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April 2005 Issue
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Vale Dr Miriam Hyde (1913 - 2005)


On Tuesday, January 11, 2005, leading Australian composer, pianist and former student and teacher at the University of Adelaide's Elder Conservatorium, Dr Miriam Hyde died just days short of her 92nd birthday at her Sydney home.

Dr Hyde was born in Adelaide in 1913 where she began studies in piano at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide under William Silver. In 1931, she graduated with a Bachelor of Music and won the Elder Scholarship to London's Royal College of Music where she studied piano and composition and attained the ARCM and LRAM diplomas.

Seeking the wider scope of Sydney, she taught for several years at Kambala School and has lived in Sydney for most of the remainder of her life, active as composer, recitalist, teacher, examiner, lecturer and writer of numerous articles for music journals.

For a period during the War, however, when her husband, Marcus Edwards, was a POW in Germany, she returned to Adelaide and taught piano and musical perception at the Conservatorium. In 1975, Dr Hyde was appointed Patron of the Music Teachers' Association of South Australia (MTASA).

"As a musician, Miriam was without peer, being an acclaimed composer of music, not only for piano, but other instruments and also voice," MTASA President Malcolm Potter said.

Dr Hyde was a prolific composer of music and words who wrote over 150 instrumental and vocal works in an early 20th-century pastoral style and was an acclaimed international concert pianist and music educator.

"Miriam established the Miriam Hyde Award for the Music Teachers' Association of SA, and many students have benefited from winning these awards," Malcolm Potter says.

Dr Hyde's own achievements were recognized through several prestigious honours and awards. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1981, made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1991 and received an honorary doctorate from Macquarie University.

The brilliant Adelaide woman was also adept at literary expression, and had two books of poetry published - The bliss of solitude, Economy Press, [1941] and A few poems, Economy Press, [1942]. Her autobiography, Complete accord, was published by Currency Press, Sydney in 1991, with the royalties being devoted to the scholarship that she won in 1931.

"As our Patron, as a wonderful friend and advocate, and as a musician extraordinaire, Miriam Hyde will be sadly missed, but will enter the history books as one of Australia's and indeed Adelaide's worthy ambassadors," Malcolm Potter said.

The Music Teachers' Association of South Australia has dedicated their 2005 Biennial Summer School to Dr Miriam Hyde.

Miriam Hyde was presented with the University of Adelaide's Distinguished Alumni Award in a private ceremony in her home in Sydney on 8 October 2004.

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Dr Miriam Hyde (1913 - 2005)

Dr Miriam Hyde (1913 - 2005)
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