“A trailblazing South Australian, Miriam Hyde AO OBE (1913-2005) was one of Australia’s foremost pianists, composers and music educators of the twentieth century,” said Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Board Chair, Kate Gould.
“A graduate of the Elder Conservatorium of Music, she also attended the Royal College of Music in London and, in addition to her orchestral music, composed over150 works for piano and 50 songs.”
“It is also a great honour to announce that the inaugural chair of The Miriam Hyde Circle is another distinguished South Australian, the Hon. Catherine Branson AC QC,” said Ms Gould.
The ASO recognises the importance of female composers. The circle is part of the ASO’s inclusive cultural agenda and will celebrate the significant contributions made by women in music while supporting the future of Australian and international female composers.
During ASO’s 2021 Symphony Series, each concert will feature at least one work by a female composer, and Miriam Hyde’s Adelaide Overture will be performed at Symphony Series 3 in July.
Miriam Hyde was in her early 20s and not long back from her studies in London when, in 1936, she created this spirited overture to honour the centenary of the founding of Adelaide – a heart-warming musical celebration of home.
“The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has a commitment to shining a light on women composers of the past and present, as well as commissioning new works by living female composers,” said The Hon Catherine Branson AC QC.
“A former student and teacher at the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium, Miriam Hyde AO OBE was a brilliant composer with a lifelong dedication to teaching.”
“We are delighted that her family has agreed to our naming the giving circle in her honour. Please join me in this exciting new initiative that brings together like-minded donors to support the ASO’s ambitions.”
Dr Miriam Hyde AO OBE, AMUA, LAB, MusBac (Hons), ARCM, LRAM, HonDLitt, HonFMusA, HonFIMT, FCompASMC, HonDipMus, (1913-2005) was one of Australia’s foremost pianists, composers and music educators of the twentieth century. Born in Adelaide, she attended the Elder Conservatorium of Music and the Royal College of Music in London.
In 1981 she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and in 1991 was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). She was awarded an honorary doctorate by Macquarie University in 1993, and in 2004 received an award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music at the Australasian Performing Right Association and Australian Music Centre Classical Music Awards.
Miriam’s love and passion for music was profound. “I feel my music can be a refuge for what beauty and peace can still be omnipresent…the triumph of good over evil. I make no apologies for writing from the heart,” she said.
Miriam’s daughter Christine is thrilled that her mother will be recognised through the naming of the giving circle: “Mum was such a passionate advocate for music education, and to be honoured with the tile of the Miriam Hyde Circle is a great gift,” she said.
I know she would be excited that the ASO is committed to celebrating the significant contribution of female composers, and highlighting the diversity of talent and creativity of female composers through history to the present day. She would have been surprised and honoured. She was incurably modest and quiet in her achievements, and always conscious of her Adelaide roots,” said Christine.
“With all too rare exceptions, accomplished musical women have been overlooked for centuries, missing out on the opportunities and recognition they deserved,” said ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello. “The Miriam Hyde Circle aims to change that by celebrating women composers of the past, present and future.”
“The ASO is thrilled to be able to play a small part in this revolution. I urge you to consider joining this special group, named in honour of a pioneering South Australian, to support and nurture the music of women composers,” said Mr Ciccarello.
An individual can become a member for a minimum of one year, joining a vibrant community committed to supporting the performance of works by female composers throughout history and the commissioning of new work by female composers. Memberships can be started anytime throughout the year. Miriam Hyde Circle Members are recognised on the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra website and in concert programs. For more information, visit: www.aso.com.au for details.
Image: Miriam Hyde AO OBE – courtesy of Adelaide Symphony Orchestra