Notables A-B

Adams, Samuel
Alexander, Albert and Marie
Anderson, Alfred
Anglo-American Music Stores
Atkinson, Beatrice
Bach, Ellen
Beale, John Henry
Begg, Charles
Bergmann, Eduard
Billows, Walter
Black, John
Blakeley, Reuben
Bonnington, Charles
Bowring, Alfred
Brabazon, Clarice Edith
Braithwaite, Joseph
British & Foreign (previously English & Foreign) Piano Agency
Brown, James
Burke, Edmund James
Burnes-Loughnan, Mary Ethel

Adams, Samuel

11 January 1890, p16. National Library of NZ

Music teacher, pianist, double-bass player, composer
Born: 1867, Liverpool
Died: 1941, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1880 – 1941

Samuel Adams studied under Martin Swallow in Auckland, having started music lessons at an early age in England. He established a large teaching studio and was able to form his own student orchestra. He and his father, James Adams, set to music the words of a poem by the local writer W. R. Wills, which they published under the name of Dasma. He was reportedly of a very kindly nature and particularly effective as a teacher of young pupils.

The old land and the new. (Auckland: Adams, 1884)
Gaiete de soir. (London: Reynolds, 1904)


Alexander, Albert and Marie

Music retailer, composer
Born (Marie): c1855, unknown
Died (Marie): 1927
Active in New Zealand (Marie): 1879-1927
Active in New Zealand (Albert): fl 1900

Originally a school mistress in Thames, Marie Alexander was associated with the newspaper business for many years on the West Coast, Stratford and lastly the Hawke’s Bay. Between 1901 and 1908 she operated a music dealership in Stratford. Albert Alexander, possibly her husband, but more probably her son, was associated with the business. In 1900 Marie’s Children’s Tales: written in New Zealand for little New Zealanders was published, and in 1901 her song When twilight o’er the sea, was set to music by Albert Alexander and published by Begg’s, for whom Marie Alexander acted as agent.

When twilight o’er the sea. (Dunedin: Charles Begg, 1901)


Amohia – see Atkinson, Beatrice


Anderson, Alfred, RAM

Pianist, composer, music retailer, teacher
Born: Launceston, Tasmania, January 1848
Died: Melbourne, Victoria, 22 March 1876
Active in New Zealand: 1873-1874

Alfred Anderson’s father was a professor of music and owned music shops in Sydney and Melbourne. Alfred studied the piano before joining his father in his business. He later went to London to further his studies on the advice of the Duke of Edinburgh who gave him an honorary appointment on his personal staff. On his return to Australia in the early 1870s he began touring as a professional pianist. He first toured New Zealand in February 1873. On 16 June 1873 he entered into partnership with Dunedin music dealer Charles Begg, the business then being renamed Begg & Anderson. Anderson was responsible for organizing touring groups, continuing his travelling life with visits to Melbourne to make arrangements for musical tours while Begg continued to run the retail business and tuning operation. The partnership brought several overseas performers to Otago – the Royal English Opera Company, Allen’s English Opera Troupe and Madame Arabella Goddard. Anderson also taught advanced pupils on the piano while in Dunedin. The partnership between Begg and Anderson was dissolved on 6 October 1874 and he then left New Zealand.

The Sunbeam Galop. (Dunedin: Begg & Anderson, 1874)

Other resources
Clare Gleeson. Meet me at Begg’s. (Wellington: Ngaio Press, 2012)
Australharmony – for information on Alfred Anderson’s activities and compositions in Australia


Anglo-American Music Stores

Location: Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland
Established: 1912
Ceased business: 1919

Established by Alec Klippel in Cuba Street, Wellington with branches subsequently opened in Christchurch and Auckland. The Wellington business was subsequently managed by Douglas Lillicrap.

The Anglo-American Music Stores published ten pieces of music between 1912 and 1919 and also produced “National Airs” in 1915 which contained various patriotic pieces.


Atkinson, Beatrice (later Tombs)

Violinist, composer
Born: 1872, New Plymouth?
Died: 1951, Wellington


Beatrice (Trix) Atkinson was educated at Nelson Girls College. She learnt the violin. viola and piano and before going to study violin under Emile Sauret at the Royal Academy, London, had 3 songs published under the pseudonym Amohia. She returned to New Zealand, teaching music in Nelson. In 1907 she married Harry Tombs, son of one of the founders of Whitcombe and Tombs, and a printer, artist and musician. She continued to play and teach the violin and support music and the arts in Wellington.  In the 1940s, as Beatrice Tombs, she wrote a number of further songs, both published and unpublished.

Eventide. (1899)
A Lament, and, To the breezes. (?, 1900)
Legend of the cuckoo. (Wellington: Harry H. Tombs, 194?)
Te Ngaru’s flute song. (Wellington: Wingfield Press, 194-)
There fell a king. (Wellington: Harry H. Tombs, 1942)
Two songs. (Wellington: Harry H. Tombs, 1944)
Prospice. (194? – unpublished)


Bach, Ellen

Music teacher, pianist, composer
Born: 1816?, Birmingham, England
Died: 1894, Christchurch
Active in New Zealand: 1862-1894

Ellen Bach arrived in New Zealand with her engineer husband Richard in 1862. They lived in various locations and after his death she settled in Gisborne where she earned her living as a music teacher, also performing in a number of amateur concerts.

In 1883 she wrote and, possibly at her own expense, published a short piano waltz, Southern Pacific, which was widely distributed throughout New Zealand.

Southern Pacific. (Gisborne, 1883)


Beale, John Henry

Music teacher, violinist, choirmaster, music retailer, composer, bandmaster
Born: 1819, England
Died: 1882, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1858-1882

John Henry Beale and his family settled in Auckland after a few years in Monganui, Northland. He was a music teacher by profession, active in the early years of the Auckland Choral Society, and choirmaster at St Sepulchre’s Church. He was also Bandmaster of the Auckland Volunteer Rifles Band in the 1860s. Beale composed a few short works in Auckland as he had in England before immigrating.

Photo kindly supplied by Rangiriri Heritage Centre

California quadrilles. [England: Unpublished, 1849]
Ascot galop. (London: 1852)
The red, white and blue quadrilles. (Unpublished, 1861)
Rangiriri galop. (Auckland: 1864) – 2 editions
Never mind the rest. (Auckland:, 1873)
The Fisherman’s song. (Unpublished, 1877)
Although the fig tree shall not blossom. Unpublished, 1879.


Begg, Charles

Music retailer, pianoforte maker
Born: 1825, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: 1874, 21 December, Dunedin, New Zealand
Active in New Zealand: 1861-1874

Charles Begg trained as a pianoforte maker and tuner in Aberdeen.  Before emigrating to Otago in 1861 he employed nine men in his piano factory in that city and had a retail business selling pianos, other instruments and printed music. 

He arrived in Dunedin in 1861 with a stock of four pianos and established himself as a piano tuner, seller and manufacturer.  Despite winning a bronze medal for a piano in New Zealand woods at the 1865 New Zealand Exhibition he decided not to pursue manufacturing pianos but concentrate on imported instruments.  His premises in Princes Street were destroyed by fire in 1867 and replaced with a substantial three-storied building.  In addition to selling music Begg also published several original New Zealand compositions and supported musical endeavour in Dunedin, providing a practice room for the Dunedin Volunteers band and the Orchestral Society. 

In 1873 he went into partnership with Australian pianist and composer Alfred Anderson.  The partnership was dissolved two months before Begg’s death.  Begg’s business was carried on by his wife, Jessie, with the help of two trustees and the chain of music retail stores he founded continued to operate until 1970. 

Other resources
Clare Gleeson.  Meet me at Begg’s: the story of Charles Begg & Co, music and appliance manufacturers and retailers, 1861-1970.  (Wellington: Ngaio Press, 2012)
Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Otago and Southland Provincial Districts, p. 224.


Bergmann, Eduard

Bandmaster, flautist, composer
Born: 18??, Hungary?
Died: ?, England.
Active in New Zealand: 1863-1865

Turnbull Library collection

Bandmaster of the 2nd Battalion, 18th Royal Irish Regimental Band, Bergmann arrived in Auckland in 1863. He composed a number of works which were performed by his and other regimental bands one of which, the Waikato Waltz, was published. Bergmann was a flautist, and the band performed at a number of civilian concerts as well as military events. A number of Bergmann’s compositions and arrangements had been published in various Military music magazines held at the British Library.

Waikato Waltz. (Auckland: Varty, 1864)

Other resources
Nichol, E. “In search of Eduard Bergman, regimental bandmaster in the 1860s Waikato Land Wars”, Crescendo, 71 (2005), p. 7-10.


Billows, Walter George

Photographer, composer
Born: 1867, Nelson
Died: 1938, New Plymouth

Walter Billows was a photographer in Whanganui and President of the Dannevirke Orchestral Society.

Jeanell waltz. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1911)


Black, John

Flautist, violinist, organist, teacher, music retailer, conductor,
Born: 1853, Nelson
Died: 1927, Australia
Active in New Zealand: 1877-1909

Born into a musical family in Nelson, John Black and two of his brothers set up a fishery on Stewart Island in 1877, announcing the arrival of their catch at Invercargill with tunes on the cornet. Resident in Invercargill he was conductor of the Riverton Brass Band in 1884 and of the Invercargill City Band in 1886. In 1888 he became Begg’s Invercargill agent, selling pianos, organs and sheet music.

The Musical All Blacks of Maoriland

He formed a musical group from members of his family and in 1900 they moved to Dunedin. Daughter Nellie (Ellen Vaughan), singer and violinist was the outstanding performer in the group.In 1902-03 the family toured the South Island for seven months and then undertook a 15 month tour of the North Island. In 1905 they moved to Sydney and toured Australia for several years, returning to New Zealand to tour in 1909 when they were touted as “The Musical All Blacks of Maoriland”. They returned to Australia and by 1912 the musical group had ceased to exist. John Black died in Australia.


Blakeley, Reuben

Music teacher, organist, composer, local body politician
Born: 1834, Batley, Yorkshire, England
Died: 1904, Kaiapoi, Canterbury
Active in New Zealand: 1880-1904

Reuben Blakeley was 46 when he left Batley and his work in the woolen trade for New Zealand. He had been organist at the Zion Church and was soon appointed organist at Kaiapoi Weslyan Church. He also conducted local bands and composed a number of works, mostly unpublished, for performance in the church one of which, his anthem “The White Horse”, lasted 25 minutes. Mayor of Kaiapoi in 1891 he also served on the Kaiapoi District Council.

[Collection of anthems edited by Henry Watson]. (London: Novello, 1902) unconfirmed

Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury Provincial District, p. 427 (photo source)
Macdonald dictionary, Canterbury Museum.


Bonnington, Charles

Violinist, organist, pianist, music retailer, music teacher, composer, publisher

Born: 1830, Chesterfield, England
Died: 1883, San Francisco, USA
Active in New Zealand: 1853-1880

Bonnington’s musical training started in his native Chesterfield in Derbyshire where he studied with Tallis Trimnell. He came with his parents and 8 siblings to Nelson in 1853 and quickly became involved in music activities. He helped form the Nelson Musical and Dramatic societies, played at the local church, conducted the Nelson Volunteer Regiment Band and taught music and dance.

In 1860 he moved to Christchurch where he opened a stationers shop which also sold music. He became the leader of the Christchurch Musical Society’s orchestra, conducted this and other musical ensembles and taught until his departure for Auckland in 1869. During this time he also branched out to publish the music of other local composers, having had a number of his own compositions published in the early 1860s. After a few years he returned to Christchurch before moving again to Wellington and establishing his “Music Academy” in Lambton Quay as both a teaching location and retail shop. His skills as a violinist continued to be remarked on and he was heavily involved in many of the musical activities of the capital.

In 1880 he and his family moved to San Francisco, where he died three years later. His brother George was also a noted violinist in Christchurch as well as a chemist, inventing the popular cough tonic, Bonnington’s Irish Moss.

Anna schottische. (1846)
Emmeline polka. (1849)
Georgiana polkas. (Sydney: 1853)
Australasian galop. (Sydney: Wilkie, 1860)
Southern Cross schottische. (Sydney: 1860)
Southern Alps schottische. (1864)
Stars of the southern night – vocal ensemble. (Unpublished)
Mt Cook waltzes. (Unpublished)
Anthem for Masonic services. (Unpublished)

Other resources
Nichol, E, Dedicated to the colonial music public DOI, p. 53-61.

Photo Source
Reproduced with the permission of Bonnington family descendants.


Bowring, Alfred

Daily Southern Cross. Jury List 1860

Piano maker, cabinet maker, bookbinder
Born: 1829, Somerset, England
Died: 1898, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1856-1898

Alfred Bowring is notable for being one of New Zealand’s earliest piano manufacturers. On his death, it was reported that he manufactured the first pianos in New Zealand and in the 1860 Jury List for Auckland his occupation is recorded as piano maker. The extent of that manufacturer, i.e. whether it was the case only or part of the playing mechanism as well is not recorded.


Brabazon, Clarice Edith (also Stebbing)

Pianist, composer
Born: 1873, 26 August, Auckland
Died: 1954, 9 July, Auckland

Clarice Brabazon was one of the daughters of an early Auckland schoolmaster, John Brabazon. Both she and her sister Henrietta were child performers and Clarice was particularly skilled on the piano. She performed in Sydney from the age of 12 and toured Australia where she also reportedly studied with Henri Kowalski. She toured New Zealand in the early 1890s as the Solo Pianiste and accompanist with the Royal Italian Opera Company, then set up as a music teacher in Auckland while maintaining an active concert programme.

In 1894 she married Horace Stebbing, a baritone, and they often performed together along with composing a number of songs.

Clarisse waltz. (Sydney: Palings, 1889)
Scherzo in d minor. (Unpublished, 1890)
March. (Unpublished, 1893)
The Countess waltz. (New Zealand Graphic, 1903)
Two veterans. (Auckland: English and Foreign Piano Agency, 1903)


Braithwaite, Joseph

Bookseller, stationer, music retailer, publisher
Born: 1848, England
Died: 1917, Dunedin
Active in New Zealand: 1863-1917

Braithwaite’s Book Arcade, c1907
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, Box 57 Number 200.

Joseph Braithwaite moved with his family to Melbourne in 1852 and then to Dunedin in 1860. He established a small bookshop in 1863, which when it moved to larger premises in 1883 became Braithwaite’s Book Arcade. The business operated until 1928. Braithwaite’s was one of the largest sellers of printed music in Dunedin and also published several pieces, including two albums (Family Song Book, 1891 and Fifty Scots Songs, 1911). Like many of the specialist music businesses Braithwaite’s also published a music album in 1876 (New Zealand Music Album) and catalogues of music they had for sale.

Other resources
Anna Rogers and Max Rogers. Turning the pages: the story of bookselling in New Zealand. (Auckland: Reed Books, 1993)


Brown, James (Jim) – composed as Adrian Hope and Raymond Hope

Composer, pianist, teacher
Born: 1875, Dunedin
Died: 1947, 14 July, Christchurch

One of the most prolific New Zealand composers, his first piece, the Tarakoi Waltz was published when he was still in his teens. He worked for Fuller’s vaudeville company travelling around New Zealand and Australia for some years and in 1904 in Melbourne as the conductor of Maggie Moore’s company. In 1905 he returned to New Zealand. After being cited in a divorce case in 1911 he moved back to Australia where he converted to Roman Catholicism. He returned to New Zealand sometime before 1937.

Compositions as James Brown
Tarakoi waltz. (Dunedin: Dresden, 1894)

Compositions as Adrian Hope
‘Twas but a dream. (London: Francis Day & Hunter, 1904)
Silver fern waltz. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1907)
Golden shadows. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1908)
Birthday greetings. (Wellington: Australasian Publishing co, c1910)
Garden of memory. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, c1911)
Cupid’s whisper. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1911)
Radiant morn. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1911)
Cupid’s charms. (Otahuhu: Boyes, 1912)
Dawn of spring. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1913)
Autumn memories. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, c1913)
Buds and blossoms. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, c1913)
Spirit of Napoleon. (London: Charles Begg & Co, 1914)
Shooting star. (London: West & Co, 1916)

Compositions as Raymond Hope
Come back to me. (1906?)
Come back again. (Adelaide?: Cawthorne, 1906)
Teach me to forget. (Dunedin: Wotton, 1906)
Let me forget. (Dunedin: Dresden, 1907)
Queen of my life. (Posen: Malerio, 1907)
Hazel waltz. (Christchurch: Chivers, c1910)
Weeping willow. (Christchurch: Star and Webley, c1910)
Light of the moon . (Christchurch: Chivers, 1910)
New Dominion. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1910)
Valse royale. (Christchurch: Gary & Co, c1910)
Forget-me-not. (Christchurch: Harris, 1911)
Sweet lavender. (Christchurch: Chivers, 1911)
On parade. (Christchurch: Chivers, c1911)
Islington valse. (Christchurch: Lowry, 1912)
Good-bye Maoriland. (Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1914)
King of the seas. (Melbourne: J Harris & Co, 1916)
My lady’s eyes. (Melbourne: J Harris & Co, 1916)
Her Ladyship. (London: West & Co, 1916)
The red cross or Can’t you spare a penny? (Melbourne: J Harris & Co, 1916)
When our boys march into Berlin. (Christchurch: Lyttleton Times, c1916)

Other resources
Murray, David. “Golden Shadows: an introduction to Raymond Hope.” Unpublished paper.


Burke, Edmund James

Music teacher (violin and piano), string band leader
Born : 1870, Auckland
Died: 1953, Auckland

Pupil of Martin Swallow. Toured New Zealand as an orchestra player, arranger and musical director for theatrical orchestras, including Fullers Vaudeville. Choirmaster of St John’s the Baptists’ Church, Parnell (1890-) and conductor of the Auckland Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar Club. Conductor of many Auckland orchestras and ensembles from aged 19, with his own String orchestra.

Little Monte Christo: burlesque.
Forget me.
Aladdin up to date: selected items. (1890, unpublished)
John Bull and Uncle Sam. (Auckland: Burke, 1917)
Valse roie. (Auckland: A. W. Robertson & Son, c1908)

Other resources
Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Auckland Provincial District, p. 259


Burnes-Loughnan, Mary Ethel (Mai)

Pianist, composer
Born: 1868, 28 May, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 1930, 27 November, Christchurch

Mary Ethel Burnes-Loughnan, or as she was usually known “Mai”, was born in Australia but lived her early life in France. Her musical training is unknown but soon after she migrated to Christchurch with her family there are references to her accompanying singers on the piano. She trained as a nurse but after a short time opened a tea kiosk in Wellington along with 2 colleagues. Shortly after this she returned to the South Island to marry Henry Hamilton Loughnan, a leading lawyer in Christchurch and also a keen amateur cellist.

Burnes-Loughnan was a tireless supporter of various charities and often hosted fundraising concerts, as well as acting as accompanist. Four of her songs were published by Allan’s in Melbourne during the 1910s, with one, Ships that passed in the night was also produced in an American edition. Two of her other unpublished songs, Commandeered, and Morning at your window smiles, were performed at the 1918 Christchurch Festival of New Zealand music concert.

Published compositions:
Contingent march “Patua te hoariri” . (Christchurch: Lyttleton Times, 1914)
I gave you a gift. (Melbourne: Allan, 1916?)
Ships that passed in the night. (Melbourne: Allan, 1919) and (New York: Hinds, Hayden)