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Alfred Hill
, 1936

by Rayner Hoff

cast plaster, patinated on wooden base

Alfred Hill CMG OBE (1870–1960) was a composer, conductor and violinist. Born in Melbourne, he spent his youth in New Zealand, and studied in Leipzig where he performed under conductors including Brahms, Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Bruch. He began conducting and teaching in Sydney in 1897, and became the first Professor of Theory and Composition at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music in 1916. His oeuvre comprises more than 500 works and he has been judged 'the most substantial and comprehensively cultivated of Australia's composers'.

Rayner Hoff arrived from England in 1924 to teach sculpture at East Sydney Technical College, and immediately began to exhibit his work. In 1926 he designed the Holden lion. Between the wars, he executed a number of high-profile commissions in Sydney, including the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park. This is the last portrait head he sculpted; in 1937 he designed the memorial to King George V which stands opposite Old Parliament House, but he died before it was made.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2000
Accession number: 2000.16