Bagdad, when, according to the Colonial Times ““he will be assisted in the instrumental department by Mr. Stodart himself, who plays an admirable violin”. In due course, it also reported that the concert “was not only numerously, but most respectably attended. The performance was excellent, and that of Mr. Stodart much admired”. I have found nothing to connect this Stodart with the piano maker Robert Stodart of London.

References: “SHIP NEWS”, Hobart Town Gazette (28 September 1822), 2:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (28 September 1831), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (3 May 1844), 1:; “MR. DEANE’S CONCERT”, Colonial Times (7 May 1844), 3:; “MR. DEANE’S CONCERTS”, Colonial Times (21 May 1844), 3:; “OBITUARY”, Colonial Times (2 May 1848), 3:; “DEATH”, The Courier (3 May 1848), 2:



Amateur musician, flautist
Active Perth, 1846

1846: Mr. Stone made his flute discourse most eloquent music; indeed the portions of music allotted to him were the most strikings and distinguished in the programme of the evening.

References: [News], The Perth Gazette (18 April 1846), 2:; “CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Inquirer (20 January 1869), 3:; ? “ENTERTAINMENT”, The Inquirer (30 August 1871), 3:; “AMATEUR ENTERTAINMENT”, The Inquirer (14 February 1877), 3:



STONEY, Henry Butler
Amaetur musician, composer, musical editor, author, army officer (captain, 99th Regiment)
Born County Mayo, Ireland, 1816
Arrived Hobart, 18 June 1853 (per Senator from London, 2 February)
Departed Hobart, 20 February 1856 (per Indian Queen, for England)
Died Kawakawa, New Zealand, 5 July 1894, aged 78

Summary: Stoney, a career army officer in the 40th Regiment, came to Australia to join the 99th Regiment in Tasmania in 1853 as its paymaster (see his NZ obituary for details of his career before and after Australia). In April 1854, he floated a scheme to induce members of the regiment to settle in a proposed new township, Wivenhoe, on the Emu River. Later that year he printed his book A year in Tasmania (reissued in England as A residence in Tasmania), which includes comments on local musicians and music making (162-64). Stoney also edited two anthologies of locally composed music, The Delacourt Bouquet, published in Hobart in November 1854, and The Tasmanian Lyre, announced at the same time though not released until March 1855. Represented composed include bandsmen of the 99th, Robert Martin, Arthur Hill (notably his The Wivenhoe Quadrilles), and William Cleary, as well as Stoney himself. Stoney's The Wanderer Polka and The Wanderer’s Return Polka appear in the first collection, and his La Speranza Waltz in the second. He sailed in February 1856 for England, where he published his book Victoria: with a description of its principal cities, Melbourne and Geelong based on a tour there in 1855 to visit his own 40th Regiment (in which Stoney included three musical reviews from the press as an appendix). Stoney returned to Australia and the 40th Regiment in 1857 in Melbourne, and then, in 1860, moving to New Zealand, where he stayed on and settled. There in 1861 he published what is described as the first New Zealand novel, Taranaki: a tale of the war.

Tony Marshall adds (email to GS June 2013): [Stoney] served for the greater part of his military career in the 19th (1st Yorkshire, North Riding) Regiment of Foot, from 1837 until 1852. He was then placed on the unattached list for a time, until his appointment on 12 October 1852 as Paymaster of the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot, and it was this that brought him to Tasmania (arriving in June 1853). The 99th served in Victoria in January-March 1855 (relieving the 40th, which had been involved in the Eureka uprising) and then returned to Tasmania. In February 1856 Stoney returned with the Regiment to the UK, and effective from August 1856 was appointed Paymaster of the 40th, which was still in Victoria. He joined the Regiment in Melbourne in March 1857, and went with it to New Zealand in July 1860. He retired from the army in August 1864. His life in New Zealand thereafter is full of interest but, sadly, with no musical content that I have yet found. You might like to note that in 1857, in Melbourne, Stoney published a novel, Reginald Mortimer (or, ‘Truth more strange than fiction’ : a tale of a soldier’s life and adventure). He was also the treasurer of several organisations including an amateur theatrical group, the Histrionic Society, and appeared on stage once (Advertisement for amateur performance in aid of the Orphan Asylums, at the Theatre Royal. Band of the 40th regiment to play; HBS performing as “Charles Clinton” in the drama Time tries all and as “Freeman” in the farce High life below stairs: [Advertisement], The Argus (17 September 1857), 8:

References: “99TH REGIMENT”, The Courier (22 December 1852), 3:; “ARRIVALS”, The Courier (18 June 1853), 2:; “MILITARY SETTLERS”, The Courier (13 April 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (13 November 1854), 3:; “THE DELACOURT BOUQUET”, The Courier (14 November 1854), 2:; “DEPARTURES”, Launceston Examiner (21 February 1856), 2:; “OBITUARY”, Auckland Star (12 July 1894), 7:




Active Sydney, c. early 1830s
Died Sydney, 30 December 1852

References: “CORONER’S INQUESTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1853), 4:



Organist and Professor of Music, piano tuner and repairer
Arrived Brisbane, August 1863 (from France)
Died before 1917

Musician, vocalist, organist
Born Birkenhead, England, 18 September 1845 (daughter of Silvester Diggles, second wife of Strahan)
Arrived Brisbane, November 1853
DiDied Kangaroo Point, QLD, 10 March 1917

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (19 November 1863), 3:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (4 February 1865), 1:; “IPSWICH”, The Brisbane Courier (23 March 1866), 2:; [Advertisement], The Brisbane Courier (24 January 1867), 1:; “MR. ATKINSON’S CONCERT”, The Brisbane Courier (30 August 1867), 2:; “MR. STRAHAN’S Concert”, The Brisbane Courier (15 September 1869), 2:; “RESERVED SEATS. TO THE EDITOR”, The Brisbane Courier (16 September 1869), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Brisbane Courier (28 December 1871), 2:; “DEATH”, The Brisbane Courier (14 April 1875), 2:; “A SACRED CONCERT”, The Brisbane Courier (26 April 1902), 7:; “MUSIC AND THE DRAMA”, The Queenslander (7 August 1909), 35:; “THE LATE MRS. STRAHAN”, The Brisbane Courier (21 March 1917), 11:



Arrived Sydney, 1888
Died Altadena, Colorado, USA, 20 November 1899

Sydney 1888: The orchestra includes well-known names- Messrs. Poussard, Herman, Newton, Taylor, Sebastian Hodge, Lombe, Fischer, and Mr. Edgar Straus, who will lead the ’cellos. Mr. Straus appeared at the Metropolitan Liedertafel concert last week, and is an American artist of good repute.

Obituary (Sydney 1900): Intelligence of the death of Mr. Edgar Straus, the well-known ’cellist, has been received in Sydney by Dr. A. Philip from a sister of the dead artist. The late Mr. Straus took his departure for the United States but a few months ago, for he thought a visit to his native land would pull him together. His medical adviser (Dr. Philip) did not oppose the journey, although he knew that Straus’s case was well-nigh hopeless. He died quite peacefully of pulmonary complaint at Altadena, Colorado, USA, on November 20. As ’cellist, the late Mr. Straus had no superior in the colonies. He was a great favorite, and prior to his departure was presented with an illuminated address, signed by nearly all the musicians in Sydney and many others.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (15 December 1888), 2:; “SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 December 1888), 13:; “SYDNEY QUINTET SOCIETY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 March 1895), 12:; “THE EDGAR STRAUS BENEFIT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 May 1898), 8:; “MR. EDGAR STRAUS”, Evening News (2 July 1898), 3:; “NEWS OF THE WEEK. TOWN”, Australian Town and Country Journal (6 January 1900), 11:; “In Memoriam”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 November 1900), 1:




Dancer (? Vocalist)
Arrived Adelaide, 12 February 1853 (per Victoria, from Mauritius)
Departed Melbourne, by December 1864
Thérèse died ? San Francisco, 9 January 1900, aged 73

Summary: On arrival in Adelaide from Mauritius with his wife, a ballet dancer, in February 1853, Strebinger “violinist, from the principal Opera Houses of Paris and Vienna” (very possibly related, therefore, to the Vienna-based violinist Matthias Strebinger) advertised his intention to give a concert, at which he was assisted by the Madame Cranz and Carl Linger. He was to return the favour and appear for Cranz in April, but left for Melbourne. There he first appeared in Fischer’s orchestra for the Melbourne Philharmonic Society on 27 April, and in August gave a concert in which his wife was reportedly to appear as a vocalist. They then moved on to Sydney, where in September, Madame Strebinger “celebrated Danseuse, from the Italian Opera, London, Paris, Madrid” appeared at the Royal Victoria Theatre. The couple appeared regularly and toured widely during the next decade, Frederick making a last notorious appearance in the Melbourne press, shortly after his final departure, as accused co-respondent in a divorce case: “The identification of the co-respondent was clear at the time, but it was rendered more clear by his leaving behind him his hat and violin”.

References: Bolton’s Mauritius Almanac and Official Directory (Mauritius: Mauritian Printing Establishment, 1852), 243:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, South Australian Register (14 February 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (19 February 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (28 February 1853), 2:; “M. STREBINGER’S CONCERT”, Adelaide Morning Chronicle (4 March 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (12 April 1853), 2:; “MELBOURNE SHIPPING ARRIVALS”, Empire (18 April 1853), 2:; “MUSICAL”, The Argus (23 August 1853), 5:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, Empire (26 September 1853), 2:; “VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Hobarton Mercury (3 January 1855), 3:; [Advertisement], The Musical World (15 October 1864), 656:; “LAW REPORT”, The Argus ( 15 December 1864), 5:; “DIED”, The San Francisco Call (11 January 1900), 11.

Bibliography:; François-Joseph Fétis, Biographie universelle des musiciens et bibliographie générale (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1870), 457:



Active Sydney, 1840-41
Died Fish River, 8 April 1854, aged 33

Summary:  A pupil Royal Academy of Music, and ? pupil and niece of Madame Veilburn (Jane Penner), Eliza Strickland, appeared regularly at the Royal Victoria Theatre and in concerts for the Cecilian Society in Sydney in 1840 and until her marriage in December 1841.

References: “THE VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Colonist (3 October 1840), 3:; “THEATRICALS”, The Australian (8 October 1840), 2:; “VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Herald (12 November 1840), 2:; “CECILIAN SOCIETY”, Australasian Chronicle (5 December 1840) 2:; “THE THEATRE” & “CECILIAN SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Monitor (5 December 1840), 2:; “THE THEATRE”, The Sydney Monitor (10 December 1840), 3:; “MARRIED”, The Sydney Herald (7 December 1841), 3: ; “MISS STRICKLAND”, The Sydney Gazette (11 December 1841), 2:; ‘DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 April 1854), 8:



STRONG, George
Violinist, composer
Born ? Sydney, c.1824
Died Sydney, 1878 


Musical works: The Escort Polka (“a new composition, entitled The Gold Escort Polka”) ( Sydney: G. Hudson, [1853]); The Catodon Polka (“most respectfully dedicated to William Sheridan Wall, Esq. Curator, Australian Museum”) (Sydney: G. Hudson, [1854])



Thomas Stubbs alone appears below; for later members of the family see FITZ-STUBBS

STUBBS, Thomas
Professor of music, flautist, composer, cricketer, Currency Lad, auctioneer
Born Sydney, NSW, 18 May 1802
Died St. Kilda, VIC, 2 March 1878, aged 75


Summary (after Drake): Son of a convict Thomas Stubbs (d.1815) and his wife Esther, Thomas is the first notable native-born European-Australian musician. At about age 10 he left Australia and joined the army, serving in India in the 24th Regiment until 1823. He was stationed at Gosport in December 1823, and Devenport in 1825, where he was also listed as being on duty in the regimental band. At He was discharged at Cork, Ireland, in February 1825, and arrived back in Sydney on the Lonach on 4 September 1825. In June 1826 he married Ann Elizabeth Fitz (b.1809) at St. Matthew’s Church, Windsor, where he was variously a farmer and publican. He moved his family to Sydney in 1832, where in June he advertised as a teacher of music (“Professor of the Royal Patent Kent Bugle and Teacher of the Flute, Violin, and French Horn … Square Pianofortes Tuned”) from his mother’s address (17 Phillip-street), and shortly afterwards, from Rose Cottage, Druitt-street, as a “Commission Agent”, beginning his path to becoming Sydney’s leading auctioneer of the 1840s. having returned from a brief visit to London, he appeared in a public concert on 31 October 1833, and in 1837 was honorary secretary of the Philharmonic Society. He continued his public musical activities into the early 1840s. Stubbs was also a leading member of the cricket team of the Australian Club; Richard Cashman has identified him as cricketer-author of 2 letters signed “Tom the Native” in the Herald in 1835. Early in 1850, following financial difficulties in Sydney, Thomas moved to Melbourne. He died at St. Kilda in 1878.

1842: Stubbs is named in Herman Melville (1819-1891)’s autobiographical novel  Omoo: a narrative of adventures in the South Seas (London: John Murray, 1847), recounting the author’s experiences aboard the Australian whaler, Lucy Ann, sailing from the Marquesas Islands to Tahiti late (between July-November) in 1842:

Owing to my lameness, from which I soon began to recover, I did no active duty, except standing an occasional “trick“ at the helm. It was in the forecastle chiefly, that I spent my time, in company with the Long Doctor, who was at great pains to make himself agreeable. His books, though sadly torn and tattered, were an invaluable resource. I read them through again and again, including a learned treatise on the yellow fever. In addition to these, he had an old file of Sydney papers, and I soon became intimately acquainted with the localities of all the advertising tradesmen there. In particular, the rhetorical flourishes of Stubbs, the real-estate auctioneer, diverted me exceedingly, and I set him down as no other than a pupil of Robins the Londoner.

Obituary: One of the oldest and best known business men in Melbourne, Mr. Thomas Stubbs, died on Saturday at St. Kilda. Mr. Stubbs, whose career as an auctioneer dated almost from the foundation of the city, was a celebrity in his day, and his name will not easily be for gotten. In business circles he was much esteemed for his kindly and genial disposition He died at the ripe age of 75.

Obituary: The death of Mr. Thomas Stubbs takes away another of the social landmarks of the colony. He was a man whom everybody liked, and who deserved that everybody should like him. He was believed, and with good reason, to be a natural son of George the Fourth, and certainly if facial resemblance be any guide to paternity, there could be little doubt of the connection. He was, moreover, a good specimen of the gentleman of the Georgian period, being compact, portly, and well-balanced. He was genial, social, and full of anecdote, and as an auctioneer of the ornate order, he had no rival.

Correction (19 March 1878): THE LATE MR. THOMAS STUBBS. We are informed that some of the remarks made by our Melbourne Correspondent concerning the late Mr. Thomas Stubbs are incorrect; and that the gentleman recently deceased was the youngest of the children born in the colony. The late Mr. Stubbs was well known and highly respected in New South Wales as well as in Victoria.

References: “To the Editor”, The Sydney Herald (12 March 1835), 2:; “To the Editor”, The Sydney Herald (16 March 1835), 3:; see also comment, “Domestic Intelligence”, The Australian (13 March 1835), 2:; Herman Melville: Omoo: a narrative of adventures in the South Seas (London: John Murray, 1847), Chapter 9, 35:; “MELBOURNE: SUNDAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (4 March 1878), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (4 March 1878), 1: ; [News], The Argus (4 March 1878), 4:; “MELBOURNE LETTER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 March 1878), 5:; “THE LATE MR. THOMAS STUBBS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 March 1878), 5:

Resources: Diana Drake, “Thomas Stubbs: Australia’s first returned soldier, native born composer & well known auctioneer”, Descent 31/4 (December 2001), 180-188 Richard Cashman, “The rise and fall of the Australian [Cricket] Club 1826-68”, Sporting Traditions 5/1 (November 1988), 112-130:; see also



Professor of the Concertina, Singing, and Pianoforte
Active Melbourne, November 1852

References: “THE WEEKLY CONCERTS”, The Argus (11 November 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (18 November 1852), 7:



STUTTAFORD, Madame (Charlotte PRINGLE)
Mezzo-soprano vocalist, song composer, teacher of singing
Born Scotland, 16 May 1829
Arrived Melbourne, by January 1861
Departed Melbourne, after July 1866
Died Toronto, Canada, 1 June 1901

Summary: Newly arrived in the colony, she made “her first appearance in Australia” for (? her brother) George Pringle, at his concert in Melbourne in Febuary 1861. She also advertised as a teacher of singing (“pupil of Signor Lablache, late of Exeter Hall, St. Martin’s Hall, and Surrey Music Hall, London”. Her song The Myrtle (words: G. Isaacs) was published in Melbourne in 1865 (NO COPY IDENTIFIED). According to the Argus: “Madame Stuttaford has just set a pleasing song […] to music, which will not do discredit to our rising school of Australian composers”. Her last advertised Australian performance was as Inez in L’Africaine for Lyster’s opera company in July 1866. A family history at identified her as Charlotte Mary Anne Pringle, b. 16 May 1829; she had moved to Ontario, Canada, by 1871, and d. Toronto, 1 June 1901.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (28 January 1861), 8:; [News], The Argus (28 February 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 March 1861), 8:; [News], The Argus (13 July 1865), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (20 July 1866), 8:



Active Sydney, 1842

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (24 May 1842), 3:



French Horn player (12th Regiment)
Side drum player
Active Sydney, 1859

References: [Advertisement], Empire (4 July 1859), 6:



SULLIVAN, Charles J.
Professor of music
Died Melbourne, May 1869

References: “Funeral Notices”, The Argus (18 May 1869), 8:



Bandsman 3rd Regiment (Buffs)
Arrived Sydney, 29 August 1823 (per Commodore Hayes, from England)
Departed Sydney, 28 January 1827 (per Woodford and Speke, for India)

References: London, National Archives, PRO, WO12/2118: 3rd Regiment of Foot (Buffs) payrolls 1824-26; microfilm copy at SL-NSW: PRO Reel 3695; “SHIP NEWS”, The Sydney Gazette (4 September 1823), 2:; “Shipping Intelligence”, The Sydney Gazette (30 January 1827), 3:



SUMMERHAYES, Cecilia (Madame)
Active Sydney, by mid 1879
Died Melbourne, 13 August 1929

References: “SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 October 1879), 3:; “THE MUSIC AT THE GARDEN PALACE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 December 1879), 2:; “MADAME CECILIA SUMMERHAYES”, The Argus (24 October 1922), 11:; “MISS SUMMERHAYES”, Cairns Post (28 July 1928), 4:; “IN MEMORIAM”, The Argus (13 August 1931), 1:




Active Sydney, by 1887

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 August 1887), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 October 1887), 2:



Died Norwood, SA, 12 February 1890, aged 36 (formerly of Kensington, London)

Obituary: Mr. C. W. Summerhayes, who was well known in musical circles, died at his residence at Norwood on the 12th inst., aged 36. The deceased gentleman had been ill for a consider able time and unable to attend to the duties of his profession. He was for many years a teacher of music, being regarded as an excellent instructor, and held the position of organist at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.

References: “NORWOOD TOWN HALL”, South Australian Register (15 May 1884), 3:; “FUNERAL OF MR. C. W. SUMMERHAYES”, South Australian Register (15 February 1890), 5:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Chronicle (15 February 1890), 4:; “The Week”,  South Australian Chronicle (22 February 1890), 11:



Composer, organist, music educator
Born Charlton Mackrell, Somerset, England, 1839
Arrived Melbourne, 29 December 1865 (per Royal Standard, from Liverpool, 22 October)
Died Perth, WA, 10 October 1917


Summary: Summers was a chorister at Wells Cathedral, studied under Gauntlett and Sterndale Bennett, read music at Oxford around 1863, and held organist posts. He married Constance (also Summers) in 1863, and late in 1865 they arrived in Victoria, where brother sculptor Charles Summers had been since 1854. On the voyage out passengers mounted a production of Macbeth for which the “musical business was under the superintendence of Mr. Joseph Summers, bachelor of music”. In August 1867 Summers, Julius Siede, and St.John Caws were deputed by the Victorian Musical Association to make musical arrangements for the reception of the Duke of Edinburgh. One result was his Galatea Secunda (“new cantata expressly composed; words: R. H. Horne), in September 1867 (a year earlier Summers had set Horne's Threnodia O cruel sea! whose wild embrace); another, in May 1868, his New Ode (“Bearing on the subject of the Attempted Assassination of Prince Alfred”) (libretto: Rev. Dr. Bromby) (1 Address to the Deity; 2 Assassination Scene; 3 Jubilation; 4 Australia’s Prayer). Summers was organist of St. Peter’s, Eastern Hill (1868-79) and All Saints, St Kilda (until 1896). From 1867, he was an examiner and later “state inspector of singing” for the Education Board. Court proceedings against Summers in 1871 for conspiracy to defraud a mining company forced him into insolvency in 1872. In August 1874 Summers and Henry Hughes gave interesting specialist evidence for defence in libel case brought against the Herald for an anonymous critique (actually by Marcus Clarke) of a “mutilated” local production of Offenbach’s Princess of Trebizonde. The fact that his Victorian National Anthem, to words by Gordon McCrae (1879), was being taught in schools drew a criticism of its quality in January 1880. In 1890 he was awarded a doctorate of music by the archbishop of Canterbury. In May 1891 he was before the courts again for irregularities in his mining dealings, was insolvent again in October, and after a government inquiry into claims of misappropriation was forced to relinquish his departmental post.  In 1893 he sued the Age over a satirical review of a performance he conducted of Haydn’s Creation. In March 1897 he moved to Perth, WA, where he continued to compose, teach, conduct and court controversy, not least litigation over his collaboration on a dramatised Milton oratorio The Two Worlds (1900). Among his late minor works were a “new Australian National Anthem”, King Jarrah (1913), and An Australian Madrigal (1914).

Obituary: A remarkable and notable character passed out last week when Musical Dr. Summers smote his last chord. The doctor died at a very advanced, age. and though a marvellously brilliant theorist has left little in the way of haunting melody and majestic measure that will recall his venerable personality. As a master of the technical side of the divine art, Dr. Summers was unapproached in this State, albeit his best work was done long before he came West. lt is a long time ago since the present writer, then a small knickerbockered boy at Oldham’s State school, South Melbourne, studied, or tried to study, amid pellets of chewed blotting-paper and vocal fireworks, the blackboard crotchets and quavers of the now late-lamented maestro, and it is also a long time since he next met him, when he (Dr. S.), with Father Duff and the local girl-composer, Flora Murchison, was in the throes of evolving The Two Worlds. More anon of dear old Dr. Summers, a kindly old soul gone whom it is hoped the harps won’t twang out of tune and worry his sensitive spook.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (30 December 1865), 4:; “THE BROOKE MEMORIAL FUND”, Launceston Examiner (12 May 1866), 2:; [News], The Argus (5 October 1866), 4:; [News], The Argus (8 August 1867), 4:; [News], The Argus (20 September 1867), 5:; “GALATEA SECUNDA“, The Argus (4 October 1867), 5:; “MR. SUMMERS’S NEW ODE”, The Argus (25 May 1868), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 May 1868), 8:; “THE ALFRED MEMORIAL CONCERT”, The Argus (26 May 1868), 5:; “CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD”, The Argus (18 March 1871), 6:; “NEW INSOLVENTS”, The Argus (11 July 1872), 5:; “THEATRICAL CRITICISM”, The Argus (22 August 1874), 10:; “THE VICTORIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (16 January 1880), 7:; “THE VICTORIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (20 January 1880), 6:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Argus (31 December 1885), 6:; “MUSICAL NOTES”, The Argus (3 May 1890), 4:; “LEGAL NOTES”, The Argus (15 May 1891), 6:; “INSOLVENCY COURT”, The Argus (6 October 1891), 6:; “CHARGES AGAINST DR. SUMMERS. MEETING OF THE BOARD OF INQUIRY”, The Argus (13 November 1891), 9:; “A MUSICAL LIBEL ACTION“, The Argus (15 July 1893), 15:; “NEWS IN BRIEF”, The Daily News (15 March 1897), 2:; “THE TWO WORLDS”, Western Mail (2 June 1900), 58:; “AN AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN’S MEMORIES”, The West Australian (9 July 1910), 12:; “IS IT A GENUINE RUBENS?”, The Advertiser (20 June 1913), 9:; “KING JARRAH. A NEW ODE”, The Daily News (10 October 1913), 6:; “ANOTHER”, The Daily News (13 March 1914), 7:; “PEEPS AT PEOPLE”, Sunday Times (14 October 1917), 13:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (23 October 1917), 1:

Selected works:
Weep not (sacred song; words: Eliza Postle; in memory of the son of Rev. A Cairns, Melbourne, 1866) [Postle entered “music” to the Victorian committee for the 1866 Intercolonial & Paris Exhibitions, see The Argus (21 August 1866), 5:]
Galatea Secunda (an odaic cantata addressed to H.R.H. Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, on his first arrival in the colony of Victoria /​ written by Richard Hengist Horne; the music composed by J. Summers) (Words only; Melbourne: Printed for private circulation, 1867) 
Maker of earth and sea (“an Australian national anthem (from the centennial)”) (Melbourne: Allan &​ Co.)
An Australian Christmas Carol (Perth: S.T. Upham, [1908])
Music and musicians: personal reminiscences, 1865–1910 (Perth: Galwey Printing Company, 1910)

Resources: Robin S. Stevens, Summers, Joseph (1839-1917), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



Active Adelaide, by 1850

SUMSION, William
Active Adelaide by 1861 or 1862

Summary: A Wm. Sumsion arrived in Adelaide from Britain in 1852; a William Sumsion was first positively listed as a clarinettist in 1862. Whether or not that William Sumsion was the same person as the oboist listed in 1850 is unclear. Possibly there were two different musicians.

Reference: [Advertisement], South Australian (5 July 1850), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (6 April 1852), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (4 October 1854), 1:; “NORWOOD PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The South Australian Advertiser (22 October 1861), 3:; “GAWLER TOWN RURAL FETE AND PIC-NIC”, The South Australian Advertiser (7 November 1862), 3:; “OPENING OF PARLIAMENT”, South Australian Register (28 May 1864), 2:



SÜSSMILCH, (Christian) Bernhardt
Tenor vocalist, conductor
Active Sydney, by 1859
Died Sydney, 8 January 1905, aged 75

SÜSSMILCH, (Emma) Emmy (Mrs. ALLARD)
Active Sydney, by 1892
Died Burwood, Sydney, 16 February 1932

References: [Advertisement], Empire (5 July 1859), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 October 1862), 1:; “DR. CHAS. HORN’S AND MR. M. H. WILSON’S CONCERT”, The Maitland Mercury (7 October 1865), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 February 1869), 1:; “FUNERALS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1905), 12:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1905), 6:; “AUSTRALIANS IN ENGLAND”, The Sydney Morning Herald (28 January 1905), 5:; “MARRIAGES”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1910), 8:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 February 1932), 10: 



SUTCH, George (senior)
Musician (The European Band), harpist
Died Fitzroy, VIC, 16 November 1892, aged 62

SUTCH, George (junior)



Summary: It would perhaps appear that George Sutch senior arrived in Sydney in 1857 as a band musician on board the steamship European. From an address near Wynyard-square, in 1858 and 1859 he acted as agent for local offshoots of the ships’ bands, the European Band proper (under leader G. Arnold) and a sub-group called the London Quadrille Band (leader G. King). In June 1862, Sutch was manager of the Prince of Wales Dancing Academy, with John Gibbs as leader of the band. Jacob Clarke published what appears to be a local production, the ballad Norah McShane “arranged by W. D. Sutch” with an accompaniment equally suitable for pianoforte or harp. Perhaps having returned to England in the interim, George senior, as a harpist, and George junior, as violinist, were active in Canterbury, New Zealand, in 1870, in Tasmania in 1871, and later in Melbourne. George junior was still active as leader of the orchestra at the King’s Theatre, Melbourne, in April 1911, and a W. G. Sutch was a Melbourne violinist in 1915 and later.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 February 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 September 1858), 1:; [Advertisement,] The Sydney Morning Herald (3 December 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], Empire (7 June 1862), 1:; [Advertisement], Star (7 October 1870), 3:; “CONCERT IN THE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE”, Launceston Examiner (28 November 1871), 2:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (16 December 1871), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 April 1878), 12:; “Deaths”, The Argus (18 November 1892), 1:; [Advertisement], Fitzroy City Press (28 April 1911), 2:; [Advertisement], The Essendon Gazette (11 February 1915), 2:



Active Melbourne, 1859

Work: Aurora Australis Polka (Melbourne, Edward Arnold, [1859])

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (7 October 1859), 2s:; [News], The Argus (21 November 1859), 4:



SUTTON, Richard Henry
Born 1830
Arrived Melbourne, 1853
Active Ballarat, by 1861
Died Ballarat, 1876

1936: The history of Suttons Pty. Ltd., the music warehouse, goes back many, many years before the firm observed, about 30 years ago, the rapid advance of the town of Geelong, and decided to establish itself there. Suttons, in fact, dates from about 1853 when Mr. Richard Henry Sutton arrived in Melbourne with his young wife and daughter from England. Since that time Suttons has been associated with the sale of music and musical instruments on the goldfields at Ballarat, and afterwards in the rising town of Ballarat, at several familiar places in the city of Melbourne and at Geelong. Indeed, the history of the firm is the history of music, musical Instruments, and musical fashions in the last 70 or 80 years.

References: [Advertisement], The Star (29 May 1857), 1s:; [Advertisement], The Star (29 October 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], The Star (23 September 1862), 3:; Ballarat and Ballarat District Directory (1865), 113, 183:; [Advertisement of probate], The Argus (4 October 1876), 3:; “BALLARAT”, The Argus (13 May 1893), 10:; “BALLARAT”, The Argus (12 March 1894), 6:; “OLD ESTABLISHED MUSIC FIRM”, The Argus (23 October 1936), 17:; “GENERAL SUMMARY”, Camperdown Chronicle (30 July 1912), 4:

Resources: George Sutton, R. H. Sutton, 1854-1954 ([Melbourne : Suttons, 1954) “Richard Henry Sutton, Esq. 1830-1876, an abridged history of the earlier activities of the Sutton family, compiled by George Sutton from notes and information supplied by the late Mrs. Walter Sutton and the late Alfred Sutton, Esq.“



Professor of the Pianoforte, Solfeggio, English and Italian Operatic Singing, &c
Arrived Sydney, May? 1851
Departed Hobart, 7 February 1852 (for Melbourne)

Summary: Swain came to Sydney “from London, via New York”. Early in May 1851, he offered his services as a music teacher, but later in the month added that he “respectfully offers his services as an experienced Tunist, &c.; he will tune square pianos for four shillings, cabinet for four and sixpence, and grand for five shillings.” In June, Arthur Graveley advertised “SINGING FOR THE MILLION. MR. STEVENS having resigned his connexion with the People’s Singing Classes for the practice of Devotional Psalmody, the Committee beg to announce the Mr. Swain, late of the Chapel Royal, Windsor, a gentleman just arrived in the colony, has accepted the professorship, and will meet the classes […].”. However, Swain was in Hobart by November. According to his advertisements, he was “formerly a member of the Chapel Royal, and has followed the profession upwards of eighteen years. The following testimonials are by Judge Thornton, of Supreme Court of Alabama; Mr. Mitchell, Lay-Vicar of Windsor, and Organist of Eton;  and Mr. M'Gwinn, Recorder of San Francisco.” He was in New Zealand early in 1853.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 May 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 May 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 June 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 June 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 June 1851), 1:; [Advertisement]: “SINGING”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 July 1851), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (29 November 1851), 1:; [Advertisement]: “MUSIC. MR SWAIN”, Colonial Times (2 December 1851), 4:; “Shipping Intelligence”, Colonial Times (10 February 1852), 2:; “CONCERT”, The Southern Cross (7 January 1853), 2:



SWAN, John
Amateur vocalist (merchant, storekeeper)
Active Hobart, 1826 (Hobart Town Concert)
Died Hobart, 30 April 1858, aged 62

Summary: Swan, a Hobart tradesman and storekeeper, was elected along with John Philip Deane to a Hobart Elizabeth-street neighbourhood watch committee in September 1825. A year later he made hi single documented appearance for Deane, in Hobart’s first public concert.

1826: Mr. Swan sung “The Sun that Lights the Roses”, and “The dearest Maid [I adore thee]” [Slade], the latter in a most masterly style.

Obituary: Mr. Swan was a worthy representative of that type of emigrants of whom Mr. [Henry] Hopkins is the head. He has been the architect of his own fortunes, and goes down to his grave at a ripe age, sincerely lamented by his numerous relatives and friends, and held in just and deserved esteem by a large portion of his fellow-colonists.

References: [Advertisement], Hobart Town Gazette (3 September 1825), 1:; “CRIMINAL COURT”, Hobart Town Gazette (21 October 1826), 4:; “Hobart Town Concert”, Colonial Times (29 September 1826), 3:; “HOBART TOWN CONCERTS”, Hobart Town Gazette (7 October 1826), 4:; “BIRTHS”, Colonial Times (6 August 1830), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Courier (30 April 1858), 2:; “THE LATE MR. JOHN SWAN”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 May 1858), 2:; “THE FIRST CONCERT IN HOBART”, The Mercury (11 October 1883), 2s: 




Soprano vocalist (“The Australian Nightingale”)
Active Melbourne, 1855-57

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (26 January 1855), 8:; “CONCERT HALL”, The Argus (15 May 1855), 5:; “MISKA HAUSER”, The Argus (1 June 1855), 5:; THE “CONVERSAZIONE AT THE ATHENAEUM”, The Argus (16 may 1857), 3:; “MELBOURNE OLD AND NEW. A NOVEL ENTERTAINMENT”, Mercury and Weekly Courier (16 June 1892), 3:



Musician, cornet player
Died Sydney, 31 October 1884, aged 36

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 January 1876), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 November 1884), 2:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (5 November 1884), 1:



Musician, band leader
Active Sydney, by October 1859
Active Melbourne, by September 1862 (Sweetman’s Brass or String Band)

References: “WATER POLICE COURT”, Empire (2 November 1859), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 May 1860), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 March 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 September 1862), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 August 1863), 1:



Viola (Tenor) player (New Queen’s Theatre)
Active Adelaide, 1848

References: [Advertisement], South Australian (29 February 1848), 2:



Pianist, teacher of music
Active Geelong, 1850s

Resources: [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (19 February 1853), 1s:; “MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Geelong Advertiser (7 February 1856), 2:; [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (7 February 1856), 3:; “MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Geelong Advertiser (12 February 1856), 2:



SYKES, Charles
Born Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, 1843
Arrived Dunedin, NZ, November 1862
Arrived Melbourne, April 1878

References: “65 YEARS AN ORGANIST. Recollections by Mr. Charles Sykes”, The Argus (27 May 1922), 25:



SYMMONS, Charles Augustus
Amateur pianist, choirmaster
Born 1804
Arrived Perth, late 1839
Died Leschenault, WA, 18 October 1887, in his 84th year

Pianist, conductor, soprano vocalist

Active Perth, 1846

Summary (after Conole): Symmons arrived in WA in late 1839 with his wife Joanna (nee Elliot) and their family, as Protector of Natives, a post he retained until the early 1850s. He and like-minded officials helped compile and publish (1842) the first WA aboriginal language dictionary. Apart from being a major lay benefactor of the Church of England in WA and a prominent colonial public official, Symmons proved to be an important figure in local social and cultural life for decades. In his personal life, he was a convivial and good-hearted man. He was also a fine musician and served as the first Choirmaster of St Georges Church in Perth, in office from 1845-1853.

May 1845: The performance commenced with a symphony for four hands, on the subject of the Hallelujah chorus from Beethoven's Mount of Olives, which was admirably played by Mrs. and Miss Symmons. […] The celebrated air “Let the bright Seraphim”, from Handera Oratorio of “Samson”, was next sung in first-rate style by Mrs. Symmons, feelingly accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Leake. We missed Harper’s trumpet obligato, but in other respects there was little to desire.

April 1846: The Concert iu aid of the funds for the purchase of a suitable instrument for St. George’s Church, took place at the Court House, on Wed- nesday last. […] To the Conductor, Mrs. Symmons who had a most arduous task imposed upon her, that of accompanying every piece and taking a part in each performance, the public are greatly indebted for the trouble and pains she has taken

1869: There are still many among us who remember the charming concerts given long since in Perth, and to which Mr. and Mrs. Symmons, Mr. Wittenoom, Mr. Stone, Mr. Schoales, Mr. Lochée, Mr. H. deBurgh, and Mrs. Maycock contributed their great and varied talents.

References: “Performance of Sacred Music”, Inquirer (14 May 1845), 1:; “MARRIED”, Inquirer (13 August 1845), 2:; [News], The Perth Gazette (18 April 1846), 2:; “Swan River Mechanics’ Institute”, The Perth Gazette (23 May 1852), 3:; “CHORAL SOCIETY’S CONCERT”, The Inquirer (20 January 1869), 3:; “DEATH”, The West Australian (22 October 1887), 3:

Resources: Peter Conole, “A Colonial Law Man: Charles Symmons (1804-1887)”: 



SYMONS, Annette (Miss SPENCER)
Music teacher
Active Sydney, mid 1826-27

1827: Symons and Annette his wife v. Samuel Terry. The plaintiffs had lately been resident in Sydney, but were now on their passage to England. Mrs.Symons, previously to her marriage (which took place in the Colony the latter part of last March) had given a quarter’s tuition in musick to Miss Martha Terry, daughter of the defendant. […] He said, his daughter had taken instructions in music from Miss Spencer, and afterwards, when she became Mrs. Symons, without his knowledge. He admitted he had heard of her, going to Mrs. Symon’s lodgings, but he understood it was in the way of a friendly call.

References: “COURT OF REQUESTS, FRIDAY, OCT. 5”, The Monitor (8 October 1827), 7:


- T -


TAPP, John Charles
Organist, composer
Born Stoke Lane, Somerset, England, 1825
Arrived Hobart, 20 March 1852 (convict per Aboukir, from Plymouth, 24 December 1851)
Died Oatlands, TAS, 30 August 1875, in the 51st year of his age

Summary: Tapp, a miller by trade, was convicted of forgery at the Taunton Assizes in 1847 and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. The 1851 census lists him as a prisoner on the hulk The Warrior. He was transported later that year on the Aboukir to Tasmania (only 14 further shipments of convicts to Tasmania followed, and transportations ended after the arrival of the last, 13 months later, on 26 May 1853). Aged 26 on arrival in March 1852, Tapp was granted a ticket-of-leave in September 1853 and was recommended for a conditional pardon in August 1854. He was already connected with the Wesleyan Sunday School in Hobart in 1853, and two years later for that institution he published his Tasmanian Sacred Melodies (Hobart: Teachers of the Campbell Street Sunday School, R.V. Hood, [1855]), containing 8 original hymn tunes and 1 set of chants ((1 Hobarton; 2 Launceston; 3 Hallelujah (a parting piece); 4 Sorell; 5 Longford; 6 Ross; 7 Brighton; 8 Franklin; 9 Chant[s]). The Mercury noticed it: “We have received a copy of Tasmanian Sacred Melodies, composed and arranged by J. C. Tapp, organist, of this city. They appear to be well suited to the purpose for which they are intended; and their being published by the teachers of the Campbell-street Sunday School shows they are appreciated, and worthy of a more extended circulation. There are nine tunes, besides chants and miscellan[ie]s, and the price is 3s. 6d. We have heard Mr. Tapp spoken of has having ability of a very high order, when applied to sacred music.” By June 1856, he was a clerk at Port Arthur (in charge of the bakery), having previously held a post as an assistant-superintendent at the prison. He was appointed postmaster at Port Arthur in 1859, where he continued to hold several other administrative offices. His headstone indicated that he was born in 1825 and died in 1875. One other musical attribution to a “J. C. Tapp”, an arrangement, appears in a mid-19th-century organbook (a collection of hymn tunes and chants), British Library, Add. MS. 59873 (see British Library Journal 4 (1978), 197).

References: “PROTEST AGAINST THE PRISONERS PER ABOUKIR”, Colonial Times (2 April 1852), 2:; “WESLEYAN SUNDAY SCHOOLS”, The Courier (29 March 1853), 2:; “TICKETS-OF-LEAVE GRANTED”, The Cornwall Chronicle (3 September 1853), 6:; “CONDITIONAL PARDONS RECOMMENDED”, The Cornwall Chronicle (19 August 1854), 8:; “SACRED MELODIES”, The Hobarton Mercury (3 September 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], The Hobarton Mercury (3 September 1855), 2:;  “THE GOVERNMENT FLOUR CASE”, Colonial Times (2 June 1856), 2:; “GOVERNMENT GAZETTE”, Launceston Examiner (9 June 1859), 2:; “APPOINTMENTS”, Launceston Examiner (11 June 1859), 4:; “APPOINTMENTS”, Launceston Examiner (23 July 1864), 4:; “OFFICIAL NOTICES”, Launceston Examiner (23 December 1869), 3:; [Advertisement], The Mercury (17 May 1872), 1:; “OATLANDS. POLICE COURT”, The Mercury (1 April 1875), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (1 September 1875), 1:




Professor of the Pianoforte, Harp and Singing, organist, choral conductor
Born Arrived Hobart, January 1853 (per Derwentwater)
Died Hobart, 1873 (before January 1874)

TAPFIELD, Master (Frederick)
Boy soprano, music master, station owner
Born Cambridgeshire, England, 1845
Died Melbourne, 25 March 1907, aged 64

Summary: Mr. Tapfield, “Late of London and Cambridge” announced his intention to settle in Hobart Town in January 1853, as a “Professor of the Pianoforte, Harp and Singing”, offering testimonials from “the Bishop of Chester, and from many others of the highest respectability in England”. By July 1853, he was organist of Trinity Church. In November 1853, Master Tapfield first appeared in concert for Salier and Russell. In March 1854, Samuel Tapfield was admitted to the Royal Society of Van Diemen’s Land, to which his wife Charlotte (died July 1863) also contributed in October that year: “a manuscript volume containing the characters used to express 54 different oriental and other languages, &c., ancient and modern”. In 1855, Henry Stoney reported in his book A Year in Tasmania: “A glee club has been organized under the direction of Mr. Tapfield, organist of Trinity Church, which has met with considerable success, and is patronised by some of the principal families”. Probably late Master Tapfield, Frederick was music master at Hobart High School in January 1870. In 1871, Samuel was conductor the Hobart Orchestral Union.

References:  “SHIPPING NEWS”, The Courier (21 January 1853), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (29 January 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (14 July 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (31 October 1853), 3:; “MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE … GRAND MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT”, Colonial Times (5 November 1853), 2:; “ROYAL SOCIETY OF VAN DIEMEN’S LAND”, The Courier (11 March 1854), 2: ; “ROYAL SOCIETY OF VAN DIEMEN’S LAND”, The Courier (13 October 1854), 2:; [Advertisement], The Courier (10 January 1856), 3:; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Daily Mercury (5 January 1859), 4:; “THE ORATORIO OF THE MESSIAH”, The Mercury (2 September 1862), 3:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (17 July 1863), 1:; “ENCORES AT CONCERTS. TO THE EDITOR”, The Mercury (1 November 1864), 2:; “MARRIAGES”, The Mercury (20 January 1868), 1:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (26 January 1870), 1:; “HOBART TOWN”, Launceston Examiner (29 March 1870), 6:; “HOBART TOWN”, Launceston Examiner (15 November 1870), 3:; “ST. ANDREW’S CHURCH”, The Mercury (15 December 1870), 2: [Advertisement], The Mercury (5 January 1874), 4:; “MARRIAGES”, The Mercury (29 May 1876), 2s:; “CONCERNING PEOPLE”, The Register (26 March 1907), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Mercury (6 March 1926), 1:

Bibliography: The album of the Cambridge Garrick Club (Cambridge: Pub. for the Society, by W. H. Smith, 1836), 156:; Henry Butler Stony, A residence in Tasmania (London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1856), 132-33:; reprint of the 1855 Hobart edition, A year in Tasmania; “MUSICAL. ORCHESTRAL UNION”, Walch’s Tasmanian Almanac (Hobart: J. Walch and Sons, 1871), 136:




TATE, Henry
Music reviewer, writer on music, poet, composer
Born Prahran, VIC, 27 October 1873
Died South Yarra, VIC, 6 June 1926



Summary to 1900 (after Carmody ADB): His interest in music began as an Anglican choirboy at Christ Church, St Kilda; when the University of Melbourne opened its Conservatorium of Music in 1895, he enrolled as a student under George Marshall-Hall.

Belated obituary (Nettie Palmer, 1928): HENRY TATE, before his death about two years ago, had at least heard his most important completed work performed by a Melbourne orchestra; in addition to this, he had been accepted as a man of most fruitful musical ideas, expressed sometimes in his actual compositions, sometimes in words, as in his rare little book, “Australian Musical Possibilities.” Henry Tate was a man of great fecundity (hindered often by ill health), and his fecundity was all used in the one direction, that of bringing Australia into music. From his tiniest piano fragment, “Bush Noon,” to his impressive orchestral work, “Dawn in Australia,” all was an experiment in the direction of writing down our own peculiar harmonies and rhythms. To this end he used an unusual scale; he based many of his themes on the rhythms of our bird-calls, and the “programme” of his longer compositions (as in “Dawn in Australia”) was the programme of nature iteelf. It will be for later composers, vitalised by his wealth of suggestions, to say whether his works were final in themselves or not. If they suffered from any lack, it was never a lack of musical ideas. The creative spirit was at large in them. It is to be hoped that they will gradually all be published. In the meantime a book of his prose and verse has been announced, the prose being both his musical dogmas and a series of descriptive essays, notes of his responsive delight in the bird-calls of the bush. His verse, too, is of interest, as showing, in words, the dreams of a man who lived for music. His long, ascetic face, with the widely-set eyes of a dreamer, was crowned by a very fine head. To many he was known solely as a champion chess player, which was enough. His “lightly-moved and all-conceiving spirit” could spend itself in many directions, but his influence on music will be most profoundly felt as years go by.

References: “THEATRES AND ENTERTAINMENTS”, The Argus (6 May 1909), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (8 June 1926), 1:; “THE LATE MR. HENRY TATE. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (9 June 1920), 20:; “Australian Composers. Some Melbourne Figures”, The Brisbane Courier (12 May 1928), 25:; “The Bush and Aurora Australis”, The Brisbane Courier (23 June 1928), 22:

Resources: John Carmody, Tate, Henry (1873-1926), Australian Dictionary of Biography 12 (1990)



Band leader (European Saxhorn Band), ? band instrument seller
Active Sydney, 1859 (? 1879)

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 April 1859), 12:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 September 1879), 2:



Bugler (Thomas Mitchell’s expedition)
Died (drowned near Benalla), 13 October 1836

Summary: In April 1834 it was reported that “Mr. Ellard, the Musical Instrument Maker, has completed a Bugle of a very superior description, to be used in Major Mitchell‘s exploring party.” Having hired a bugler, James Taylor, especially, Mitchell used the instrument on his expedition mainly as a signal for members of his party, though, as he also recorded, it astonished some of the Indigenous tribesmen they encountered (“On hearing the bugle it appeared that they seemed much alarmed and drew up at a distance”). Taylor was drowned near Benalla while crossing a river on 13 October 1836.

References: “DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE”, The Sydney Herald (24 April 1834), 3:


Note: For another exploring expedition with a bugler, see J. R. Phillips’s Hotham Expedition in 1835: “THE HOTHAM EXPEDITION”, The Perth Gazette (10 October 1835), 578: “Soon afterwards the bugle sounded, prepare for the start […] Cheers were echoed and re-echoed from either party; the faint note of the bugle playing Over the hills and far away, was the last remembrance left us of our departed friends.”



Soprano vocalist, actor
Arrived Hobart, by December 1833
Arrived Sydney, March 1834
Departed Sydney, 25 December 1839 (per Prince George, for Calcutta)
Died Calcutta, 13 May 1841

December 1833: Next to Mrs. Cameron, comes our old friend, Mrs. Taylor, who made her first appearance, on any boards, on Tuesday last. She performed the part of Charlotte [in The Stranger], and, although that part does not allow the opportunity of shewing any great degree of talent, Mrs. Taylor performed so exceedingly correct, and so naturally, the character cast for her, that we have no doubt she will be able to perform anything that may hereafter be required. She looked remarkably pleasing; but we have seen Mrs. Taylor before, and the public, as well as ourselves, term her an old friend (if calling a young lady an old friend is not misapplying the word old), we need say no more. Her plaintive song, I have a silent sorrow here, was particularly pathetic, and caused universal approbation.

March 1834: The theatrical public may congratulate themselves on the arrival of Mrs. Taylor, who has afforded sufficient to convince that she will prove an acquisition of no mean worth to the Sydney boards. She made her debut thereon last Saturday evening, when she sang Bid me discourse  and Kate Carney. The house was a full one, probably from the intimation which had been pretty general, that Mrs. T. would exhibit her vocal talents, although not announced in the bills of the day. Her figure is good, and her person altogether pleasing in point of stage attraction, and when Mr. Levey introduced her between the first and second acts of Luke the Labourer, she was received with universal acclamation; which, although flattering of course to the susceptibility of the fair stranger, had the effect of rendering her somewhat hurried in the first song. Her voice however, displayed both compass and sweetness, and is altogether far superior to any that has yet gratified the ears of a Sydney audience. Mrs. Taylor had fully regained her self-possession. when she appeared between the pieces to sing Kate Carney, in which she was eminently successful, and en cored. Mrs. Taylor possesses the important advantage of a Drury Lane education, being the daughter of Mr. Hill, the celebrated vocalist of that establishment; and it is by no means prophetical to augur that her “fair fame” will suffer no detraction in the exertions of his daughter among the votaries of song in Australia.

August 1836: We had occasion lately to allude to an outrage peretrated on the Sydney Stage by that brazen-faced strumpet Mrs. Taylor, unparalleled we believe in the annals of theatrical entertainments, whether we consider it in reference to the prostitution of the purposes of which, theatricals are designed, or as an evidence of her utter callousness of  feeling to every sense of shame […] having reference to the conduct of this very female with her paramour, the notorious John Thomas Wilson, we designated the playgoers of Sydney, generally, as a set of “wretched creatures in the shape of ladies and gentlemen who frequent that sink of iniquity the Sydney Theatre.”

Obituary: It is our melancholy duty to record the death of Mrs. Maria Taylor, formerly of the Sydney Theatre, which took place at Calcutta on the 13 the May last. As an actress this lady was more successful than any other that ever trod the Sydney boards. The versatility of her talents and the elasticity of her spirits knew no bounds. In private life, whatever indiscretions she might have been guilty of, were rather the result of a volatile and giddy disposition, inseparable from her professional pursuits, than of a bad heart—on the contrary, we have known acts of private charity and benevolence done by this unfortunate lady, which, in our opinion would out-weigh a thousand faults. But enough, the last sad scene in her drama of life is closed, and let us not draw up the curtain upon her frailties or her faults. Requiescat pace!

References: [Advertisement], Colonial Times (17 December 1833), 1:; [News], The Hobart Town Courier (27 December 1833), 2:; [News], Colonial Times (31 December 1833), 3:; “THE THEATRE”, The Sydney Gazette (11 March 1834), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (29 March 1836), 3:; “THE COLONIST”, The Sydney Monitor (6 April 1836), 2:; “THE THEATRE”, The Colonist (4 August 1836), 6:; John Dunmore Lang, An historical and statistical account of New South Wales, Volume 1 (London: A. J. Valpy, 1837), 434-447; especially:; [Advertisement], The Australian (3 April 1838), 1:; ? “DEPARTURES”, The Colonist (4 September 1839), 2:; “THE VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Gazette (19 October 1839), 2:; [Advertisement], The Australian (21 November 1839), 3:; “DEPARTURES”, Australasian Chronicle (27 December 1839), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Herald (27 September 1841), 3:; “DEATH OF MRS. TAYLOR”, The Sydney Gazette (28 September 1841), 2:; “Sketches from Real Life By OLD BOOMERANG. BOLTERS IN BYGONE DAYS”, The Sydney Mail (12 November 1870), 7:



TAYLOR, Samuel
Active Victoria, by 1862
Died Carlton, VIC, 8 August 1881  

(1868): MUSIC. Mr. S. TAYLOR, BANDMASTER (late H. M. 6th Enniskillen Dragoons, formerly bandmaster in H. M. navy), begs to state he has erected a PRACTICE-ROOM expressly for all kinds of WIND INSTRUMENTS, fitted up with every regard to comfort, sound, &c, where persons desirous of learning the clarionet, cornopean, piccolo, saxhorn, euphonium, trombone, side drum, and all instruments required in military, naval, or volunteer bands, may do so at a reasonable expense. Mr. T. has organised the following bands to the entire satisfaction of each corps, viz.- Original Head quarters, Castlemaine Rifles, Pentridge do., East Collingwood do., Eaglehawk do. (drum and fife);  Reformatory ship do. Mr. T. may be consulted regarding terms Tuesday or Thursday evenings, at the East Collingwood Orderly room, or at his residence, Townham cottage, Station street, Carlton. Music arranged for reed or brass bands. A juvenile class now forming.

References: “MUSICAL COMPETITION AT THE WERRIBEE. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (28 April 1862), 5:; [News], The Argus (10 April 1867), 4:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 September 1868), 8:; “SALE BOROUGH BAND”, Gippsland Times (24 March 1880), 3:; “DEATH”, Gippsland Times (17 August 1881), 2:; [News], Gippsland Times (17 August 1881), 3:



TAYLOR, Thomas
Bandmaster (The Adelaide Brass and Reed Band, late Leader of Wombwell’s Brass Band)
Active Adelaide, 1854-55

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (29 March 1854), 1:; “MARTIAL MUSIC”, South Australian Register (29 August 1854), 3:; “PROPOSED DINNER OF THE VOLUNTEER OFFICERS”, South Australian Register (12 May 1855), 2:; ? “THE SEMAPHORE”, South Australian Register (10 April 1880), 5:



TAYLOR, W. Geddes (William, “Watty”)
Amateur composer, journalist
Died Port Augusta, SA, 10 May 1909

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (6 October 1884), 1:; “NEWMUSIC”, South Australian Register (27 May 1887), 5:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (28 May 1887), 1:; [News], The Advertiser (28 May 1890), 7:; “IN MEMORIAM”, The Advertiser (11 May 1910), 8:

Austral Dreams Valse (Adelaide: S. Marshall & Sons, 1884)
The Football Polka (by W. Geddes Taylor; Dedicated by permission to the Victorian and South Australian Football Associations) ([1887])



TEGG, James
Bookseller, publisher, printer (J. Tegg & C0.)
Born Cheapside, London, 16 January 1808
Arrived Sydney, 1834
Died Sydney, 16 May 1845

TEGG, Samuel Augustus
Bookseller, publisher, printer
Born London, 8 January 1813
Arrived Sydney, 1834
Died Paignton, Devon, UK, 5 December 1872

Summary: Son of London publisher Thomas Tegg, James Tegg was not generally involved with musical selling or publishing. However, in May 1842, he published the word-book to Charles Nagel’s “musical burletta” Mock Catalani in Little Puddleton ((copy at British Library). The music-seller Thomas Rolfe, from whom Tegg’s wordbook was also available, meanwhile published music for the songs.

June 1842: Sir, Feeling an interest to witness the representation of the “Mock Catalani”, I attended the Theatre on  Tuesday evening last, having first provided myself with the pamphlet of the piece, as published at Tegg’s.

Hobart 1843: SACRED MUSIC, WILL BE PUBLISHED IN A FEW DAYS, PART N0. I. OF THE PSALMIST, being a Collection of Psalm and Hymn Tunes, arranged for general Congregational Worship. Sold by Rolwegan, Collins-street; and Tegg, Elizabeth-street

References: [Advertisement], The Australian (7 June 1842), 3:; “ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. To the Editor”, The Australian (9 June 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (8 August 1843), 1:; “THE LATE MR. TEGG”, Geelong Advertiser (30 September 1846), 1:  

Resources: L. F. Fitzhardinge, Tegg, James (1808-1845), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967); Tegg, Thomas, Dictionary of National Biography (1898); Victor Crittenden, James Tegg: early Sydney publisher and printer: the Tegg Brothers, the Australian arm of the book empire of Thomas Tegg of London (Canberra: Mulini Press, 2000):



TEICHELMANN, Christian Gottlieb
Recorder of indigenous language, songs, and customs, Lutheran missionary
Born Dahme, Saxony, 15 December 1807
Arrived Adelaide, 12 October 1838 (per Pestonjee Bomanjee)
Died Stansbury SA, 31 May 1888

Resources: Heide Kneebone, Teichelmann, Christian Gottlieb (1807-1888), Australian Dictionary of Biography Suppl. (2005)



TESTAR, Elizabeth (Miss E. TURNER)
Soprano vocalist, teacher of singing
Born 1819
Arrived Melbourne, 27 Ocrtober 1850 (per Northumberland)
Died 20 March 1908, in her 89th year

Summary: As Miss E. Turner (with her sister Mary, Miss Turner), she appeared in London concerts during the 1840s. Testar arrived with her husband Thomas in October 1850, and made her Melbourne concert debut in December. She was Melbourne’s principal resident soprano vocalist throughout the 1850s, appearing with visiting artists such as Lewis Lavenu, Anna Bishop, and Miska Hauser, and in 1859 also appearing in Sydney in Lavenu’s University Musical Festival. In 1854, George Wathen noted “the performances of Mrs. Testar, the prima donna of Melboure, are duly appreciated and loudly applauded.“

(1864): Mrs. Testar, who has long retired from public performance, appeared at short notice because of Miss O. Hamilton's illness, but she did not fail to prove that she retained all her well remembered powers. Bred in the best sacred musical school, she exhibited an exquisite taste and a delicacy of expression which many better singers of secular music often fail to give. Her crowning effort was the lovely air, “I know that my Redeemer liveth“, and the audience would fain have heard it repeated. 

References: [Advertisement], The Musical World 17/25 (23 June 1842), 200:; “ASYLUM FOR WORTHY AGED AND DECAYED FREEMASONS. ELEVENTH ANNUAL FESTIVAL” , Freemasons Quarterly Magazine (1846), 206:; “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (28 October 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (29 November 1850), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (25 December 1850), 1:; George Henry Wathen, The golden colony, or, Victoria in 1854 (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1855), 44:; “SYDNEY UNIVERSITY MUSIC FESTIVAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 July 1859), 5:; “THE MESSIAH ON CHRISTMAS EVE”, The Argus (26 Dcember 1864), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (21 March 1908), 11:

Bibliography: Elizabeth Testar, DAAO



Indigenous musician, vocalist, bugler, dancer, circus performer
Active Scotland and Brisbane, 1840s-50s

(1852): By the last trip of the Eagle and aboriginal native returned to Brisbane, for the purpose of visiting his relatives, who belong to Amity Point, in Moreton Bay. His native name is Tetaree, and his mother is tolerably well known by the name of Wogawai. About seven years ago a gentleman named Oliphant, who was about to return to Scotland, took with him Tetaree, then a young lad. He has since been in London and other parts of England, in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in Belfast and Antrim in Ireland. He returned to Sydney in the ship Bermondsey, a few weeks ago. His description of the sights he has seen is highly amusing. The great Exhibition, with its big house of glass; her Majesty the Queen “walking about” as he says; the Life Guards with their tin hats and long swords; the kelted Highlanders in Scotland; and the rapid flight of the puffing Railway carriages, have all been observed by Tetaree, who, by the bye, has now adopted the name of James Alexander. It appears from his statement that the performance at an equestrian circus had great attractions for him, he was himslef employed for some time as a performer at Franconi’s circus, in Edinburgh. Here he learned to stand upon a horse when in full gallop, and perform many of the feats usually witnessed at such places. His bugle imitations of popular tunes are very good, and he sings some of the Ethiopian Serenaders’ songs with very creditable attempts at musical execution. He has learnt a polka tune to perfection, and goes through that popular dance with  correctness. He says that he has danced it “with some ladies”. He can write his name, and recognises the letters of the alphabet, which he pronounces with a strong Scottish accent. He heard talk, he says, of “the row in France”, and under-stood that the Edinburgh soldiers wanted to fight the French soldiers, but the latter would not come. This impression has no doubt been caused on his mind by the talk of invasion, and the preparations lately made to resist it. Altogether, “James Alexander” is a curiosity. He came down as steward’s assistant, we believe, in the Eagle. Of his future movements he seems to be uncertain; but his first object is to visit his friends at Amity Point.

(Stobart, 4 August 1853): All the Blacks have English names - Jackey or Tommy or Charlie &c. One young fellow called “Jimmy Alexander” who was as naked and savage as any of them had, strange t o say, been seven years in England, been taught to read and write and could talk English perfectly. He however pined, I suppose, after his own land and returned about 2 years and a half ago. For some little time he kept aloof from his own people and did work in Brisbane and dressed well; but, induced I suppose by his tribe , he returned to them and is again a perfect savage. He talked about England, danced a Polka for us, sang English songs and imitated the Flagoelet capitally. He said his people did not believe all the stories he was accustomed to tell about England. How strange it is that he should return again for this […].

References: “A Travelled Aboriginal”, The Moreton Bay Courier (31 July 1852), 2:; Henry Stobart, Papers, NLA MS1033:

Resources: W. R. F. Love, “Some references to Aboriginal life in the Moreton region from Stobart’s journal 1853“, Queensland Archeological Research 2 (1985), 58-70:; Shirleene Robinson, “The Unregulated Employment of Aboriginal Children in Queensland, 1842-1902”, Labour History 82 (May 2002):


THACKERAY, Emily (Aimee) (Mrs. WELCH)
Organist, composer
Active Maitland, by 1859

Summary: In 1870 her Song of Saul before his Last Battle (words by Byron; composed by Aimee, and dedicated to Sir Alfred Stephen) was advertised for sale in Sydney by J. R. Clarke. In England in 1870, she was elected a member of the College of Organists. At St. Paul’s Maitland in June 1872, she introduced her anthem Praised be the Lord, and another vocal setting, Eloi Eloi Lama Sabacthani was printed in England by Novello, Ewer, and Co.

1868: We were indebted to the courtesy of the Rev. J. E. Thackeray, for the opportunity of being present at a private organ recital, given by Miss Amy Thackeray, upon the grand instrument in St. Paul’s Church, on thursday evening. This young lady has devoted herself to the study of the noble instrument, which enabled her on the night in question to delight and charm the audience invited, and the result of the recital gave evidence of the mastery she has attained over every key, stop, and pedal. Miss Thackeray plays with a firmness, vigour, and delicacy of touch, a brilliancy of execution, and a feelingness of expression, which gave the fullest effect to the magnificent specimens of the masters which were presented […] We must not omit to mention the brilliant extemporisations, by way of prelude to the various pieces, which the aooomplished performer indulged in, to the gratification of the listeners […]

1870: On the 9th May, an organ recital was given in tho Wesleyan Church, York-street, Sydney, by Miss Thackeray, organist of St. Paul’s, Maitland, for the benefit of the sufferers by the late floods in the Maitland district. There was a good attendance, and the performance of Miss Thackeray elicited much admiration.

1872: JUST PUBLISHED. Price 1s. 6d, SONGS OF THE TWILIGHT No. 1, “ELOI ELOI, LAMA SABACTHANI”, The Poetry by D. P. Carter, Esq., Hereford, England; the Music by Emily Thackeray, Organist of S Paul’s, Maitland. LONDON NOVELLO, EWER, & CO.; WEST MAITLAND: W. LIPSCOMB.

References: [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (24 September 1864), 1:; “DESTRUCTION OF ST. ETHEL’S SCHOOL ROOM BY FIRE”, The Maitland Mercury (1 December 1866), 4:; “PRIVATE ORGAN RECITAL AT ST. PAUL’S CHURCH”, The Maitland Mercury (25 July 1868), 4:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (25 July 1868), 4:; “CHORAL SERVICE”, The Maitland Mercury (29 June 1869), 4:; “THE TWO MAITLANDS. No. II”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 November 1869), 5:; “FLOOD RELIEF COMMITTEE, WEST MAITLAND”, The Maitland Mercury (7 May 1870), 3:; “SOCIAL”, Empire (18 May 1870), 2:; “ORGAN RECITAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (22 June 1870), 5:; “ORGAN RECITAL IN SYDNEY”, The Maitland Mercury (25 June 1870), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 September 1870), 5:; “MISS EMILY THACKERAY”, The Maitland Mercury (6 September 1870), 2:; “Dramatic and Musical Review”, Australian Town and Country Journal (17 September 1870), 21:; “CONCERT AT EAST MAITLAND”, The Maitland Mercury (5 January 1871), 2:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (11 June 1872), 1:; “THANKSGIVING SERVICE AT ST. PAULS’S”, The Maitland Mercury (13 June 1872), 3:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (6 July 1872), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 August 1872), 1:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (6 February 1873), 1:; “MARRIAGE”, Australian Town and Country Journal (19 May 1877), 33:; “HOLY WEEK SERVICES AT ST. PAUL’S”, The Maitland Mercury (29 March 1890), 4:



THACKERAY, James R. (Rev’d)
Lecturer on music
Active Maitland, by 1859 (father of Emily THACKERAY above)

References: “MAITLAND SCHOOL OF ARTS”, The Maitland Mercury (3 September 1859), 3:; “MEETINGS, LECTURES …”, The Maitland Mercury (30 October 1860), 2:; “THE REV. MR. THACKERAY’S LECTURE ON ENGLISH MUSIC”, The Maitland Mercury (12 May 1860), 3:; “MUSICAL LECTURE”, The Maitland Mercury (19 June 1860), 3:; “WEST MAITLAND CHURCH UNION”, The Maitland Mercury (2 April 1863), 2:; “THE REV. JAMES R. THACKERAY”, Illustrated Sydney News (15 April 1865), 1:



Flautist, singer, songwriter, bush poet
Born Brighton, England, 1831
Arrived Melbourne, November 1852 (per Isabella)
Departed Australia, 1870 (for England)
Died Shanghai, China, September 1878


Summary: Thatcher was only recently arrived in Melboure when he first appeared as flautist in a concert with several other recently arrived Londoners (including John Gregg and Edward Salaman) in December 1852. The begginnings of his second career, as a colonial songster, was described in the Argus in April 1854:

LITERATURE AT THE GOLD-FIELDS.—One of the chief attractions at the theatre here has been the songs composed and sung by Mr. Charles Thatcher, a digger, who has been engaged as a member of the orchestra. These songs have been extremely popular, and by their point and general merit, caught the notice of Mr. M’Donogh, when on a professional visit to Bendigo. This gentleman had copies of some dozen of the best printed in Melbourne, and they have since been circulated here. They bear the test of careful reading, much better than could have been expected, seeing that they were written merely for the passing moment. They are all humorous, abounding in local allusions, as a matter of course; and if circulated in England, would give a much better idea of life on the gold-fields than most of the elaborately written works upon them do.

He continued to play the flute throughout his Australian and New Zealand years. At an Orpheus Union concert in Melbourne in October 1867, The Argus reported: “Mrs. Perryman sang Bishop’s Lo, here the gentle lark, fairly enough, but the best part was the flute accompaniment of Mr. Thatcher, whose real powers as an instrumentalist were new to those who had only heard of him as a comic singer.“ 

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (6 December 1852), 8:; “LITERATURE AT THE GOLD FIELDS”, The Argus (7 April 1854), 5:; “THE ORPHEUS UNION CONCERT”, The Argus (15 October 1867), 7:; “SEVENTY YEARS OF MUSIC. MR. A. MONTAGUE'S MEMORIES. GENESIS OP THE PHILHARMONIC. IV.”, The Argus (10 October 1925), 6:

Web: Hugh Anderson, “Thatcher, Charles Robert (1831–1878)“, Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



Born 1863 (son of Charles THATCHER)
Died 23 August 1933, aged 70 years

References: “IN MEMORIAM”, The Argus (1 March 1924), 13:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (25 August 1933), 1:; “IN MEMORIAM”, The Argus (23 August 1935), 1:



“Violonist and Negro Comedian”, minstrel performer, vocalist, pianist
Active Adelaide, 1854

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (9 September 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (5 October 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (11 October 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (19 October 1854), 1:; “TOTTEN’S HARMONEONS”, South Australian Register (14 November 1854), 3:


THEE, John Henry
Amateur musician, composer, grazier (Europambela Station)
Active New England, NSW, 1860s
Died ? Granville, NSW, 1917

Musical work: The New England Polka (arranged for the piano-forte by Alfred Anderson) (Sydney: J. H. Anderson, [1864])

References: “DONATIONS TO THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 May 1859), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 February 1864), 9:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 April 1864), 10:



THEOBALD, Robert Bishop
Professor of music and languages, orchestral musician, composer, schoolmaster
Arrived NSW, 1853, aged 36 (per Bolton)
Died Newcastle, NSW, 24 January 1876, in the 59th year of his age

Summary: Bishop and his family arrived in NSW as assisted emigrants in1853 (NSWSR). He advertised in Sydney as a professor of music and languages in 1859. From 1867 or earlier he ran the Collegiate School in Newcastle. A former pupil recalled in 1936: “There was a collegiate school established in the sixties by Mr. Kenny, and carried on after his death by Mr. R. B. Theobald, one of the best teachers I have known, and a most lovable man. I have heard that he was an English master at Dulwich College, England.”

Musical Works:
The Rosella Schottische (Sydney: Published by the Author, [1859])
The Cricketers’ Quadrille (dedicated to the “united elevens” of Victoria and New South Wales by Th. E. O., an old English player”) (1 L’assemblée des jouers, 2 Le premier jeu des Anglais, 3 Les premier jeu de Alliés; 4 Le second jeu des Anglais, 5 Victoire pour les Alliés) (Sydney: J. H. Anderson, [1862])
Galatea Polka (Sydney: J. H. Anderson & Son, [1868])
La Mystère de Kiama (polka mazurka pour le piano) (“respectfully dedicated to the wives and daughters of Australian politicians”) (Sydney: Reading and Wellbank, [1869]) [the “Kiama Mystery“ referred to claims, made by Henry Parkes in a speech at Kiama, that the assassination attempt on Prince Alfred in March 1868 had been the result of a conspiracy; see Lyne's Life of Sir Henry Parkes:]
Prince Arthur’s March (Newcastle: Published by the Author, [1870])
The Prince’s Return (Polka Mazurka) (Newcastle: Published by R. B. Theobald, [1870])
The Cricketers’ Quadrille (third edition) (by Robert B. Theobald) (Sydney: For the composer by E. Turner, [1874])

References: [Advertisement], Empire (25 August 1854), 1:; [Advertisement], Bell’s Life in Sydney (26 August 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 March 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (14 May 1859), 10:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 1859), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 November 1859), 6:; [Advertisement], Empire (27 March 1862), 1:; “NOTES OF THE WEEK”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 March 1862), 5:; “DEATH”, Empire (18 May 1857), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 March 1868), 1:; “THE KIAMA MYSTERY EXPLAINED”, Empire (29 September 1868), 2: “NEW MUSIC”, The Maitland Mercury (11 May 1869), 1:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (23 April 1870), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1870), 3:; “New Music”, Illustrated Sydney News (26 October 1870), 3:; “The Volunteer Artillery Brigade Band”, Empire (2 August 1873), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 January 1874), 8:; “The Cricketers’ Quadrille”, Australian Town and Country Journal (4 April 1874), 23:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 April 1874), 6:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (28 November 1874), 1:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 February 1876), 1:; “HISTORIC SCHOOLS. TO THE EDITOR”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 June 1936), 8:



Active Portland, VIC, 1866

References: The Victoria Post Office Directory (1866), 232:



THIRKELL, Christiana Matilda
(Mrs H. W. THIRKELL; formerly Mrs Alfred NASH)
Professor of Music, pianist, harmonium player, composer
Active Adelaide, by 1854
Died Adelaide, 31 March 1861, aged 35

Summary: Mrs Alfred Nash, organist of St John’s, Adelaide, advertised that she was giving lessons in pianoforte, organ and singing in July 1853. After her husband, sexton of the public cemetery, died in August 1855, leaving her with four small children, she briefly set up an infants school. She was left temporarily destitute and without a piano on which to teach after her second husband was declared insolvent in 1858. She resumed teaching, however, and in October 1860 Penman and Galbraith published her Volunteer Waltz (lost). She died after giving birth to a stillborn child in March 1861.

References: [Advertisement], South Australian Register (6 July 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (31 July 1854), 1:; “DIED”, South Australian Register (6 August 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (17 August 1855), 1:; “CONSECRATION OF ST. LUKE’S CHURCH”, South Australian Register (15 February 1856), 3:; “MARRIED”, South Australian Register (6 August 1857), 2:; “DESTITUTE BOARD”, South Australian Register (13 July 1858), 3:; “LAW AND CRIMINAL COURTS”, South Australian Register (15 March 1859), 3:; [Advertisement], South Australian Register (11 September 1860), 1:; “NEW VOLUNTEER WALTZ”, The South Australian Advertiser (20 October 1860), 2:; “THE VOLUNTEER WALTZ”, The South Australian Advertiser (8 November 1860), 2:; “THE VOLUNTEER WALTZ. TO THE EDITOR”, South Australian Register (10 December 1860), 3:; “DEATHS”, South Australian Register (2 April 1861), 2:



THOM, Mr. B.
Violinist, orchestra leader
Active Melbourne, by 1853

Summary: At Melbourne’s Thursday Evening Concerts in 1853, it was reported: “Mr. Thom, as leader, deserves great credit for the manner in which he has got together his band at so short a notice, as well as for the masterly style in which the instrumental performances were executed, not forgetting his own beautifully performed fantasia on the violin.” When Thom led Lewis Lavenu’s orchestras in Melbourne in July 1855, both in concert at the Exhibition Building with Catherine Hayes, and at the Theatre Royal, the Argus reported: “The orchestra has been well organised by Mr. Thom, and its members consist of the ‘pick’ of our colonial instrumentalists”. In the 1920s, Alfred Montague remembered a violinist “E. Hancock-Thom”.

References: “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (14 January 1853), 5:; “THE WEEKLY CONCERTS”, The Argus (2 February 1853), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 November 1854), 8:; “GEELONG”, The Argus (25 November 1854), 5: “M. COULON”, The Argus (30 November 1854), 5:; “THE QUEEN’S THEATRE”, The Argus (27 December 1854), 4:; “MUSICAL WELCOME TO MR. G. V. BROOKE”, The Argus (26 February 1855), 5:; “THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL CHIT-CHAT”, The Argus (9 April 1855), 5:; “THE CONCERT AT THE EXHIBITION”, The Argus (9 July 1855), 5:; “CONCERT AT THE EXHIBITION”, The Argus (16 July 1855), 5:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (17 July 1855), 5:; “THEATRE ROYAL”, The Argus (19 July 1855), 5:; “GRAND PROMENADE CONCERT”, The Argus (23 November 1855), 5:; “SEVENTY YEARS OF MUSIC: MR MONTAGUES MEMORIES. ARTISTS OF THE FIFTIES. No.II.”, The Argus (26 September 1925), 7: ht



Active Sydney, 1855

1855: MUSICAL - Mr. THOMAS, violinist, begs to inform the gentry of Sydney that he is  prepared to attend quadrille parties. A quadrille band of English musicians can be engaged if required. 121, Elizabeth-street, Hyde Park.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 June 1855), 3:



THOMAS, Llewellyn
Harpist, Welsh Harpist, gold prospector
Active Ballarat, 1860-63

Summary: The “celebrated harpist“ first appeared at Ballarat’s Montezuma theatre on the same bill as The San Francisco Minstrels and Sable Opera Troupe. With John Williams, the blind harpist, and the Sebastopol Welsh Choir, he participated in a Welsh Eisteddfod in Ballarat in December 1863. Williams awarded Thomas the 10 pound harp prize, and the two played together the Caerphili March “with wonderful effect”.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (4 December 1860), 8:; [Advertisement], The Star (27 December 1860), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (22 January 1861), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (21 June 1861), 3:; “CIRCUIT COURT”, The Star (12 April 1862), 5:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (26 December 1863), 2:; “THE WELSH EISTEDDFOD”, The Star (30 December 1863), 4:; “SOCIAL”, The Star (25 January 1864), 1s:; “BALLARAT”, Camperdown Chronicle (9 March 1880), 3:; [News], The Argus (25 June 1881), 7:; [News], The Argus (18 April 1882), 6:



Bandmaster (Second Rifles Band)
Active Hobart, by 1864

References: “THE VOLUNTEERS”, The Mercury (7 May 1864), 3:; SECOND RIFLES BAND”, The Mercury (23 January 1867), 2:



Violoncellist, pianist, violinist, organist, piano tuner, composer
Active Sydney, by 1844; Adelaide, by December 1846; Melbourne, by June 1849; Hobart, by June 1853; Melbourne, by April 1857

Summary: Thompson is an interesting case of a theatrical musician who, within the space of a decade, worked in four different colonial capitals. “Having served his time in the establishment of one of the first [pianoforte] makers and tuners in Britain”  (as he much later advertised), Thompson was active in Sydney during 1844 as a cellist for the Philharmomic Concerts. George Coppin engaged him for Adelaide, and on his debut there in December 1846 at the New Queen’s Theatre he was billed as “from the Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney”. By June 1849 he was in Melbourne where he participated regularly in the weekly concerts, while by June 1853 he was in Hobart, playing in the theatre there as well as teaching and piano tuning. In December 1855 the Christmas pantomime Harlequin Jack and the Bean Stalk had “new and original music composed expressly by Mr. Thompson“. He was back in Melbourne in 1857, and may possibly be the same J. C. Thompson engaged as a pianist as late as 1873.

References: [Advertisement], The Australian (25 May 1844), 2:; “THE PHILHARMONIC CONCERTS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (31 May 1844), 3:; “THIRD PHILHARMONIC CONCERT”, The Australian (12 June 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 June 1844), 1:; “NEW QUEEN’S THEATRE”, South Australian (1 December 1846), 4:; “THE THEATRE”, South Australian (4 December 1846), 6:; “NEW QUEEN’S THEATRE”, South Australian (15 December 1846), 5:; “NEW QUEEN’S THEATRE”, South Australian (19 January 1847), 4:; [News], South Australian (10 March 1848), 2:; “THE CONCERTS”, The Argus (15 June 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (26 January 1850), 3:; “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (18 December 1851), 3:; “THURSDAY’S CONCERT”, The Argus (7 April 1852), 4:; “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (6 May 1852), 5:; “THE CONCERT”, The Argus (27 May 1852), 5:; “THE WEEKLY CONCERTS”, The Argus (29 July 1852), 3:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (7 June 1853), 3:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Courier (2 July 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (20 July 1853), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (13 November 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], The Courier (6 December 1854), 3:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Courier (22 December 1855), 2:; [Advertisement], The Argus (15 April 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (23 May 1873), 8:



Cornet player
Active Sydney, 1860s

THOMPSON, William (junior)
Cornet player

Sydney, February 1870: Master Willy Thompson's cornet playing must be heard to be appreciated ; it is surprising what a beautiful tone he brings out. He has been taught by a very good master, his father, Mr. W. Thompson, who has for many years been engaged at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The duet for the two cornets created a furore.

References: [Advertisement], “YOUNGE’S ATHENAEUM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (25 March 1863), 1: “CONCERT AT THE SCHOOL OF ARTS”, Bell’s Life in Sydney (7 August 1869), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1869), 8:; “MASTER THOMPSON’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 February 1870), 5: “MASTER WILLY THOMPSON’S BENEFIT”, Empire (1 February 1870), 2:



Amateur bass vocalist, guitarist
Active Sydney, 1839

Summary: “An amateur singer (Mr. Thompson) accompanied himself on the guitar, and excelled greatly in the song, What is the Spell?, but the cracked instrument he played on was ill adapted to a pleasingly soft bass voice.”

References: “MUSIC”, The Sydney Herald (4 October 1839), 2:; “Mr. Deane’s Soiree”, The Australian (3 October 1839), 2:; “News of the Day”, The Sydney Monitor (11 October 1839), 2:



Active Sydney ?; Tasmania , 1844-45

Summary: Probably daughter of the actress Mrs. J. Thomson, Jane Thomson made her theatrical debut in the Masonic Bespeak at Hobart Theatre in September 1844. In later appearances she danced “A NEW SCOTCH PAS SEUL”, and “the favourite WREATH DANCE”. She took her benefit in February 1845, and made her first appearance in Launceston in March. Eliza Thomson made her theatrical debut as a “danseuse” in February 1845.

References: [Advertisement], Colonial Times (10 September 1844), 1:; “THE THEATRE: MASONIC BESPEAK”, Colonial Times (17 September 1844), 3:; “THE THEATRE”, Colonial Times (24 September 1844), 3:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (22 October 1844), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (3 December 1844), 4:; “MR. JONES’S BENEFIT”, Colonial Times (8 February 1845), 3:; “VICTORIA THEATRE”, Colonial Times (15 February 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], The Cornwall Chronicle (1 March 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (21 July 1845), 1:



THOMSON, James Alexander
Music publisher and printer, convict, architect
Born Haddington, Scotland, 1805
Arrived Hobart, 14 December 1825 (convict per Medway)
Died Scotland, 15 September 1860

Summary: A pardoned convict, architect, and surveyor, who in 1843 designed Hobart’s St. Joseph’s Church (1841-3) and the Synagogue (1843-5), Thomson served alongside Joseph Reichenberg, Edmund Leffler, and Frank Howson on the organising committee for a St. Cecilia’s Day Grand Oratorio at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, directed by John Howson, in November 1842. He engaged the newly arrived lithographer Thomas Bluett in July 1843, and in the same month issued his only known musical print, John Howson’s first set of Tasmanian Waltzes. Since he and John Howson were also active members of the same masonic lodge (and involved in presenting a Masonic Bespeak at the theatre in 1843) they may have been particular friends. Having long since settled permanently in Tasmania, he died in Scotland in 1860 on what was to have been only a return visit.

References: [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (14 October 1836), 1:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (15 November 1842), 1:; [Advertisement]: “NEW MUSIC”, Colonial Times (18 July 1843), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (21 July 1843), 1:; “THE JEW’S SYNAGOGUE”, Colonial Times (15 August 1843), 3:; [Advertisement], Colonial Times (2 May 1843), 1:

Web: Harley Preston, Thomson, James Alexander, Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967)



Bandsman (11th Regiment)
Active Sydney, 1854

References: “CENTRAL POLICE COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 1854), 5: “William Thompson, bandsman of the 11th Regiment, deposed that at nearly four o'clock on the morning of Tuesday, the 19th instant, he and the Sergeant of the band were returning to the barracks from the Madras ball, and had arrived as far as the Darlinghurst Gaol, when he saw a lady and a gentleman in a gig standing near the Church of the Sacred Heart ...“



Amateur composer, mayor of Sydney (1857)
Born Sydney, 23 December 1819
Died Parramatta, NSW, 23 November 1901

Summary: Mayor George Thornton’s only surviving composition, the Cornstalk Polka, originally introduced at the 1857 Mayoral Ball, went through many reprintings in its piano arrangement, and was still being played by bands into the 1880s. On its second hearing at the Citizens’ Return Ball in October 1857, under bandmaster Cavallini, the Herald reported: “The musical programme included the Cornstalk Polka, composed by the Mayor, and played at his ball, but which had been re-arranged for the band of the 77th, and was last evening played by them with very pleasing effect.“

Editions: The Cornstalk Polka (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857])
The Cornstalk Polka (“New edition”: Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1862], also in Clarke’s The Australian Musical Album for 1863)

References: “MAYOR’S BALL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 September 1857), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (26 September 1857), 5:; “CITIZEN’S RETURN BALL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 October 1857), 5:; “NEW MUSIC”, Empire (29 October 1857), 4:; “MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 September 1862), 5:; The Brisbane Courier (13 June 1906), 4:

Resources: Martha Rutledge, Thornton, George (1819-1901), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976); Terri McCormack, Thornton, George, Dictionary of Sydney (2011)



THRELKELD, Lancelot Edward
Collector and recorder of Indigenous songs, languages, and culture; songwriter, missionary
Born London, England, 20 October 1788
Arrived (1) Sydney, 1817 (en route for the Society Islands)
Arrived (2) Sydney, 1824
Died Sydney, 10 October 1859, aged 71


(October 1824): […] the Rev. Mr. THRELKELD, of the London Missionary Society, lately from the South-sea Islands, is on the eve of departing for Moreton-bay, in order to attempt reaching the understanding of that fine race of aborigines, in that quarter, through their own language, which Mr. Threlkeld is determined on acquiring, if within the compass of possibility. This attempt has not yet been made […]

Summary: When the words of Two Australian Aboriginal Songs, taken down by Threlkeld, were printed in The Sydney Gazette, without translation, the editor‘s intention was all too apparently to ridicule them as gibberish. Threlkeld continued his work despite such skepticism, notably producing an Australian Grammar, in which, concerning Nung-ngún (“A Song”), he wrote (90): “There are poets among them who compose songs which are sung and danced to by their own tribes in the first place; after which other tribes learn the song and dance which passes from tribe to tribe throughout the country, until from change of dialect not one of the original words remain.” And in the 1835 Annual Report of his mission at Lake Macquarie, he observed: “Several of the blacks belonging to this district, headed by M’Gill, are travelling to Windsor, Parramatta, and Sydney, in order to teach other tribes a new song and dance, which have lately been brought from the regions far beyond Liverpool Plains, where my son has ascertained that the song exists, though the dialect is different to that used in these parts on the sea coast. It is not discouraging to reflect, that when “Knowledge shall increase among these tribes”, then the same custom which promulgates the new song will convey throughout Australia “the glad tidings” of a Saviour, Christ the Lord.”

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (9 August 1817), 4:; “MARRIED”, The Sydney Gazette (21 October 1824), 3:; [News], The Sydney Gazette (28 October 1824), 2:;  “POETRY: AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL SONG”, The Sydney Gazette (5 January 1826), 4:; “MISSION TO THE ABORIGINES”, The Sydney Gazette (7 July 1836), 2:; “MISSION TO THE ABORIGINES”, The Sydney Gazette (16 July 1836), 2:; The Perth Gazette (3 December 1836), 810:; “AN AUSTRALIAN ANTHEM”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 June 1851) 3:; “DEATHS”, Empire (11 October 1859), 1:; “THE REV. L. E. THRELKELD”, The Sydney Morning Herald (13 October 1859), 4:

Works: Specimens of a Dialect of the Languages of the Aborigines of NSW  (Sydney, 1827)
A statement chiefly relating to the formation and abandonment of a mission to the Aborigines of New South Wales (Sydney: Government Printer, 1828)
An Australian Grammar (comprehending the principles and natural rules of the language, as spoken by the Aborigines in the vicinity of Hunter's River, Lake Macquarie) (Sydney: Stephens and Stokes, 1834)
An Australian Spelling Book (in the language as spoken by the Aborigines in the vicinity of Hunter's River, Lake Macquarie, New South Wales) (Sydney: Stephens and Stokes, 1836)
A Key to the Structure of the Aboriginal Language (Sydney: Kemp and Fairfax, 1850)
An Australian Anthem (tune: “Rule Britannia”; [Sydney: ? 1850])
An Australian language, as spoken by the Awabakal, the people of Awaba or Lake Macquarie (near Newcastle, New South Wales: being an account of their language, traditions, and customs; re-arranged, condensed and edited, with an appendix by John Fraser (Sydney: Charles Potter, Govt. Printer, 1892)

Resources: Niel Gunson, Threlkeld, Lancelot (1788-1859), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967); Niel Gunson (ed.), Australian reminiscences &​ papers of L. E. Threlkeld, missionary to the Aborigines, 1824-1859 (Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, 1974)



THURLOW, Charles Alston
Amateur violoncellist
Active Adelaide, by 1850
Died Sydney, 28 March 1881, aged 67

References: [Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3:; “ADELAIDE CHORAL SOCIETY”, South Australian Register (24 January 1851), 3:; “POSTAGE RATES. TO THE EDITOR”, South Australian Register (28 January 1854), 3:; “DIGGERS’ LETTERS. To the Editor”, The Argus (1 March 1853), 5:; “CORONER’S INQUEST”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 March 1881), 7:



TIBBEY, Charles J.
Amateur vocalist
Active Sydney, 1840s
Died St. Leonards, NSW, 31 March 1873, aged 69

TIBBEY, Master
Boy vocalist (Australian Philharmonic Concerts)
Active Sydney, 1844

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (10 June 1844), 3:; “THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND LODGE OF THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODDFELLOWS”, The Australian (1 March 1845), 3:; “MARRIED”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 October 1846), 3:; “AUSTRALIAN SUPREME GRAND LODGE OF THE INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD FELLOWS ELEVENTH ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL”, The Australian (27 February 1847), 3:;”DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1873), 1:



Organist (St. James’s Church, Melbourne)
Active Melbourne, 1840s

Summary: At the inquest into the death of his wife Isabella in July 1853, it was deposed: “In the first settlement of this city, John Tickle was a respected and respectable member of the little community. He then owned considerable property in Stephen-street and other parts of the city […] He was organist of St. James’s, and was then cheerfully received into the first society in the place. About twelve years since he became intemperate. From that time his career has been downward […]  This, a few years since, drove his previously respectable wife to intemperate habits also. For some two or three years past they have both been known to the authorities as habitual drunkards, and have for some time past, with their four young children, inhabited a most miserable hovel on the northern side of Collingwood flats; existing there in the greatest wretchedness […]”. Their daughter Elizabeth was baptised at St. James in December 1847, so Tickell’s association there may have been somewhat later than the report suggests.

References: “INFORMATIONS”, The Argus (4 August 1849), 2:; “MAINTENANCE”, The Argus (9 May 1851), 2:; “DRUNKARDS”, The Argus (31 August 1852), 3:; “AWFUL EFFECTS OF INTEMPERANCE”, The Argus (22 July 1853), 5:



TILLY, George
Violoncellist, vocalist, conductor
Active Adelaide, 1850s-60s

References: “LOCAL NEWS”, South Australian (24 May 1850), 3: [Advertisement], South Australian (9 July 1850), 3: “SALISBURY”, The South Australian Advertiser (20 October 1859), 3:; “TOPICS OF THE DAY”, The South Australian Advertiser (20 March 1862), 2:; “PORT ADELAIDE SACRED CHORAL SOCIETY”, South Australian Register (2 July 1863), 2:; “PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, South Australian Register (17 September 1869), 2:



TISROUX, Mlle. J. J. (C. T. I.)
Vocalist, Teacher of Italian, French, Scotch and English Singing (from the Royal Academy, Paris)
Active Sydney, 1855-56

References: [Advertisement], Empire (29 December 1855), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 February 1856), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 March 1856), 10:



TODD, Robert
Bandsman (58th Regiment)
Active Parramatta, 1847

References: “PARRAMATTA”, The Sydney Morning Herald (27 March 1847), 3s:



TOLHURST, George William
Professor of Music, teacher of pianoforte, composer, viola player
Born Kent, England, 1827
Arrived Melbourne, December 1852 (per Orestes)
Departed Melbourne, March 1866
Died Barnstaple, England, 18 January 1877

Summary: Tolhurst arrived in Melbourne with his musician father (William Henry Tolhurst) in 1852. According to OCAM, he was a vocal instructor for the Denominational School Board (1854), professor of vocal music at St. Patrick’s College (1859), and singing master for the National Board (Feb 1862-Oct 1863). In 1857 he advertsed as music-seller and music teacher (piano, harmony and singing) and piano tuner in St. Kilda, and was active in musical and temperance circles, the printer and publisher W. H. Williams one of his amateur colleagues. Though Williams, three of his works were published in 1857 and republihsed in 1858. In a lecture on music in July 1858, Tolhurst “dwelt pleasingly on the general influence of music—its universality and salutary effects, and gave a very interesting sketch of the history of the art, from the most ancient compositions down to the works of Spohr and Costa, illustrating ths lecture with performances on the pianoforte of specimens of the styles of the great composers of all ages.” In August he advertised a course of 20 vocal music classes at the National School. In June 1864 he succeeded his friend Henry King as organist of St. James’s Cathedral. Rehearsal for his new oratorio Ruth commenced in July 1863, and it was first performed in Prahran in January 1864. The performance, conducted by his father, and was noted supportively even in London by the Musical Times, a journal later to take a dim view of the work on its London debut. A second performance of Ruth in Prahran Town Hall in March 1865 was also “most favourably received, and its effect was improved by the large additions that have been made since it’s first production.” Following a farewell benefit, conducted by Charles Horsley in March 1866, Tolhurst left for England where he had Ruth publihsed. In 1868 the Argus noted the adverse reception of Ruth in England: “We have received from the composer a copy of Mr. George Tolhurst's oratorio of Ruth, a production which our readers are aware has been somewhat severely handled by the musical press of London. It is right to state, however, that the work was very favourably received by the audience which assembled to hear it ; and that the metropolitan journals were not quite unanimous in condemning it, the following extract from the critique of the Morning Advertiser is sufficient to show: ‘It is impossible immediately after hearing an elaborate and carefully thought-out composition like Ruth, which occupied upwards of three hours, to give any decided opinion as to the place it is likely to take in one of the highest and most classical departments of musical art, but it may be said that the ever-flow- ing melody which distinguished alike the choruses, the concerted pieces, and the solos, and the rich, full, and appropriate instrumental accompaniments, secured for Ruth such an enthusiastic reception as we rarely remember to have been accorded to any new work of a similar character. With respect to its originality, we are bound to say that the influence of that mightiest of musical musicians pervades the oratorio throughout. Consciously or unconsciously the composer has been under that spell, though there are portions in which a distinctive and individual inspiration is manifest, which shows that Mr. Tolhurst may aspire to produce a work which shall take even a higher stand than Ruth’.”

1866: One of the earliest applications for government assistance specifically for composers was made by George Tolhurst, in 1866, seeking Victorian Government funding for lithographing his oratorio Ruth: “Offices, Custom House, Melbourne, 4th September, 1866. The Board appointed by the Governor in Council, on the 2nd October, 1865, to consider claims for rewards or premiums for the promotion of new manufactures and industries, in accordance with the Regulations submitted to Parliament on the 12th of the previous July, have the honor to submit the following Report in addition to that furnished on the 19th June last: […] No. 32. G. Tolhurst, Prahran.—Composition of the oratorio Ruth, and other works […]. “Lithography of music“; reproduced in Additional Report of Board appointed to consider claims for Rewards or Premiums for New Manufactures and Industries (Melbourne: Parliament of Victoria, 1866), reproduced in Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, Volume 2 (Wellington, 1869), appendix 57-58:

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (6 May 1857), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (1 July 1857), 8:; “INAUGURATION OF THE TEMPERANCE LEAGUE OF VICTORIA”, The Argus (2 July 1857), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (10 July 1857), 8:; “MELBOURNE”, The Musical Times (1 July 1858), 275:, also:; “LECTURE ON MUSIC”, The Argus (23 July 1858), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (16 August 1858), 8:; [Advertisement]: “THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM”, The Argus (21 April 1859), 3:; [News], The Argus (16 September 1859), 4:; “THE HORTICULTURAL EXHIBITION”, The Argus (10 December 1860), 6:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 September 1861), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (3 July 1863), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (13 January 1864), 8:; “RUTH, A NEW SACRED ORATORIO”, The Argus (19 January 1864), 5:; “RUTH, A NEW SACRED ORATORIO”, The Argus (22 January 1864), 5:; [News], The Musical Times (1 April 1864), 260:; [News], The Argus (11 June 1864), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (28 February 1865), 8:; “MUSIC AND THE DRAMA”, The Argus (25 March 1865), 2s:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 March 1866), 2:; [News], The Argus (6 March 1866), 5:; “ORATORIOS AND REVIEWERS”, The Musical Standard (8 February 1868), 57:; “MR. GEORGE TOLHURST AND RUTH. To the Editor”, The Musical World (28 March 1868), 222:; [News], The Argus (21 April 1868), 4:; “MUSIC”, Illustrated London News (19 December 1868), 591:; “CHATHAM”, The Musical World (11 November 1871), 726:; “DISTANT MUSIC (by Henry C. Lunn, From the London Musical Times)”, Dwight’s Journal of Music (4 May 1872), 226-27:; “Ruth. A Sacred Oratorio”, The Monthly Musical Record (1 June 1872), 88:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (18 April 1877), 1:; [News], The South Australian Advertiser (1 May 1878), 5:

Musical Works:
I remember (song; words: Thomas Hood), The Journal of Australasia 2 (May 1857), 216-17 [attributed to “J. Tolhurst”]; I remember, in Williams’s Musical Annual and Australian Sketchbook for 1858 (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1858), 17-18
O, call it by some better name (song; words: Thomas Moore) in Williams’s Musical Annual and Australian Sketchbook for 1858 (Melbourne: W.H. Williams, 1858), 28-30
God Preserve our Sovereign’s Viceroy (anonyous, but identified at Tolhurst’s, Musical Times July 1858; premiered Prahran, in the presence of the Goveror, February 1858) (later also republished by Joseph Wilkie)
Ruth (A Sacred Oratorio) (London: For the Composer, 1867) (Copy at British Library, Music Collections  H.1066 [004705091])
The Post Galop, The Illustrated Melbourne Post (25 June 1864)
Christmas in Australia (prize song) (words: “J. B. T.”), The Illustrated Melbourne Post (24 December 1864)
Song (words: George John Pizey) documented Adelaide May 1878; probably sacred song Pray without ceasing (London: T. Broome, [1876]); copy at British Library, Music Collections H.1779.o.(21.) [004705090]

Resources: “Tolhurst”, British Musical Biography (1897), 414:; “Tolhurst”, OCAM, 554



TOLHURST, William Henry
Viola player, conductor, composer
Born Langley, England, 23 October 1798
Arrived Melbourne, December 1852 (per Orestes)
Died Prahran, VIC, 12 March 1873, aged 74

Summary: Henry Tolhurst (1878-1814) of Langley in Kent was the earliest representative of an extended Tolhurst family of composer-musicians, which extended to his son William Henry, his sons George William and Henry (1825-1864), and most famously Henry’s son Henry (1854-1939). In England, William Tolhurst founded the Sacred Harmonic Society of Maidstone. Among his notable performances in Melbourne, he conducted the first performance of George’s oratorio Ruth in Prahran in January 1864, and for the Prahran and South Yarra Musical Society in February 1865, he played Mozart’s Trio for piano, clarinet and viola with Charles Horsley and Adam Clerke. His song The heart that’s true (words: Eliza Cook) appeared in The Journal of Australasia 2 (June 1857), 273-74, and was reprinted the following year as The heart that’s true in Williams’s Musical Annual and Australian Sketchbook for 1858 (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, 1858), 19-20 (the publisher Williams, a singer, was also a member of the Prahran and South Yarra Musical Society). His only other documented composition was played in May 1868 at the so-called “Alfred Memorial Concert”, according to the Argus “a march, entitled The Manners Sutton Bridal March, by Mr. W. H. Tolhurst. The principal theme of this composition is good, but not original. The march is a stage march of the ‘Blue Beard’ character, and is well scored.”

References: “DEATHS”, The New Monthly Magazine (1 July 1814), 592:; “MAIDSTONE”,The Musical World 17 (11 August 1842), 254: (Testimonial to W. H. Tolhurst, founder of the Sacred Harmonic Society of Maidstone); [Advertisement], “Letter List. General Post Office”, The Argus (20 April 1855), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (9 September 1861), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (13 January 1864), 8:; [Advertisement], The Argus (27 February 1865), 8:; “THE ALFRED MEMORIAL CONCERT”, The Argus (26 May 1868), 5:; [News], The Argus (27 October 1868), 5: ; “DEATHS”, The Argus (13 March 1873), 4:

Resources: “Tolhurst”, British Musical Biography (1897), 414:



TOMLIN, John Vanhear
? Active Sydney, 1859

1859: TOMLIN. - JOHN VANHEAR TOMLIN, Musician, is earnestly requested to communicate with his family at 39, Drummond-street, Euston-square, London, or return to England immediately, his Father having been dead nearly three years […]

References: ? “DEATH”, Geelong Advertiser (28 January 1851), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 May 1859), 1:  



TOMPSON, Charles
Songwriter (“Australasianus”)
Born Sydney, 26 June 1807
Died Glebe, NSW, 5 January 1883, aged 76

Summary: Native born settler poet, Tompson’s Wild Notes: from the lyre of a native minstrel (Sydney: Albion Press, 1826), included his “A Song, for January 26, 1824”, previously published in the Gazette in 1824 under his pen-name “Australasianus”, and a song Mira, the Flower of the Vale, to be sung to the air Jessie O’Dumblain. Offering no evidence, John Maloney hazarded that Tompson also “probably” wrote the lyrics of Thomas Kavanagh’s bravura song The trumpet sounds Australia’s fame, as published in the Australian in July 1826.

References: “A SONG WRITTEN FOR THE XXVITH JANUARY LAST”, The Sydney Gazette (4 March 1824), 4:; “BLACK TOWN”, The Monitor (2 June 1826), 6:; “TO THE EDITOR”, The Monitor (17 June 1826), 4:; “THE CONCERT”, The Australian (22 July 1826), 3:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (6 January 1883), 1: ; “NEWS OF THE DAY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 January 1883), 7:

Resources: Tompson, Charles (1807-1883), Australian Dictionary of Biography 2 (1967), 533; John Neylon Maloney, The native-born: the first white Australians (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2000), 112f:



TOMS, C. Reginald (Charles)
Professor of music, pianist, music teacher and examiner, composer
Born England, 19 September 1849
Arrived Sydney, by July 1872
Died Killara, NSW, 17 September 1922

1887: “Lavinia,” by C. Reginald Toms (W. H. Paling and Co.), is a short piece of music, unpretentious in style, and yet of considerable merit. It has, perhaps, less of what is popularly known as “tune” than the designation on the title-page, of “Song Without Words “ might lead one to expect, but the piece is none the worse on that account rather better, in fact. Now-a-days we get too much “tune without music,” which is no paradox, any more than is the fact that some of the noblest compositions represent “Music Without Tune,” popularly so-called. Mr. Toms’ morceau makes higher appeal than, what mere tunefulness can ever attain to. It is well written, and contains not a few progressions which are refreshingly unconventional; while there is a vein of tender sadness pervading the whole that portrays a “sweet sorrow” such us many temperaments love to indulge in. The piece is excellently printed, bearing every evidence of European craft, and is, in every way, a great improvement on the usual colonial style of manu-lithographic music printing.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 July 1872) 10:; “MISS EMANUEL’S CONCERT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 February 1873), 4:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (10 December 1887), 16:; “NEW MUSIC”, The Sydney Morning Herald (11 September 1888), 4:; “PROFESSOR OF MUSIC”, Warwick Argus (20 January 1894), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 September 1922), 8:; “MR. C. REGINALD TOMS. MUSICIAN’S DEATH”, The Sydney Morning Herald (18 September 1922), 8:

Works: Veronica (3rd song without words for pianoforte by C. Reginald Toms) (Sydney: W. H. Paling & Co., [??]; two other “songs without words“, Lavinia (1887; named after his wife) and Ada (1888).



Music saloon proprietor, publican
Active Sydney, 1860

Summary: Sydney publican Alfred Toogood ran a “music saloon” at his Rainbow Tavern, at the corner of King and Pitt Streets, in which violinist George Peck was advertised to appear in April 1860. Later that year he was fined 10 shilling “for allowing music in his house, not having obtained permission”.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 April 1860), 1:; “CENTRAL POLICE COURT”, The Sydney Morning Herald (3 November 1860), 8:


Madame Eliza TORNING



TORRANCE, George William
Organist, composer, transcriber of Indigenous songs, Anglican priest
Born Rathmines, Dublin, 25 July 1835
Arrived Melbourne, 15 December 1869 (per Thomas Stephens)
Departed October 1897
Died Kilkenney, Ireland, 20 August 1907

Summary: Torrance received a degree of Doctor of Music (ad eundum) by the University of Melbourne in 1879, the first it had awarded. Torrance presented a concert of his music in March 1881, followed by his new oratorio The Revelation, or, Vision of St. John in the isle of Patmos (“composed beneath the Southern Cross—many of the themes having been jotted down during a summer walking tour in the Australian bush”), first performed in Melbourne Town Hall on 27 June 1882 (Nos 11, 27, and 29 were added to the score later). He was a mentor of the young Melbourne pianist Ernest Hutcheson, and in 1887, in association with A. W. Howitt published both verbal and musical transcription of a number of Indigenous songs. In 1888, Torrance together with Plumpton, Hazon and Zelman formed the jury that selected the H. J. King’s entry for the Centennial Cantata contest.

References: “SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE”, The Argus (16 December 1869), 4:; [News], The Argus (17 December 1869), 5:; “UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. CONFERRING OF DEGREES”, The Argus (8 December 1879), 5:; “THE TOWN-HALL. DR. TORRANCE’S MUSIC”, The Argus (1 March 1881), 7:; “THE NEW ORATORIO. THE REVELATION”, The Argus (28 June 1882), 9:; [News], The Argus (21 April 1888), 11:; “ERNEST HUTCHESON”, The Argus (9 June 1888), 6:; “MUSIC REVIEW”, Illustrated Australian News and Musical Times (1 January 1890), 14:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 October 1897), 9:; “THE REVELATION. ORATORIO BY THE REV. DR. TORRANCE”, The Argus (6 January 1900), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (23 August 1907), 1:; “DR. AND MRS. TORRANCE. THEIR DEATH IN IRELAND”, The Argus (27 August 1907), 5:

The Melbourne Exhibition March (as adopted by the ceremonial committee) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen &​ Co., 1880?)
A matin song (words: P. Moloney; composed for, sung and sold at Ye Olde English Fayre, Melbourne, December 1881) ([Melbourne]: W. H. Glen &​ Co., [1881])
The land beyond the sea (sacred song) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen &​ Co., [1893]
Music of the Australian Aboriginals (Kurburu’s Song; Wenberi’s Song; Corroboree Song), The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Society 16/3 (1886), 335; reprinted in A. W. Howitt, Native Tribes of South-East Australia (London: 1904):; also, words only of songs collected by Torrance,  in A. W. Howitt, Notes on songs and song makers of some Australian tribes (London: Harrison and Sons, 1887) [words only]:  

References: Birth record:

Resources: Robin S. Stevens, Torrance, George William (1853-1907), Australian Dictionary of Biography 6 (1976)



Agent, travelling musician (Totten’s Harmoneons)
Active Australia, 1852-61

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 1852), 1:; “ETHIOPIAN SERENADERS”, The Courier (9 February 1853), 2:; “CUSTOMS CHARGES. TO THE EDITOR”, South Australian Register (5 September 1854), 3:; [Advertisement], The Argus (16 May 1861), 8:



TOURRIER, Theodore John
Composer, music teacher
Active Victoria, by 1881

Sample publications:
Australia (National Song) (? composed [1885]; published: Sydney: J. Albert & Son, [after 1900])
Thora’s Song (words: Adam Lindsay Gordon), The Illustrated Australian News and Musical Times (9 November 1889), 12-13
Those Happy Days (song: words: Albert G. Dawes) (Melbourne: Allan & Co., [1889])
A pamphlet on music teaching and learning (pianoforte and singing) by T. John Tourrier (Melbourne : A.H. Massina, [189-?])

References: [News]. The Gippsland Times (14 March 1881), 3:; “SANDHURST LIEDERTAFEL”, Bendigo  Advertiser (3 September 1885), 3:; “EXHIBITION CANTATA. TO THE EDITOR”, The Argus (14 March 1888), 13:



TOWERS, Frederick
Pianist (“The Australian Thalberg”)
Active Melbourne, 1865

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (25 November 1865), 8:;  [News], The Argus (4 December 1865), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (5 December 1865), 8:



TOWNSEND, Joseph Phipps
Traveller, writer, transcriber of Indigenous song
Born UK, 1812
Australia 1842-46
Died UK, 1888

Summary: Townsend travelled country NSW, from Ulladulla to the Illawarra, and his Rambles and observations (1849) includes several observations of native song. Not always a sympathetic observer, he borrowed a couplet from Ford: “When they joined in doleful chorus,/How these happy blacks did bore us” (90), yet admitted at the same time that one of his most admired native guides, “Jimmy Woodbury” was “a great man at corrobbories […] and I know that he has walked fifty miles, in one day, in order to join in a dance at night (89, also 97). Townsend also noted: “When our blacks visited Sydney, and saw the military paraded, and heard the bands, they said that was ‘white fellow’ corrobbory’[…]”. Also: “Their own songs are monotonous, and consist of the frequent repetition of a few words, such as, ‘Water, water, where is water? There is water, welling out of the ground’; but this, of course, is sung in their own dialect. They have their bards or rhymers, who compose their songs; and, when a new song is produced, it passes quickly from tribe to tribe” (100). He also printed An Aboriginal Chant (In New South Wales), in Rambles and Observations, 91.

References: Joseph Phipps Townsend, Rambles and Observations in New South Wales with sketches of men and manners, notices of the Aborigines and glimpses of scenery, and some hints to emigrants (London: Chapman and Hall, 1849); “REVIEW (From the Colonial Magazine for June)”, The Sydney Morning Herald (19 October 1849), 3-4:

Resources: TROVE:; Joseph Phipps Townsend papers, 21 July 1846-24 September 1862 (SL-NSW MLMSS 1461):



TRACY, Charles Austin
Professor of music, organist, composer
Active Melbourne, by 1866
Died Waverley, NSW, 27 September 1896, aged 58

(1866): Patrick O'Brien was charged by Charles Treacey, who said that he was a professor of music, with violently assaulting him. Both parties were connected with the choir of St. Patrick's Church, and it was from a dispute arising out of matters relative to the choir that the quarrel and assault had taken place. Defendant admitted the charge, and expressed his regret for what had occurred. He was fined 20s., and required to enter into his own recognisance in £20 to keep the peace for three months.

Obituary: The remains of the late Charles Austin Tracy (professor of music) were interred in the Waverley Cemetery yesterday afternoon in the presence of a large gathering […] The deceased had been in the colonies about 30 years, and since his arrival had been organist of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, for 16 years, and had also officiated as organist of the Maitland Cathedral for two years, and at the Goulburn Cathedral for two years. He had devoted most of his time to sacred music, and had composed several masses and church services, which have been sung in the various churches throughout Australia. The deceased leaves a widow and grown-up family, some of whom are filling the positions of organists in the suburban Churches.

References: “CITY COURT”, The Argus (5 October 1866), 7:; “MARRIAGES”, The Argus (30 November 1867), 4:; [Advertisement], Williamstown Chronicle (24 August 1878), 2:; “CONCERT ON MONDAY NIGHT”, The Maitland Mercury (27 September 1890), 4:; “FUNERAL OF THE LATE MR. C. A. TRACY”, The Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 1896), 4:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (5 October 1896), 1:

Works: Laudate dominum de coelis, Ps. CXLVIII (sacred chorus diversified with solos and adapted with Latin and English words, composed for the opening of organ at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, March 1880 by Charles A. Tracy (Melbourne: Fergusson &​ Mitchell, [1880])

Note (Randwick Catholic Parish Magazine, 2011): “Charles Austin Tracy, a professor of music, came to Australia in 1866 from Dublin, Ireland when he was appointed the first organist in the newly built St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne. He and Mary Shanahan (a member of the St Patrick's Choir) were married in 1867 and had seven children. Later he was organist at the Cathedrals in Goulburn and Maitland, and then settled in Waverley.“



Violinist, composer, double bass player
Active Melbourne, by 1852; Sydney by 1856

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (21 August 1852), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (19 October 1854), 8: “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (17 February 1855), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 July 1856), 1:; “NEW MUSIC”, Empire (29 October 1857), 4:; “BANQUET AT CLARKE’S ROOMS”, Empire (17 March 1858), 4:

Musical works: The Veno Galop (“by W. Tranter; Dedicated to G.T. Rowe, Esq. [owner of the horse Veno] by the publisher”) (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857])



Tenor vocalist (Lyster opera company)
Arrived Melbourne, 1 March 1861 (per Achilles, from San Francisco)
Died Manly Beach, Sydney, 15 June 1866, aged 37

Summary: According to Fred Lyster (1882), who had himself been in the navy for three years, Trevor had been “third mate of an Indiaman before he forsook the quarter-deck for the stage”. He appeared with the Lyster company in America in 1858-59, and by the time it reached Australia was secondo tenore to Henry Squires. He toured Australia and New Zealand with the company, and was still performing in mid-1865, but died after a long illness in mid-1866.

References: ? “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 August 1851), 2:; [News], The Argus (2 March 1861), 5: ; [News], The Argus (22 April 1861), 4:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1865) 1:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (16 June 1866), 1:; [News], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 June 1866), 4:

Other references: “PHILADELPHIA. Drese’s National Theatre”, Dwight’s Music Journal (11 July 1857), 119:; [Advertisement], Daily Alta California (25 May 1859), 2:; Fred Lyster, “How an opera company worked its passage”, The New York Mirror: a reflex of the dramatic events of the week (23 December 1882), 1:



Professor of Music, violinist, pianist, conductor
Active Ballarat, by 1858
Died Ballarat, 15 March 1898, aged 75

References: [Advertisement], The Star (15 October 1858), 3:; “DINNER TO HENRY S. LEAKE”, The Star (19 July 1861), 1s:; “FIRE IN THE MELBOURNE ROAD”, The Star (11 November 1862), 1s:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (6 January 1864), 2:; “NEWS AND NOTES”, The Star (18 June 1864), 2:; “BALLARAT”, The Argus (16 March 1898), 6:



TRIGG, Miss A.
Active Perth, 1845

(1845): The next was an exquisite air, and trio, of Fitzpatrick, Father of Mercy, very beautifully sung by Mrs. Maycock, Miss A. Trigg, and Mr. G. Nash […] the fine bass of Mr. Nash rendered the harmony complete, and left nothing for the most critical ear to cavil at.

References: “Performance of Sacred Music”, Inquirer (14 May 1845), 1:; “Arrival of the Mail Steamer ‘Shanghai’ ”, Inquirer (25 May 1853), 1s:


TROEDEL, Charles
Music lithographer, printer, and publisher
Born Germany
Active Melbourne, by 1863
Died St. Kilda, VIC, 31 October 1906, aged 71


(1869): Last evening a very graceful tribute was paid to Mr. Charles Troedel, the well-known lithographer, on the occasion of his marriage-eve, by his fellow members of the German Liedertafel. Under the leadership of their conductor, Herr Sprinckhorn, the association assembled before Mr. Troedel's residence, in Russell-street, and serenaded him in the good old style of the fatherland. The pieces sung were Spohr's Polterabend or nuptial song, a serenade by Hennerberg, and Schaffer's Liedertafel polka. The effect of the music as sung under the quiet moonlight was very fine, and the group of singers, lit up by the lanterns held by some of the serenaders, was in quaint keeping with the unique character of the ceremony. After the music the serenaders were entertained at Mr. Troedel's residence, and the health of the intending Benedick was proposed in a humorous speech by Dr. Jonasson, the president of the society.   

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (21 July 1863), 7:; “POLICE. CITY COURT”, The Argus (29 December 1863), 6:; [News], The Argus (27 June 1867), 5:; “DUKE OF EDINBURGH WALTZ”, South Australian Register (5 November 1867), 2:; [News], The Argus (26 June 1869), 5:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (1 November 1906), 1:



TRUDA, Joseph (Giuseppe)
Died 5 January 1903

TRUDA Michael
TRUDA, Nicola
TRUDA, Salvatore
Active Sydney by 1886

Sydney 1886: The Brothers Truda, comprising flute, 1st and 2nd violins, and harp, supplied excellent music throughout the day.

References: “PHARMACISTS’ PICNIC”, Evening News (26 March 1886), 3:; “MUSICIANS OUT OF HARMONY”, Evening News (12 March 1902), 4:; “MUSICIANS OUT OF HARMONY”, Evening News (22 April 1902), 6:; “IN MEMORIAM”, Brisbane Courier (7 January 1924), 4:



TRUMAN, Ernest
Pianist, organist, composer
Born Weston-Super-Mare, England, 29 December 1869
Arrived Sydney, 1885 (from NZ)
Died Sydney, 6 October 1848

Major colonial works:
Violin Concerto, Op. 25 (Sydney 1894, full score (52 p.); also piano score) in Manuscript music (15 works/items; at NLA)
Club Life (comic opera in 2 acts) (1894; composed by Ernest Truman, words by A. B. Paterson) (rough MS for chorus practice, copied by W. J. Banks)
Mass in D minor, Op.42, for chorus and orchestra (1899; photocopy of MS full score)

Resources: G. D. Rushworth, Truman, Ernest Edwin Philip (1869–1948), ADB 12 (1990); Graeme Skinner:



TUCKER, Edward

Violinist, orchestra leader
Active Melbourne, Sydney, and Maitland, 1853

Summary: Billed as “Principal Violin, Royal Italian Opera”, he was a leader and soloist with John Winterbottom’s band in Melborune, Sydney and Maitland in April-June 1853. After a successful performance of Paganini’s Carnival of Venice iin Maitland, Winterbottom was billing his as “The Australian Paganini”.

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (18 March 1853), 12: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 May 1853), 1: [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (11 June 1853), 3:; “EPITOME OF HUNTER RIVER DISTRICT. NEWS […] CONCERT”, Empire (13 June 1853), 3:



Chinese theatre proprietor, ? musician
Active Ballarat, 1861

(1861): Police v Tuck Sin. This was a complaint against the defendant for keeping the Chinese Theatre, on Golden Point, open for disorderly entertainments until a late hour in the morning. Constable Hunt deposed that the Theatre was open between 12 and one o’clock on the morning of the 8th, and the usual music in the interior of the building was accompanied by the ding dong of a large gong, the sounds from which were loud and discordant. Senior Constable Boyle deposed that on either Thursday or Friday night the theatre was open until one o’clock in the morning. Mr Hamlin, who resides in the locality of the theatre, deposed that there was no living in the locality with the noises made by the persons connected with the theatre. On Saturday night, or rather Sunday morning, they were beating their gongs at twenty minutes past twelve o’clock. Mr. Sub-inspector Dowling presented a petition to the Bench, signed by 24 residents in the locality, complaining of the noise made by the celestials.

References: “EASTERN POLICE COURT”, The Star (12 February 1861), 4:



Soprano vocalist (pupil of Miss Hinckesmann)
TUOHY, Masters
Boy soprano vocalists
Active Sydney, 1840s

Summary: A Miss and Masters Tuohy were among the sopranos and trebles at Isaac Nathan’s concerts in October1841 and May 1842. Miss Tuohy, made her solo debut at her teacher Maria Hinckesmann’s concert in May 1845 singing Balfe’s The light of other days. She gave her own concert in July, though no program or later notices appeared.

References: [Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (26 October 1841), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (24 May 1842), 3:; [Advertisement], Morning Chronicle (28 May 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], Morning Chronicle (28 June 1845), 3:; “MUSIC”, The Australian (1 July 1845), 3:



Bass vocalist
Active Launceston, 1843

References: [Advertisement], Launceston Examiner (29 March 1843), 5:; “MRS. NAIRNE’S ORATORIO”, Launceston Examiner (14 June 1843), 3:



Instrumentalist (theatrical orchestra)
Active Sydney, 1845-50

References: “To the Editor”, The Sydney Monitor (31 March 1837), 3:; “ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE”, The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1845), 2:; [Advertisement], Morning Chronicle (28 May 1845), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 April 1850), 1:



Violinist, bandleader (Melophonic Concert Room), composer
Active Hobart, 1853

Summary: At Josiah Hand’s Melophonic Concert Room in Hobart in May 1853, the program by the band included a Medley (“composed for the occasion, comprising several popular melodies”).

References: [Advertisement], The Courier (4 March 1853), 1:; [Advertisement], The Courier (7 May 1853), 3:



Professor of Music and Dancing
Active Geelong, 1856

References: [Advertisement], Geelong Advertiser (7 March 1856), 1:



TURNER, Austin Theodore
Professor of Music, organist, pianist, composer
Born Bristol, England, 1823
Arrived Melbourne, January 1856 (per Schomberg, wrecked of Cape Ottway, 1 January)
Died Woollahra, NSW, April 1901, aged 79


Summary (USA 1908): Turner, Austin T. 1823- English composer and conductor, who for many years has advanced the cause of music in Australia; was born at Bristol, England. He was a chorister at Bristol Cathedral, and at the age of twenty became vicar choral at Lincoln. Going to Australia in 1854 he settled at Ballarat, where he became singing-master at the government school and where for many years he has played the organ at Christ Church. He was the first conductor of the local Philharmonic Society, which under his leadership had performed Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, Sullivan’s Prodigal Son and Spohr’s Last Judgment. He is the author of a sacred cantata, Adoration, for solos, chorus and full orchestra, which the Melbourne Philharmonic Society gave in 1874, and he has also written two masses, choral songs, several madrigals and glees. 

Obituary: An old and well-known identity in the music world of Australia, Mr. Austin T. Turner, recently passed away at Woollahra, Sydney, at the ripe age of 79. Mr. Turner arrived in Australia in the “fifties”, and at the height of the gold fever settled in Ballarat, where for many years he followed the profession of music in its various branches, being for a long time teacher of singing in the Victorian State schools, and for twenty years organist of the Ballarat Cathedral. He was a composer of no mean merit, amongst his more notable productions being the cantata “Adoration”, which was performed in the Melbourne Town Hall, and another with which he was successful in a competition for a gold medal. He also composed several songs, several for Madame Carandlni (grandmother of Mrs. Gilbert Wilson) and her daughters. About seventeen years ago Mr. Turner removed to Sydnjey, where he composed several masses, some of which were performed at St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Francis’, Paddington. Quite a number of Mr. Turner’s old pupils are now residing in Brisbane, and these will doubtless hear with regretful interest of the death of their old master.

References: “THE WRECK OF THE SCHOMBERG”, The Argus (1 January 1856), 4:; “THE SCHOMBERG. INVESTIGATION AT WILLIAMSTOWN”, The Argus (17 January 1856), 5:; [Advertisement], The Argus (24 December 1856), 8:; “A BALLARAT PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY”, The Star (5 March 1858), 3:; “MONTEZUMA THEATRE”, The Star (5 April 1858), 3:; [Advertisement], The Star (7 October 1858), 3:; “TO THE EDITOR. THE LATE SACRED CONCERT”, The Star (9 November 1863), 3:; [News], The Argus (1 January 1869), 5:; [News], The Argus (18 December 1869), 5:; [Advertisement]: “NEW SONGS”, The Argus (4 February 1870), 3:; [News], The Argus (15 February 1873), 5:; “PHILHARMONIC CONCERT. ADORATION”, The Argus (26 November 1874), 6:; [Advertisement], The Musical Times (1 November 1877), 566: “Australian Music.—Song, The Lord is my Shepherd, and duet, Early in the Morning from the Cantata, Adoration, sung by the Melbourne Philharmonic Society, composed by Austin T. Turner”; The Australasian sketcher 73-74 (1873), 155; “THE NEW ALTAR AT ST. FRANCES CHURCH”, Illustrated Australian News (5 July 1879), 106:; “Funerals”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1901), 10: “PERSONAL”, The Brisbane Courier (25 April 1901), 4:

Sample works:
The Prince Alfred Reception March (Melbourne: For the composer by Chas. Troedel, [1867])
When the roses bloom again (“an aria composed expressly for the singer by Mr. Austin Turner, of Bal- larat) by Miss Rosina Carandini”) (Melbourne: Printed by C. Troedel, [1870], also US edition, San Francisco: M. Gray, 1876), copy at Library of Congress:
The Land o’ the Leal (“composed by Austin Turner, Ballarat”) (Melbourne: Printed by C. Troedel, [1870]) also US edition, San Francisco: M. Gray, 1876), copy at Library of Congress:
All ready and all one: an Australian patriotic song (words: Gerald Massey) (Sydney: W. Akhurst, [1885]) Adoration (Cantata)
Grand Mass in D
(July 1879, at opening of the new sanctuary of St. Francis Melbourne)

Resources: “Turner”, British Musical Biography (1897), 420:; “Turner, Austin T.”, The American history and encyclopedia of music (1908), 415;  Jennifer Royle, “Musical (Ad)venturers: Colonial Composers and Composition in Melbourne, 1870–1901”, Nineteenth-Century Music Review 2/2 (November 2005), 133-159  Anne Doggett, “And for harmony most ardently we long”: Musical life in Ballarat, 1851-1871 (Ph.D thesis, University of Ballarat, 2006)


TURNER, Miss. E. (Sister of Mrs TESTAR)
Contralto vocalist
Active Melbourne, by 1857

References: “CONCERT”, The Argus (2 December 1857), 4:



TURNER, Edward
Music lithographer, publisher
Born 1837
Active Sydney, by 1861
Died Wentworth Falls, NSW, 6 October 1913, aged 76

TURNER, W. J. (? William John)
Composer, violinist, organist
Born ? 1836
Active NSW, by 1861

March 1861: ENGRAVER WANTED, a good music hand. Apply to Mr. E. TURNER, at Mr. Mader’s, musicseller.

August 1861: A new song “My Sweetheart is a Volunteer”, printed, published, and lithographed, by Mr. E. Turner, of Hunter-street, has just issued from the press.

November 1861: THE FLOWER OF AUSTRALIA POLKAS. A set of polkas, by Mr. W. J. Turner, have just been published. Though there is a plethora of dance music just now, this unassuming composition will be found, on performance, very lively and pleasing.

1868: Sir, Will you kindly correct a trifling inaccuracy in your report of the opening of St. Mary’s Church, at St. Leonards, North Shore, where I am represented to have acted us organist, &c. This may lead to some misapprehension, as I have been confined to my own room for some weeks by severe illness. The duty of organist at St. Mary’s, North Shore, was performed by my pupil, Mr. W. J. Turner, who was commissioned by me to take direction of the music, which was sustained by a portion of St. Mary’s Cathedral choir, Sydney, assisted in the kindest manner by Miss Geraldine Warden, the remaining portion boing required for the usual duties in the Cathedral, where Mr. C. E. Horsley has, in the handsomest manner, volunteered his services as organist during my illness. Trusting the circumstances will sufficiently excuse my troubling you, I am, your obedient servant, W. J. CORDNER, 116, Woolloomooloo-street, June 29.

References: [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 March 1861), 12:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 July 1861), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 August 1861), 1:; “WEEKLY REGISTER”, Empire (17 August 1861), 5:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 October 1861), 2:; [Advertisement], Empire (13 November 1861), 1:; “THE FLOWER OF AUSTRALIA POLKAS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (14 November 1861), 5:; “To the Editor”, The Sydney Morning Herald (30 June 1868), 6:; “New Music”, Illustrated Sydney News (26 October 1870), 3:; “CONCERT”, Bathurst Free Press (20 April 1872), 2:; “ST. STANISLAW’S COLLEGE”, Bathurst Free Press (21 December 1872), 2:; “DEATHS”, The Sydney Morning Herald (7 October 1913), 8:; “THE LATE MR. E. TURNER”, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 October 1913), 11:

Publications: The Cricketers’ Quadrille (by Robert B. Theobald) (Sydney: For the composer by E. Turner, [18--])

Other works:

Resources: Neidorf, A guide to dating music, 240-241



Pianoforte pupil (of Henry Witton)
Active Melbourne, 1862

References: [Advertisement], The Courier [Brisbane] (24 October 1862), 1: “ELLEN TURNER (Pianoforte), Oxford-st.” [pupil of Henry James Witton]



Teacher of singing and pianoforte, organist, choral conductor, string band conductor, piano tuner
Active Sydney and Maitland, late 1840s to early 1850s 
Active Sydney, by 1866
Died Paddington, 19 November 1889, aged 72

Summary: Formerly leader of the choir at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, by 1847 Turner was organist of St. John the Baptist’s Church, West Maitland. In February 1857 he advertised as a teacher of singing and pianoforte and proprietor of a music retail business. At his Maitland concert in 1849 he was assisted by former Drury Lane singer, Mrs. Chester. In 1850 he advertised that he had formed a “STRINGED QUADRILLE BAND, performing all the modern Polkas, Mazourkas, Waltzes, Quadrilles &c.” He was later organist of Sacred Heart Church, Darlinghurst in Sydney for many years. 

References: “TEA FESTIVAL AT ST. BENEDICT’S”, Morning Chronicle (10 January 1846), 2:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (26 December 1846), 1:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (3 February 1847), 3:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (24 February 1847), 3:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (25 march 1848), 3:; “ST. JOHN'S TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY”, The Maitland Mercury (30 December 1848), 2:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (21 November 1849), 1:; “CONCERT”, The Maitland Mercury (5 December 1849), 2:; [Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury (28 December 1850), 1s:; “THE SYDNEY ABDUCTION CASE”, The Maitland Mercury (20 July 1858), 2:; “FUNERAL”, The Sydney Morning Herald (15 June 1866), 8:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 October 1868), 8:; “MARRIAGES”, Empire (21 December 1868), 1:; “Deaths”, The Sydney Morning Herald (20 November 1889), 1:



TURNER, Stephen
Principal Clarionet player, Bandsman (39th Regiment)
Active Sydney, with regiment 1827-32

(1830): Mary Spencer was indicted for stealing, at Sydney, on the 12th of June last, several articles of wearing apparel, and sundry monies, above the value of £5 the property of Isabella Ponson; and Ann Spencer and Stephen Turner for receiving the same, on the same day and place aforesaid, knowing them to be stolen. […] For the prisoner, Turner, Mr. Therry called Mr. Francis Gee, Master of 39th Band, who said, he had known the prisoner for several years, and considered him the best conducted man in the band; I remember the morning of the 12th of June, and I know the prisoner was with the band from 9 to 12 o’Clock in the morning; His Excellency dined with the mess on the previous evening, on which occasion Turner was present with the band. […] Adjutant Innes, of the 39th, said, he knew the prisoner, Turner, for several years, and previous to this charge his character was unimpeachable; he was principal clarionet player in the band, and was also garrison glazier by which he earned a good deal of money; from what witness knows of his character he considers him incapable of committing the offence imputed to him […] John Smith—I was formerly one of the Veterans, and I now keep the Government gardens; I saw the witness, Mary Robley, in Hill’s public-house this morning, drinking with some of the band-men; I do not see any of them here; I did not see the prisoner, Turner, there; one of the band-men paid for the liquor […] The Jury found Turner and Ann Spencer - Not Guilty; Mary Spencer - Guilty. Remanded.

References: “CRITIQUE OF THE CONCERT. To the Editor”, The Australian (23 October 1829), 2: [given Gee's evidence, Turner is probably the second clarinet player mentioned here]; “Supreme Court”, The Sydney Gazette (31 August 1830), 3:



TURNER, Madame
Professor of the Piano
TURNER, W. J. (Walter James )
Pianist, organist, composer
Born Geelong, 3 July 1857
Active Melbourne, by 1876
Died Melbourne, 6 April 1900, in his 42nd year
TURNER, Mrs. W. J.
Teacher of singing, pianist, conductor
TURNER, W. J. (Walter James)
Music critic, author, poet
Born Melbourne, 13 October 1889
Died London, 18 November 1946

References: [Advertisement], The Argus (11 February 1876), 8: ; [News], The Argus (12 April 1877), 4:; “WORKING MEN’S COLLEGE CHORAL SOCIETY CONCERT”, The Argus (16 December 1889), 9:; “WORKING MEN’S CHORAL SOCIETY CONCERT”, The Argus (2 October 1890), 6:; “DEATHS”, The Argus (6 April 1900), 1:; “CHRISTMAS MUSICAL FESTIVAL”, The Argus (26 December 1900), 7:; “AUSTRALIAN POET AND CRITIC DIES IN ENGLAND”, The Argus (21 November 1946), 5:

Disambiguation: A Sydney composer, also W. J. Turner, published The Flower of Australia Polkas in 1861.

Danse Aboriginale (“Performed with great success by the Victorian Orchestra”) (Melbourne: W. H. Glen & Co., [1890])
The Earl’s March (Melbourne: W. H. Glen &​ Co., [1900])

Bibliography: C. W. F. McKenna, Turner, Walter James (1857–1900), Australian Dictionary of Biography 12 (1990); Wayne McKenna, W. J. Turner: poet and music critic (Sydney: University of NSW Press, 1990):

Web: W. J. Turner, “Romance” – “Chimborazo, Cotopaxi” [autobiographical] Poem animation: (WHEN I was but thirteen or so/I went into a golden land,/Chimborazo, Cotopaxi/Took me by the hand.//My father died, my brother too,/They passed like fleeting dreams,/I stood where Popocatapetl/In the sunlight gleams […])



TYRER, William Henry
Music and instrument seller, importer
Active Sydney, by 1834
Died Sydney, 28 November 1841

Inquest: “An [… ] inquest was held, yesterday, at the house of Mr. Joseph Paris, the sign of the Young Princess, Fort-street, on the body of William Henry Tyrer, formerly silk-mercer, George-street. From the evidence it appeared that, on Sunday evening, about half-past six o’clock, the deceased, who resided in Fort street, went into the water to bathe in Darling Harbour, and was observed swimming by the chief officer of the Anita, and at times floating upon his back; he had a straw hat on his head, which fell into this water, and sank to the bottom, and the deceased made no attempt to recover it. Soon after he called out ‘boat, boat!!’ and the captain of the vessel said, ‘that man must be drowning,’ upon which the chief mate and some of the seamen took the boat, and went to him; they found him floating with his face under the water, and got him into the boat as quickly as possible; but there appeared to be no signs of life in him. They brought him to shore, and sent for the doctor of the ship lascar, who immediately attended, and did all he could to restore animation, but in vain. The deceased had of late been much addicted to intemperance, and it appeared that he was not perfectly sober when he went into the water. Dr. Stewart certified that death had been caused by drowning, but, from the general appearance of the deceased, he thought it might be possible that he had been seized with an apoplectic fit while in the water. The jury returned a verdict of accidentally drowned whilst labouring under the effects of intoxication.”

References: [Advertisement], The Australian (28 March 1834), 1:; [Advertisement], The Australian (2 September 1834), 1:; “MARRIED”, The Sydney Gazette (5 December 1835), 3:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette (7 May 1836), 1:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (19 December 1836), 1: “W. H. TYRER HAS just opened a few of the best and most brilliant-toned Piano-Fortes ever imported into the Colony, which consist of One rosewood Patent Horizontal Grand Piano Forte, One Cabinet Grand Piano-Forte, One Grand Square ditto. The above have only just been received, ex Florentia, and are now open for inspection; they are made by Collard & Collard, late Clementi & Collard, and are constructed on an entirely new principle. In addition to which are Three Cabinet Grand Piano-Fortes [&] Two Cottage ditto by Mott, Two Square ditto, by Dettmer & Son. With an assortment of the newest and most fashionable Music recently published, consisting of Quadrilles, Songs, &c. ALSO, Two splendid Harps, and Several Spanish Guitars, with patent heads. 15 December, 1836.”; “Sydney General Trade List. IMPORTS […] 6TH TO THE 13TH INSTANT”, The Colonist (18 May 1837), 9: “9. Hope (ship), 377 tons […] from London […] 2 cases haberdashery, 1 case hats, 1 case musical in struments, 1 case printed music, I case hardware, 'I case silk cloaks, W. H. Tyrer […]”; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (9 November 1838), 3:; “SUPREME CRIMINAL COURT”, The Australian (9 May 1840), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (28 August 1841), 3:; “DIED”, The Sydney Herald (29 November 1841), 2: “On Sunday, the 28th instant, while bathing in Darling Harbour, supposed of an apoplectic fit, W. H. Tyrer, regretted by numerous friends”; “INQUESTS” , Australasian Chronicle (30 November 1841), 2:; [Advertisement], The Sydney Herald (21 February 1842), 1:


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