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About Alfred Hill


from SOUNZ

Alfred Hill (1869-1960) was New Zealand's first fully professional composer and a leading figure in Australian music from the early years of this century. With his artistic life divided between Australia and New Zealand, he is best described as a true Australasian who was virtually the founder of musical composition in the two countries in which he lived. As a young man he was much involved in Wellington's musical life, and after studying in Leipzig, became conductor of the Wellington Orchestral Society. His move to Australia soon after the turn of the century saw him co-found the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and become one of its professors. At this time he composed the romantic operas 'Tapu' and 'A Moorish Maid'. Best known for many years as the composer of the popular song 'Waiata Poi', Alfred Hill also wrote thirteen symphonies, seven concertos, seven operas, string quartets, suites, sonatas, cantatas, numerous songs and a considerable amopunt of film music. In his influence and in his fervour for music he is a major antipodean musical figure.

Further information about Alfred Hill can be found in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography at

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