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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Miriam Hyde, c. 2004

Valentin Shkolny

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 43.3 cm x 33.6 cm, image: 43.3 cm x 33.6 cm)

Miriam Hyde AO OBE (1913-2005), composer, recitalist, teacher, examiner, poet, lecturer and writer of numerous articles for music journals, studied first with her mother and then with William Silver at the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide. She graduated as Mus.Bac. in 1931 and won the Elder Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London. There she won three composition prizes and performed her two piano concerti with major London orchestras. Returning to Adelaide in 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 various arrangements. Also in that year her Adelaide Overture was first performed and conducted by Malcolm Sargent. Moving permanently to Sydney, she taught for several years at Kambala School, except for a period during the war, when her husband was a prisoner in Germany and she returned to Adelaide, her anxiety giving rise to her dramatic Piano Sonata in g minor. Hyde's works include many for piano, from preliminary to diploma standards, more than fifty songs, chamber music, sonatas for viola, clarinet and flute, four overtures and other orchestral works. 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. Hyde received a great number of honours including an honorary doctorate, and through her eighties and nineties in Sydney she was accorded many tributes and dedicated music performances. She continued performing through the 1990s. Her autobiography, Complete Accord, was published in 1991.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2006
© Valentin Shkolny

Accession number: 2006.2

Currently on display: Gallery Five (John Schaeffer Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Valentin Shkolny

Miriam Hyde AO OBE (age 91 in 2004)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.