Miriam Hyde (1913-2005)
Miriam Hyde was born in 1913 in Adelaide, studied first with her mother and then with William Silver at the Elder Conservatorium. After the University's diploma (AMUA) and winning the South Australian prize for the LAB in 1928, she graduated as Mus.Bac. in 1931 and won the Elder Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London. During three years there, her professors were Howard Hadley and Arthur Benjamin (piano), R.O. Morris and Gordon Jacob (composition). She won three composition prizes and was soloist in her two piano concerti with the major London orchestras, including the BBC. She also made broadcasts, on what was then called "short wave", to countries of the existing Empire, including Australia. In 1935 she added to her diplomas the ARCM and LRAM.
Returning to Adelaide in South Australia's centenary year, 1936, Hyde wrote much of the orchestral music for the pageant Heritage, produced in the Tivoli Theatre. Of this music her Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda, an overture to one of the scenes, has become well-known as an independent piece in her various arrangements of it. Also in that year her Adelaide Overture was first performed and conducted by (then Dr) Malcolm Sargent.
Seeking the wider scope of Sydney, she taught for several years at Kambala School and 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. It was during that stressful time that she wrote her dramatic Piano Sonata in g minor.
Hyde's works include many for piano, from Preliminary to Diploma standards, more than fifty songs (several of which, set to her own poems, have won prizes, e.g. Elfin Fantasy, Winter Willow Music, Sunrise by the Sea), chamber music, sonatas for viola, clarinet and flute, four overtures and other orchestral works. Her Happy Occasion Overture was performed in the inaugural concert of the Australian Youth Orchestra, at the Sydney Town Hall in 1957.
She performed concerti with all the major Australian orchestras (except Brisbane), and with conductors of eminence, including Sir Malcolm Sargent, Constant Lambert, Georg Schneevoigt, Sir Bernard Heinze, Dr Edgar Bainton, Joseph Post, and Geoffrey Simon, with whom, in 1975, she recorded her two concerti with the ABC's West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Miriam Hyde was Patron of the Music Teachers' Associations of NSW and SA, also of the Blue Mountains Eisteddfod and the Australian Musicians' Academy, and Honorary Life Member of the Fellowship of Australian Composers, the Victorian Music Teachers' Association, and the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra, with whom, in April 1996, she played the solo part of her Fantasy Romantic for the first time since 1963, when she had performed it during an Australasian Composers' Seminar in Hobart.
Her literary indefatigability (which has yielded nearly 500 poems) culminated in 1991 when Sydney's Currency Press published her autobiography, Complete Accord. The royalties from this publication are to go to the scholarship that she won in 1931, the value of which, needless to say, has been reduced by years of inflation.
During the 1990s Hyde recorded two CDs of her own piano works, for the National Anthology (CSM No.16) and Southern Cross (No.1027). The ABC, in 1996, produced a CD of her two concerti and the orchestral work Village Fair. Her Clarinet Sonata is included on a CD on the Tall Poppies label, and the Macquarie Trio has recorded for the ABC her Fantasy Trio. Her 1992 piece Valley of Rocks has become her best-known piano work since its exposure in the 1988 Sydney International Piano Competition, in which it was by far the favourite choice among the seven Australian works submitted.
Miriam's special awards included the OBE (1981), AO (1991), International Woman of the Year (1991-92) for service to music, bestowed by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, and Hon. F.Mus.A. (1995). A gracious compliment was paid her by Macquarie University in the form of an Honorary Doctorate.
In 2002 Hyde accepted the Award for Long-Term Contribution to the Advancement of Australian Music at the APRA/Australian Music Centre Classical Awards. The award preceded Miriam's 90th birthday celebrations in 2003, which included a concert of her works presented at Eugene Goossens Hall in Sydney. Miriam received a further APRA/Australian Music Centre Award in 2004, the Special Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music.
Miriam Hyde died in January 2005, a few days short of her 92nd birthday.
Biography from the Australian Music Centre http://www.australianmusiccentre.com.au
A few poems by Miriam Edwards. Adelaide : Economy Press, [1940?], will be found in the Rare Book collection at Rare Books 821A E26f
Most of these scores have been transferred from the Elder Conservatorium Library, many of them previously donated by Hyde's good friend Beryl Kekwick. Most carry annotations by Hyde, some with analyses or letters included.
1. Manuscript book containing Mus. Bac. class work, fugues, etc. with Prof. E.H. Davies (1930)
2. Manuscript book containing:
Fantasy - Trio in B minor. Pencil score
Piano Concerto no. 1. 3rd movement. Part Score
Class work with W. Allchin and Sir Percy Buck (1932)
3. Sonata in G minor, piano (1941-44) 1 score. With Notes (autograph) as sent to Vina Barnden for performance in N.Y., and Detailed analysis of Piano Sonata in G minor (typescript, photocopy) as written by the composer, Miriam Hyde (1989)
4. Sonata in G. minor, piano (1941-44). 4th copy 1 score. With : Intermezzo for left hand solo (1945).
Another copy, added by transfer from Music Library 27/5/92
5. Intermezzo, for left hand (1945). 1 score.
6. Susan Bray’s Album of pieces for the left hand. (1945) Pencil copies.
7. Marsh birds, for flute and piano (1949) 1 score
8. Drought-stricken grasses, for piano (1964) 1 score, revised 1990 (photocopy)
9. Canzonetta, for Viola and piano (1988) 1 score (photocopy)
10. Serenade for violin (1954) 4 scores
11. Variations on God save the King, in styles of Palestrina, Purcell, Mozart, Brahms, Wagner, Chopin, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Delius, Ravel : as submitted for A.R.C.M. composition exam (1935) 9 scores (photocopies)
12. On the hillside, for flute and piano. (1963) Adapted from the piano solo in "Forest echoes" 1 score
13. Manuscript book containing : The poplar avenue, piano solo (1936) 1 score; Scherzo in G. op. 44 no.2, piano solo (1937) 1score
14. Spring (1939) 1 score
15. Valley of rocks, for piano. (1975) Written as a test for M.S.O.S. scholarships, 1975. 1 score, with notes (typescript)
16. The spring of joy, for piano (1946) 1 score with notes (autograph) as sent to Vina Barnden, N.Y.
another copy, added by transfer from Music Library, 27/5/92
17. The vine trellis (1988) 1 score (photocopy)
18. Sea shell fantasy, for flute and piano (1975) 1 score
19. Gay toccata, duet for piano (1974) 1 score
20. Magpies at sunrise, for piano (1946) Copy no. 3 1 score
21. Lamp with a fringe, for piano (1969) 1 score
22. Concert study in F# minor (no.1) (1934) 1 score (photocopy)
23. Dancing shadows, for flute and piano (1975) 1 score
24. Study for left hand tenths (1982) 1 score (photocopy)
25. Firewheel, for piano (1932) 1 score (photocopy)
26. Birds in sunlight, for piano (1973) 1 score
27. Study in blue, white and gold (1969) 1 score
28. Wedding morn (1956) First pencil draft. 1 score, with notes (autograph)
29. Brown Hill Creek in Spring (1942) 1 score
30. Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda (1936) Solo piano version. 1 score (photocopy)
31. Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda (1936-88) Duet arrangement. Ink and pencil. Provisional score.
32. Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda (1936) Duet arrangement. Ink. Final score.
33. Variations in C minor, on a theme (1931) 1 score, with notes (autograph)
34. Slow movement (Andante tranquillo) from Pianoforte Concerto no. 2 in C# minor (1934-35). Solo arrangement. 1 score
35. A river idyll (1932?) 1 score
36. Memories of a happy day (1939) Revised 1964 1 score
37. Reflected reeds (1956) Second ink copy. 1 score (photocopy)
38. The ring of new bells (1959) 1 score (photocopy)
39. Trends, for piano (1966) 1 score, with photocopied letter from ABC
40. Bubbling brook (1966), Kashmiri dancer (1966), Frost fairies (1966), Minarets (n.d). 4 scores
41. Fugues (1930-48) 10 scores
42. Pauline, a caprice, for piano (1929) 1 score
43. Trio in G for flute, clarinet and piano.
44. Trio (prelude and scherzo) for flute, oboe and piano.
45. Three European sketches: Memory of Madrid (Madrid 7/5/1974, finished in London); Evening snow at Innsbruck (Innsbruck 15/4/1974); White marble columns (Athens 14/3/1974). 3 scores.
Copy made for Andrea Williams 25/4/1976. In hand lettered folder with sketches of grass-trees. With photocopies of unidentified piece.
46. Unnamed work in G minor-major for piano Photocopy, 2 copies – 1 annotated in pencil)
47. Summer Symphony for voice and piano (1948) Copy made for Beryl Kekwick; with letter from Hyde to Kekwick
48. Thoughts at Dusk for voice and piano (1950) Copy made for Beryl Kekwick
49. Rhyme after Rain for voice and piano (1943) Copy made for Beryl Kekwick
50. In the Rose Garden for voice and piano (1946) Copy made for Beryl Kekwick
51. Lullaby for voice and piano (1943) Copy made for Beryl Kekwick
52. Laughter for voice and piano (1937) Stamped: Beryl Kekwick
53. Before the Spring for voice and piano (1943) Copy made for Beryl Kekwick
54. The First Boronia for voice and piano (1948) For Beryl Kekwick
55. The Cedar Tree for voice and piano (1944) Copy made for Beryl Kekwick
56. The Constant Pool for voice and piano (1946) Copy made for Beryl Kekwick
57. Leaves in the Wind for voice and piano (1947) Written for Beryl Kekwick
58. Bridal Song for voice and piano (1962)
59. Songs to three Latin Lyrics – At Beauty’s Altar, Take thou this Rose, Fire in my Heart
For voice and piano (1944) Copy made for Beryl Kekwick
60. Dreamland for voice and piano (1938); The Wind in the Sedges for voice and piano
61. "Adelaide" Overture (1936) 1 orchestra score (photocopy) plus parts. As performed at Centennial Hall, October 22, 1936, Dr Malcolm Sargent conducting The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (augmented). Typeset by Owen Stephens, with accompanying letter detailing errata and changes. Transferred from the Elder Music Library May 2006. IN OVERSIZE ENVELOPE
62. Working copy of her autobiography [published in 1991 as Complete Accord] c1990
63. Miscellaneous memorabilia: Photograph (1934); Newspaper clipping; Programme : Pianoforte Recital, Town Hall, Adelaide, April 21st, 1936
64. Compositions written for Margaret Joy Hines.
- Study in D minor (for fingers 3,4,5) Canberra, August 1979. Ms score,  p.
- In the Temple. Canberra, August 1979. Ms score,  p. (one sheet written 'in the train')
- Two Robins, for piano. 2/10/1979. Ms score,  p.
- March. Canberra, August 1979. Ms score,  p.
- with two letters from Hyde to Dennis Brain, Margaret Joy Hines' music teacher, 24/8/79 and 4/10/79; a letter from Hyde to Judy Hines re copying of the scores and letters for the National Library of Australia; and correspondence with the National Library 2002.
These scores were donated by Judy Hines, Margaret Joy's mother, in November 2015.
Updated Ashleigh Tobin, Cheryl Hoskin