Notables S-T

Savage, Arthur Edward
Schmitt, Carl
Schott, James Arthur
Schwartz, Siegmund
Searelle, Luscombe
Seegner, Caroline Elizabeth
Shearsby, Agnes Hartwell Emma
Silk, Arthur
Singer, Dorothy Rose
Sleath, Henry W
Sonderhof, Paul
Sou Alle, Ali Ben
Spackman, Henry Goold
Spackman, Clement Roy
Speedy. William John
Spensley, James
Spiller, WIlliam Henry
Squarise, Raffaello
Squire, Byron
Stebbing, W. Horace
Stevenson, Amy
Stewart, H. W.
Stokes, Frederick Herbert
Stokes, Thomas Oliver
Stone, Isabella Logan (nee Matheson)
Strong, Francis George
Swallow, Martin
Sykes, Charles
Symons, Mary (nee Cook)
Talbot, Frank, see Burry, Frederick
e Aro Music Warehouse
Tendall, George
Terrell, John R. W.
Theomin, David Ezekiel
Thomas, Charles Stephen
Thomas, William Edwin Somerset
Thompson, Robert
Tidman, Harold Woods
Timson, Jesse
Towle, Henry F.
Towsey, Arthur John
Trimnell, Thomas Tallis
Triphook, John Robert
Triphook, Thomas Dawson
Trowell, Arnold
Trussell, Charles
Tutschka, Herbert Joseph
Tutschka, Ludwig (Louis)

Savage, Arthur Edward

National Library of NZ

Cornet player, band leader, music teacher
Born: 1881, Christchurch
Died: 1953, Auckland

Although born in New Zealand, Savage spent part of his childhood in Prahran, Melbourne. He was a cornet player and performed as part of Williamson’s Royal Italian Opera Company. He settled in Auckland in 1904, working as a music teacher before moving to Hamilton and then Dannevirke. In all places he was heavily involved with leading various orchestras and bands. Later in his career he returned to Hamilton and was for a while leader of the Radio Dance Band.

Although referred to as about to be published in 1913 the Dannevirke Waltz and the piece published in 1914 as The Skipper Waltz may be the same piece renamed as no published copies of the Dannevirke Waltz were later mentioned. A 1909 reference to “the Dannevirke” being played at one of Savage’s concerts may however indicate they were different pieces.

Spirit of progress: march. (Unpublished, 1911)
Dannevirke Waltz. (Dannevirke: Unpublished?, 1913)
Skipper Waltz. (Marton: A. E. Savage, 1914)


Schmitt, Carl Gustav

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B-K 153-284

Conductor, music professor. composer, violinist
Born: 1837, Frankfurt am Main,Germany
Died: 1900, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1859, 1881-1900

Carl Schmitt was born into a family of musicians and trained with his father as well as in Paris. Migrating in 1859 for the sake of his health, he stayed for a short time in New Zealand before going to Australia. He settled there in Tasmania, becoming aide-de-camp and musical director to the Governor, Sir Frederick Weld.

At the invitation of Judge Francis Fenton he moved to Auckland and took up the conductorship of the Auckland Choral Society, a post he was to hold until his dealth. He was also music master at the Ladies College, Remuera and in 1884-1886 sponsored music prizes for the Auckland Society of Arts competitions. In 1888 was appointed as inaugural professor of music at the Auckland University College.

Schmitt was a prolific composer although few of his works have survived. He wrote the music for the national anthem of Tonga in 1889, wrote a cantata “Art and mind” which was performed in Auckland, and several arrangements for piano.

Compositions (selected)
Romance sans paroles pour le piano. (Kyneton, Vic., 1863)
Ave. Spanish evening song. (Offenbach, 1863)
I’ve a welcome for thee. Ballad. (Offenbach, 1864)
Kyneton : fancy waltz for the piano. (Offenbach a.M., 1864)
Petit morceau de salon No. 1. (London: Andre, 1865)
Petit morceau de salon No. 2. (Frankfurt: Andre, 187-?)
Choral march. (London: Augener, 1879)
95th Psalm. (Andre: Offenbach, 188-?)
Art and mind. (Unpublished, 1888)

Other resources
Charles Nalden. ‘Schmitt, Carl Gustav’, Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1993, updated January, 2012. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,
For his activities in Australia, see Australharmony


Schott, James Arthur

Oboeist, composer, conductor, bandmaster, teacher
Born: 1831, Ontario, Canada
Died: 1888, Hobart, Australia
Active in New Zealand: 1875-1876

James Schott’s grandfather founded the well known German music publishing house, B. Schott’s Sohne of Mainz. Born in Canada he moved to Australia in 1851 and in 1875 came to Dunedin with the Simonsen Opera Company. After a year in New Zealand he abandoned his wife and children and ran away to Hobart with one of his students.

Come to the fairy dell. (Dunedin: Charles Begg, 1876)

Come to the fairy dell. In: Songs of old Dunedin [videorecording] / [performed by] Judy Bellingham and Terence Dennis. (Auckland: Ode, 2007) 

Other resources
For his activities in Australia, see Australharmony


Schwartz, Siegmund

Violinist, pianist, band leader, music teacher, choir leader, piano retailer
Born: 1855?, Bavaria, Germany
Died: 1910, Melbourne, Australia
Active in New Zealand: 1870-1884

Siegmund Schwarz was a teenager when he arrived in New Zealand. In the 1870s he ran the Siegmund Schwartz Quadrille Band which performed at numerous event. He formed and lead the choir at the Jewish Congregation in Christchurch. After his wine merchants business fell into difficulties he emigrated to Melbourne where he became a piano and instruments importer and dealer. He also continued to be active with the choir at the St Kilda Synagogue.

Engelfield Galop. (Christchurch: Lyttleton Times, 1879)


Searelle, Luscombe

Composer, impressario
Born: 1853, England.
Died: 1907, England
Active in New Zealand : 1864-1880s

Willliam Luscombe Searelle was born in England in 1853 with the surname Searell – he later added the final ‘e’ . He came to New Zealand as a child of 11 and attended Christ’s College in Christchurch. Intending a career in law, he turned his back on this to join the theatre, touring Australia and New Zealand. He wrote a number of operas and in the early 1880s returned to England. He soon returned to Australia and New Zealand, becoming a threatre manager. He then migrated to South Afrida which remained his home until a return to England after the outbreak of the South African wars.

Compositions (Selected)
Zealandia: polka mazurka. (187-?)
The wreck of the Pinafore. (Unpublished, 1880)
Estrella.(New York: Wm A. Pond, 1883)
Estrella valse. (London: Duff & Stewart, 188-?)
Bobadil. (Sydney: Miller, 1884)
The Soudan march. (Sydney: 1885)
Isadora (1885)
The babies on our block: galop. (Sydney, Elvy, 189-)

‘My Own! My Own’, from the opera Estrella. Performed by Oliver Sewell (NZOPera, 2020)

Commons, J. ‘Luscombe Searelle’. In: New Zealand Opera Studies.
Harcourt, P. Fantasy & folly. (Wellington: Steele Roberts, 2002), p.19-26.
Pinner, M. Mr. Luscombe Searelle , the popular composer. (PhD thesis, University of Sydney, 2012)
Thomson, J. M. Biographical dictionary of New Zealand composers. (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1990), p. 125-127

Photo source:
Title page to The Zealandia Polka Mazurka, composed by Luscombe Searell. Ref: 1/2-147094. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22750877


Seegner, Caroline Elizabeth

Born: 1847, Birmingham, England
Died: 1928, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1884-1929

Carrie Seegner was the wife of Carl Seegner, an Auckland merchant and for some years the General Consul for Germany in New Zealand. As well as having an interest in music and composing two short items she was also an amateur artist.

Britons all. (London: Vincent, 1903)
A daily prayer. (Auckland: Wilson & Horton, 1921)


Shearsby, Agnes Hartwell Emma

Pianist, musical director, radio broadcaster, music teacher, composer
Born: 1892, Whanganui
Died: 1975?, Christchurch?

Agnes Shearsby was a pupil of Gordon McBeth in Whanganui and Alfred Bunz in Christchurch. She lived much of her life in Christchurch but also with extended periods in Auckland and Whanganui where she was music mistress at Wanganui Girls High School. She performed at numerous events, leading the Grand Orchestra and the 3YA Orchestra and acting as musical director for a number of stage productions including A la carte in 1922 in which Ngaio Marsh was the stage manager. She regularly appeared on radio broadcasts both as a pianist and also as a presenter and was a regular accompanist at the Competitions. She composed a number of works throughout her life, only one of which appears to have been published. For a period in the late 1910s and early 1920s she was also referred to as Mrs Harry Ellwood.

Queen of song. (Wanganui: Unpublished, 1912)
Peggy waltz. (Christchurch: Armagh St Music, 1915)
Minuet in G, and Minuet in D flat. (Christchurch: 1916) – Performed at the 1916 Festival of New Zealand Music.
Minuet and Trio in G. (Unpublished, 1943)


Silk, Arthur

Piano and organ tuner, violinist, organist, music retailer, composer
Born:  1868, 11 April, Scotland
Died: 1962, 24 December, Auckland
Active in New Zealand:  1887? – ?

Began working as a piano tuner for Hoffman and Sons in Wellington c1887.   In 1896 he established his own tuning business in Wellington and also supplied organs, pianos and violins.  He was a violinist with the Wellington Orchestral Society and played the organ.  He moved to Masterton, then Palmerston North, Raglan and Otaki before going to Nelson in 1917.  In 1928 he moved to Auckland.  

Monowai Waltz. (Wellington: Hoffmann, 1891)
A Lover’s Prayer. (Wellington: McKee & Gamble, 1891)

Other resources
Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Wellington, p. 452 (photo source).


Singer, Dorothy Rose (nee Nicol)

D. R. Singer. Sun, 17 July 1930.

Violinist, pianist, viola player, musical director and arranger
Born: 1892, Auckland
Died: 1930, Auckland

A pupil of the W. H. Webbe School of Music Dorothy Nicol was a frequent performer on both violin and piano. She spent one season as chorus mistress for J. C. Williamson’s in Australia and was Deputy Leader of the Bohemian Orchestra in Auckland. As well as her solo instrumental work she was conductor of the Lyric Orchestra which provided the musical accompaniment to a number of silent films and also arranged the music and directed the orchestra of a number of theatrical productions. In 1919 she married the prominent lawyer and poet Richard Stringer and continued her busy musical life including recording for the IYA radio station and leading their in-house musical group along with organising a number of charity concerts. She died of accidental poisoning aged 37.


Sleath, Henry Walter

Music retailer, bandmaster, music teacher, harmonium maker, tuner
Born: 1828, England
Died: 1918, Brisbane, Australia
Active in New Zealand: c1862-c1866

Henry Sleath was a bandmaster in Coventry before coming to Auckland c1862. He set up business in Shortland Street where he taught music as well as selling pianos and harmoniums. He was also a tuner of pianos and harmoniums and repaired band instruments. In 1866 he moved his music business to Brisbane where he remained for the rest of his life.


Sonderhof, George Henry Paul

University of Auckland Library

Pianist, musical director, tenor, clarinettist, composer, music teacher
Born: 1867, Eisenach?, Germany
Died: 1935, Bendigo, Australia
Active in New Zealand: 1899-1907

Paul Sonderhof (born Georg Heinrich Paul Sonderhof) arrived in Australia in 1889. He initially formed a general importing firm but after it failed he established himself as a music teacher in Riverina. He travelled widely throughout Victoria acting as Musical Director for a number of theatrical performances.

In 1899 he relocated to Dunedin. There he again established himself as a music teacher while at the same time being very active directing a band and later brass band at numerous concerts, balls and parties. He also established a vocal quartet (Dunedin Meistersinger) and a female Liederkranz choir. During this time he published a number of piano pieces, referencing New Zealand locations or themes. He returned to Australia about 1907, settling in Melbourne. His New Zealand for ever march was selected to be performed at the Anglo-American Peace Centenary Ball in London in 1914.

Princess waltz. (Sonderhof, 1899)
Maori belle waltz. (Dunedin: Sonderhof; Leipzig: Geidel, 1899), and in Allan’s Famous Dance Album No. 4, 1901.
Beneath the southern cross. (Dunedin: London Organ and Piano, 1902)
Toujours la votre. (Dunedin: 1902)
New Zealand for ever: march. (Dunedin: Hogg, 1904)
Off to the Sounds. (Dunedin: 1905)
Im Thuringer Wald. (Melbourne?: 1911)

Maori belle waltz. Mews, Douglas. Germans in Maoriland? (2) Classical Musicians. RNZ Appointment, 15 April, 2015.
New Zealand for ever: march. Mews, Douglas. Germans in Maoriland? (2) Classical Musicians. RNZ Appointment, 15 April, 2015.

Other resources
Owens, Samantha, Germans in Maoriland? (2) Classical Musicians. RNZ Appointment, 15 April, 2015.


Sou alle, Ali Ben

Illustrated Sydney News, Dec, 1854

Saxophonist, composer, inventor
Born: 1824, Arras, France
Died: 1899, Paris, France
Years active in New Zealand: 1855

Ali Ben Sou Alle, born Charles Jean-Baptiste Soualle, was a French musician who during the 1850s toured the world performing on the ‘turkophone’, which was an early form of the saxophone. He took time out from his tour of Australia and spent several months in 1855 touring New Zealand. As was his pattern, he composed some pieces referencing the country he had visited. He continued to make important developments to the saxophone on his return to France.

Compositions (relating to New Zealand):
Adieu a la Nouvelle Zealande. Valse. (Paris: Parent, 1861)
Caprice. Souvenir de Nouvelle-Zealande. For saxophone and piano. (Lagny sur Marne: Musik Fabrik, 2007)

Other resources:
For information on Sou Alle’s Australian tour see Australharmony
Cottrell, Stephen. “Charles Jean-Baptiste Soualle and the saxophone”. In Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, 2018, pp179-208
Ortega, Jose-Modesto. “Ali-Ben-Sou-Alle’s Turcophone patent (1860): the closest bridge between clarinet and saxophone.” In Galpin Society Journal, Vol. 72, Mar 2019, pp175-191.


Spackman, Henry Goold

Organist, violinist, music teacher, music retailer, piano tuner, conductor
Born: 1850, Corsham, England
Died: 1941, Hastings, New Zealand
Active in New Zealand: 1883-1941

Harry Spackman was appointed as organist at St John’s, Napier and settled in the city. He initially also opened a music retail shop but after a year gave up the business. He continued to obtain and sell instruments on commission. He taught music privately and at Napier Girls High School. After 10 years he moved to Gisborne and from there to Whanganui where he was appointed Music Master at Wanganui Collegiate. He returned to Napier, continuing his teaching but also developing a piano tuning business.

Other resources
Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Taranaki, Hawkes Bay and Wellington Provincial, p. 359 (photo source).


Spackman, Clement Roy

Music teacher, organist, composer, conductor
Born: 1887, Napier
Died: 1961, New York

Roy Spackman was the son of Harry Spackman and no doubt received some of his early musical education from him. Later in his life he complete a Bachelor of Music from the University of New Zealand. He was music master at Napier Boys High School and organist at St Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Later in his career he was appointed as organist ay Knox Church, Dunedin and music master at both of Otago Boys and Otago Girls High School. Many of his compositions fall outside the period of this site but they covered a wide range of instrumental groupings, including a cantata which won second prize in the choral section of the Centennial Music Competition in 1940.

Compostions (pre-1920)
Serenade for orchestra. (Napier: Unpublished, 1912)
Valse de joie. (Auckland: Eady, 1913)
Mardi Gras march: (Napier: Napier 30000 Club, 1919)

Other resources
Jane, Philip. “Clement Roy Spackman (1887-1961): the next generation of Spackman music-making in the colonies.” In: CHOMBEC News, Winter 2013/2014, No. 16, p6-8.
Roy Spackman papers. (Hocken Library ARC-0497)


Speedy, William John

Organist, music teacher, piano tuner
Born: 1843?, Dublin?
Died: 1876, Timaru
Active in New Zealand: 1862-1876

According to his obituary notice, Speedy was the son of a doctor in Dublin, trained as a medical professional and came out to New Zealand as a ship’s doctor. Unfortunately no independent evidence has been found to support this. When he advertised as a music teacher and piano tuner in 1862, he included the claim that he had been an assistant organist at Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin.

By 1865 he had moved to Timaru and spent the rest of his life in the South Canterbury, North and Central Otago areas. He provided the piano accompaniment for some theatre groups including the Star Variety Troupe. His obituary also noted his fondness for liquor and put this down as the cause of his early death.


Spensley, James

Lyttleton Times, 27 February 1869

‘Cellist, singer, music retailer, publisher
Born: 1831, England
Died: 1904, 11 December, Christchurch
Years active in New Zealand: c1862-1904

James Spensley arrived in Christchurch c1862 after spending some time in Victoria. His services as a ‘cellist were in demand for Christchurch’s earliest concerts and he was a regular member of the town’s orchestral societies. In 1869 he purchased the premises of Charles Bonnington and set up business as a music retailer in Cashel Street. The business later moved to Hereford Street and then to High Street. There were various partners involved in the business which was dissolved after his death. Another business he operated was Spensley’s Hall in High Street. His son, Hector, was a violinist and his daughter, Isabella a concert performer and teacher.


Spiller, William Henry

National Library of NZ

Violinist, music retailer, composer, music teacher, music director
Born: 1845, Hobart, Tasmania
Died: 1926, Hobart, Tasmania
Active in New Zealand: 1877-1895

Spiller already had a reputation as a violinist, composer and orchestra leader when he settled in Wellington after touring with various touring companies. He purchased a property in Boulcott St where he taught music and his wife taught dancing. He was Leader of the Theatre Royal orchestra and had his own Quadrille Band.

In late 1884 he established the Neumeyer Piano Depot (sometimes referred to as Spiller’s Academy of Music) where he sold pianos and American reed organs. He composed and had published several dances pieces before relocating to Sydney in 1895. He then returned to Hobart where he continued to teach and perform until his death. His estate was rumoured to include a violin of great value which then went missing.

Prince Alfred waltz. (Hobart: J. Walch, 1868)
Flying Squadron galop. (Hobart: J. Walch, 1869)
Pearl galop. (Sydney: Illustrated Sydney News, 1874)
Leila polka. (Wellington: Unpublished, 1882)
Louise waltz. (Wellington: Unpublished, 1883)
Arawa polka. (Wellington: Neumeyer, 1885)
Fedora mazurka. (Lyttleton Times, 1887)
USS Polka. (Wellington: Neumeyer, 189-?)
Bay of Islands mazurka. (London: Wickens, 1892, and Melbourne: W. H. Glen, 1896)
New barn dance. (Wellington: Neumeyer, 1892)
Tennis dance. (Wellington: Neumeyer, 1892)
Lawn dance. (Wellington: Neumeyer, 1893)
God save all here. (Hobart: Unpublished, 1895)
The Chimes, for piano. (Hobart: Davies Bros, 1910)

Other resources
For information on Spiller’s life in Australia see Australharmony.


Squarise, Raffaello

Violinist, teacher, conductor, and composer
Born: 1856, Vincenza, Italy
Died: 1945, Roxburgh, Central Otago
Active in New Zealand: 1880-1945

Classically trained as a violinist and after serving as military bandmaster at Contarina and municipal bandmaster at Arzignano, Squarise left for Australia in 1882. After 7 years working mostly in  Adelaide and with various touring companies he moved to Dunedin in 1889 to take up the position of conductor for the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, in which he also appeared as a soloist. He stayed on, becoming an influential figure in Dunedin, particularly in the development of orchestral playing. During this time he wrote and had performed his one opera, Fabian, and also wrote a number of shorter works. He established the Dunedin Philharmonic Society which he led for almost 30 years, retiring to Central Otago.

Compositions (selected):
Symphony in C minor. (1875)
L’Addio, for violin and piano. (c.1884)
Mass St Joseph. (1890, 1914)
Imps waltz. (Dunedin: Dresden, 1892)
Fabian, comic opera.
Fabian grand march. (Dunedin: Corrigan, 1895)
Canto di primavera. (Dunedin: Corrigan, 1895)
Ridi e ballo polka. (Dunedin: Dresden, 1903)
Grand Funeral March in memory of Richard Seddon. (1906)
Onward Otago, march. (1914)

Other Resources:
Drummond, John D., ‘Squarise, Raffaello’ in Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Auckland: Auckland University Press; Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs, 1993), pp. 474–476.
James, Dianne, ‘Squarise, Raffaello’ in Southern People: A Dictionary of Otago Southland Biography, ed. Jane Thomson. (Dunedin: Dunedin City Council and Longacre Press, 1998.)
Murray, David, ‘Raffaello Squarise: The Colonial Career of an Italian Maestro’, PhD thesis, University of Otago, 2005.

Photo source
Public domain photo by Charles Clarke Armstrong


Squire, Byron

Piano tuner and manufacturer, music retailer, composer
Born:  1848, London, England, 1848
Died: 1915, 24 October, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1894-1915

Came from a family of London piano makers.  In 1881 he went to Australia where he tuned and sold pianos.  Came to Auckland from Sydney in 1894 and established Byron Squire & Son, Pianoforte Manufacturers as a branch of his family’s business, Squire Pianoforte Manufacturers of London.  The Pandora of his composition was his yacht. 

Pandora Waltz. (Auckland: Byron Square & Co, 1909)

Other resources
Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Auckland, p. 266 (photo source).|


Stebbing, William Horace

Baritone singer, pianist, composer
Born: 1869, Auckland
Died: 1949, Auckland
Pseudonym used: Vergne White

Horace Stebbing started performing while still a teenager and became a stalwart of the concert scene in Auckland, and for a period int he 1890s in Wellington. He was married to the pianist Clarice Brabazon and together they performed and also composed an occasional song. He recorded his song Victory on an early Edison cylinder recording in 1899. Stebbing also wrote poetry. Employed by the Lands Department for many years, he was a leading figure in establishing the Boy Scouts movement, rising to be District Commander for Auckland and was also deeply involved in promoting the Young Citizens League.

Victory. (Under the pseudonym Vergne White. (1898)
Lilla Lee (Unpublished, 1899)
Two veterans. (Auckland : Brett, 1903)
Britannia’s hearts and hands : They ‘elp to rule the waves (Auckland: English and Foreign Piano Agency, 1906) (Music of They ‘elp to rule by John Hartwell).


Stevenson, Amy Jane

Violinist, viola player, music teacher, conductor
Born: 1870, Auckland
Died: 1959, Auckland

Amy Stevenson grew up in a musical household in Onehunga. Her father was a member of the Onehunga Glee Club and she gave her first performance as a pupil aged 11. She attended classes at the Auckland University College under Carl Schmidt and became an assistant violin teacher to him at the Ladies College, Remuera. She led the orchestra of the Onehunga Musical Society and was leader of the 2nd violins in the Auckland Orchestral Union orchestra. She travelled to study at the Royal Academy in London where in 1911 she was awarded a Bronze Medal. On returning to Auckland she resumed music teaching (violin, viola and piano) and was an active member of the Auckland Musician’s Society. She also conducted her own string orchestra which performed at a number of events.



Stewart, H. W.

Organist, singer, conductor, choir master, composer
Active in New Zealand: Fl 1890-1915

H. W. Stewart lived in Mataura and was organist at the Mataura Presbyterian Church, as well as conducting the Oddfellows’ choir and acting as secretary to the Mataura Band. His only known composition, Mataura Waltz was published in 1890.

Mataura Waltz. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1890)


Stokes, Frederick Herbert

F. Stokes (supplied by Stokes family descendents)

Musical director, pianist, organist, composer
Born: 1879, Dunedin
Died: 1945, Whanganui

Educated at Christian Brothers school in Dunedin, Stokes was a music pupil of Albert Vallis. He was organist at St Joseph’s Cathedral and accompanist for a number of touring companies including Lawton’s Australian Variety Company, the Hawtrey Comedy Company and the Geach-Marlow company. For many years he was director of the Fuller’s orchestra in Dunedin, also playing in a trio at the Arthur Barnett’s department store afternoon teas. Moving to Whanganui in 1927, he took on the roles of musical director at the Majestic Theatre and organist at St Mary’s Catholic Church.

Eventide Waltz. (Dunedin: Dresden, 1902)
Zealandia Quickstep (Dunedin?, 1902)
Ebb of the Tide. (Dunedin: Dresden, 1903)
Clinkerina: a Cakewalk. (?: 1905)


Stokes, Thomas Oliver

Born: 26 November 1858, London, England
Died: 19 July 1950, Wellington
Active in New Zealand: 1879-1950

Came to New Zealand in 1879 with his family and lived in Dunedin, Marlborough and Wellington. At the time of his composing True British Colonials he was manager of the Wairau dairy factory.

True British colonials. (Blenheim: Penny, 1901)


Stone, Isabella Logan (nee Matheson)

Music teacher, pianist, composer
Born: 1868, Dunedin
Died: 1924, Drummoyne, Australia

Isabella Matheson was educated at Otago Girls High School and learned music from Arthur Barth. As a young woman she sang the second soprano part in Gade’s Comala performed at the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition in Dunedin, 1889. However, piano was her main instrument and she spent two years studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. On her return she established herself as a music teacher, which she continued after her marriage to John Stone, son of the John Stone who established the Dunedin directories publisher, Stone, Son & Co.

Isabella also turned her hand to composing, achieving a second prize for a pianoforte composition at the Dunedin Competitions in 1906. In 1910 some of her small piano pieces were published.

La Fileuse and Papillons. (London: Vincent, and Dunedin: Stone, 1910)
Two sketches: 1. Etude melodique. 2. Feu Follet. (London: Vincent, and Dunedin: Stone, 1910)


Strong, Francis George

Violinist, pianist, music teacher, composer
Born: 188-?, England
Died: 19–?, Canada?
Active in New Zealand: 1894-1902

The winner of the Triad’s composition competition in 1897 was published as T. G. Strong of Nelson. However, this was actually F. G. Strong, a former pupil of Nelson College. Soon after the competition he moved to Wellington and thence to Napier where ne taught music and performed at the Napier Baptist Church. In 1902 he travelled to Great Britain to continue his music studies and published several works around 1910-1912. At the time of his father’s death in 1920 he was living in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The Daphne Honey-suckle Waltz. (Dunedin: The Triad, 1897)
Scotch thistle polonaise. (Unpublished, 1901)
King Lion : marches. (New York: Carl Fischer, c1910)
All along the river : waltzes. (London: Weekes, 1911)
Through Fire and Steel : Grand March. (London: Weekes, 1911)
Cloverdale : waltzes. (London: Weekes, 1912)
Dawn of Spring : waltzes. (London: Weekes, 1912)
Immortality : waltzes. (London: Weekes, 1912)
Reconciliation : waltzes. (London: Weekes, 1912)
Two songs. (London: Weekes, 1912)
Vengeance is mine : Grand March for Pianoforte. (London: Weekes, 1912)
Westward Ho! Grand March for Pianoforte. (London: Weekes, 1912)
What the Water-lily Sang. (London: Weekes, 1912)


Swallow, Martin

Pianist, organist, harpist, music teacher, composer
Born: 1846?, Yorkshire(?), England
Died: 1922, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1877-1890, 1903-1922

Arriving via a stay in Mebourne, Martin Swallow settled in Auckland in 1877. He established a high profile as a performer, both on the piano and organ, as well as being recognised as an excellent teacher. He was organist at a number of Auckland churches including St Paul’s and St Patricks, and acomposed a number of songs and piano works which which published locally.

Disquiet over his private life lead to the withdrawal of support, and he moved to Melbourne for 13 years before returning to New Zealand, settling in Wellington and resuming his profession as a music teacher.


Birdie. (Composed for Amy Sherwin). (Auckland, 1878)
The Stranger. (Auckland: Evening Star, 1878)
Ngati Maniapoto March. (Auckland: Unpublished, 1879)
Cardinal’s march. (Auckland: Brett,1879), and (Auckland: New Zealand Muse, 1880)
Oh, sing that song again. (Auckland: Brett. 1878)
Oh! Ask me not to sing. (Auckland, 1879?)
La Serenata. (Auckland: New Zealand Muse, 1880)
Little bunch of flowers. (Auckland: New Zealand Muse, 1880)
Nun’s processional march, for harp or piano
. (Auckland: New Zealand Muse, 1880), and, (England: Harts Harmonium, 1885)
The goblet. (Auckland, 1880)
Auckland march. (Auckland: Unpublished, 1882)
New Zealand jubilee march. (Auckland: Unpublished, 1890)
Saviour of the helpless. (Melbourne: Glen, 1900)

Other Resources:
Nichol, E. Dedicated to the colonial music-loving public. (PhD thesis, University of Auckland, 2017), p172 – 174.


Sykes, Charles

Organist, pianist, composer
Born: 1843, Huddersfield, England
Died: 1926 Melbourne, Australia
Active in New Zealand: 1862-1878

Appointed organist at the Baptist Church, Mirfield at the age of 13 after training under Sir Walter Parrett at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. On his arrival in Dunedin he was appointed organist at St Joseph’s Church. While in Dunedin he played the piano and organ for variety theatre. In 1871 he was declared bankrupt and in 1878 he left for Melbourne.

Sunshine and Tempest: Descriptive Fantasia. (Dunedin: Charles Begg & Co, 1874)
Sunshine and Tempest: Descriptive Fantasia. (Melbourne: W F Dixon & Co, 1885?)

Other Resources
For his activities in Australia see Australharmony.


Symons, Mary (nee Cook)

Photo source: Musical Heritage NZ Facebook page

Pianist, composer
Born: 1863, Foxton
Died: 1930, Warkworth
Te Arawa?

Mary Symons was born in Foxton of pakeha and Maori heritage. Her mother, Te Akau Meretini Cook was the step greatdaughter of Te Rauparaha. Mary and her husband James had many close connections to the Foxton area although they moved to Hastings in the 1910s.

Mary wrote the Ake Ake Waltz for the New Zealand contingents to the South African wars. One of her daughters, Ava (Octavia) became a violinist of note, studying in London and touring with several orchestras.

Ake ake waltz. (London: Charales Woolhouse, 1901)

Ake ake waltz. Blake Hodgetts Youtube


Talbot, Frank

See, Burry, Frederick Charles


Te Aro Music Warehouse (also known as E. J. King)

Location: Wellington
Established: 1886
Ceased business: 1911

Te Aro Music Warehouse, 1896

Established by Edwin James King. His eldest son Edwin James King Jnr later took over the management of the business while his father tuned and repaired pianos and taught.

The business published four original compositions, including one each by Edwin King Jnr and his younger brother, Francis.

Photo source
The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout, vol. 75, NZETC.


Tendall, George F.

Choirmaster, organist, music teacher
Born: 1845, England
Died: 1901, Christchurch
Active in New Zealand: 1880-1901

Director of Music and Choirmaster at Christchurch Cathedral from 1885-1901, Tendall was one of the many who emigrated to New Zealand in the hopes of improving their poor health. He arrived in 1880 and in 1885 was appointed lecturer in music at Canterbury University College, having himself been a pupil of John Stainer and completed a Bachelor of Music from Oxford. He composed a number of items, but few have survived.

Jubilee Hymn.  (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1887)

Other resources
Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury Provincial District (photo cource).


Terrill, John Richard Willoughby

Bandmaster, cornet player, composer
Born: 1844, St Agnes, Cornwall, England
Died: 1907, Thames
Active in New Zealand: 1880?-1907

Terrill spent some years in Australia before moving to New Zealand. Terrill was responsible for establishing a number of brass bands including the Christchurch City Reed Band, the Reefton Brass Band and the Komata Brass Band.

Maori war dance galop. (Christchurch: Unpublished, 1881)
Parihaka valse. (Christchurch: Unpublished, 1881)
Chimbo galop. (Christchurch: Unpublished, 1885)


Theomin, David Ezekiel (formerly David Ezekiel Benjamin)

Businessman, philanthropist, music retailer and publisher
Born: 1852, Bristol, England
Died: 1933, Dunedin
Active in New Zealand: 1879-1933

David Theomin joined his half-brother in Melbourne in 1874 before settling in Dunedin. With his father-in-law he developed the tannery firm of Michaelis, Hallenstein and Farqhuar (later Glendermid Ltd) and then established his own  business as a wholesaler and general importer. In 1883 he established the Dresden Pianoforte Manufacturing Agency to meet a demand for musical instruments. The firm was successful, with branches and agencies being located in many cities and towns.

As well as being an instrument retailer, Theomin encouraged local composers and the firm embarked on a publishing programme. Theomin’s interest in music was further expressed by his long membership of the Dunedin Male Voice Choir. He and his family also supported artists and the family home, Olveston, was filled with treasures from around the world.  He was also a leader in the Dunedin Jewish congregation and a proud supporter of Dunedin business enterprise.

Other resources
Mervyn Palmer. ‘Theomin, David Edward’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 February 2020)
Olveston Historic Home
Photo source. Dunedin Public Libraries and the Dunedin Lebanese Community: He purapura marara – Scattered seeds.


Thomas, Charles Stephen

Organist, composer
Born: 1848, Napier?
Died: 1911, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Active in New Zealand: 1869-1900?

After the publication of his Eloise Waltzes in 1870, Charles Thomas was herald as the first native, that is, born in New Zealand, to have composed such a work. While not necessarily accurate this does indicate the Thomas was one of the first New Zealand born and educated published composers. After living and working in Napier he relocated to Wellington, where he was invloved with the Exhibition in 1885. One of his works was arranged by his relative, George MacMaster, for the organ and published in Paris. 5000 copies of his New Zealand anthem were distributed through schools.

Eloise waltzes. (Dunedin: West, 1870)
New Zealand National Hymn. (Wellington: Reichardt, 1879, Bock & Cousins, 1885?, and Paris, 1893)
Exhibition inaugural cantata (Words only published, 1885)
The old year and the new. (?, 1889)
Consecration hymn. (Christchurch, 1890)
Marche funebre (Paris: Lebeau, 1892)


Thomas, William Edwin Somerset

Professor, organist, composer, conductor
Born: 1867, Oxford, England
Died: 1946, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1900 – 1946

Thomas received an extensive music education in England culminating in achieving a Doctor of Music from Oxford University. In 1900 he was appointed professor at Auckland University College of the University of New Zealand, a post he retained until his retirement in 1933. He was a prolific composer and arranger, composing works in a wide range of forms from oratorio to madrigal, symphony to solo instrumental.

Thomas was also conductor of a number of local choirs including the Auckland Choral Society, and the Auckland Liedertafel, and was the local examiner for the London College of Music examinations. He was by nature a retiring personality but was successful in lobbying for the beginnings of a music library although unsuccessful in his support for the establishment of a conservatorium.

Compositions (selected published) (see also the IMSLP site ( )for a number of works in manuscript)
And wilt thou weep: madrigal. (London: Novello, 1890)
Berceuse, for violin and piano. (London: Lyric, 1902)
The message of angels. (Auckland: New Zealand Illustrated Magazine, 1902)
The dawn of peace. (Auckland: 1902)
Kingdom of love. (Auckland: Brett, 1903)
Nativity Op 31B. (Auckland: Brett, 1907)
The love hath come too late. (Auckland: Eady, 1910)
A Belgian lament op34. (Auckland: Eady, 1917)

Other resources:
Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1919), p.949
Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Auckland Provincial District, p. 199
Nalden, C. A history of the conservatorium of music, University of Auckland. (Auckland: Faculty of Music, 1981)

Photo source:
W E Thomas. Ref: 1/1-001742-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22617751


Thompson, Robert

Music retailer, composer, flautist
Born: 1855, Roxeth, England
Died: 1915, 24 April
Active in New Zealand: 1874-1915

Robert Thompson came to Lyttleon on the Sir Edward Paget in 1856 but soon after returned to England and then went to Melbourne. In 1865 he returned to New Zealand. working first in the flax-dressing industry. In 1874 he went into partnership with John J. Milner when they bought the Canterbury Music Depot, the business being known as Milner & Thompson. Milner retired from the business in 1881.

Milner & Thompson was the largest music retailer in Christchurch and had branches in Napier (1890-1896) and Ashburton (1903-1910). It was known for its innovative advertising and in 1881 produced a series of tokens initially advertising the business but which became part of the general currency.

Milner & Thompson published fifteen known works between 1885 and 1905, including a composition by Robert Thompson written to accompany Rudyard Kipling’s poem The Absent Minded Beggar. They also published two Apollo Music Albums.

Three of Robert Thompson’s sons worked in the business and when it was sold to Charles Begg & Co in 1920 his son Horace, who was a piano tuner, remained as manager.

The Absent Minded Beggar. ( Christchurch: Milner & Thompson, 1900).

Other resources
Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury, p. 235.
Nichol, E, Dedicated to the colonial music public DOI, 53-61


Tidman, Harold Woods (Hampton Woods)

Music retailer, pianist, composer
Born: c1883, England
Died: 1940, New Zealand
Active in New Zealand: 1909 – 1940

Born in England, Harold Tidman began work in Begg’s Dunedin branch in 1909 and two years later was appointed manager of the company’s Oamaru branch. He held this post for five years until he left the music trade and moved to Invercargill.

His compositions were published under the nom de plume Hampton Woods and were all composed during the First World War.

Keep on keepin’ on. (Oamaru: Charles Begg & Co, 1915)
Australia’s emblem. (Melbourne: Allan’s, 1915)
Watching with the fleet. (published c1915)
Dear old mother. (Oamaru: Charles Begg & Co, 1916)
‘Don’t you think you ought to be in khaki?’ (unpublished, 1916)


Timson, Jesse

Organist, choir director, conductor, music teacher
Born: 1861, Chelmsford, England
Died: 1924, Dunedin
Active in New Zealand: 1888-1924

Appointed to the role of organist at the First Church in Dunedin Timson stayed on in that role until 1919. He was also conductor of the Dunedin Liedertafel for many years and was one of those instrumental in reforming the Dunedin Choral Society. He provided accompaniment for many soloists and chamber groupings as well as being musical director for the Dunedin Savage Club and the Union Steamship Company’s Tarawera Sounds excursions.

The silver lining: for male voice choir. (1896: Unpublished)
The song of everything: for male voice choir. (1896: Unpublished)
God of Gods: hymn. (Dunedin: Crown, 1897)
A loyal song of the Queen. (Dunedin: 1897)
Mother England. (1914)

Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Otago and Southland, p. 216.
Photo from Otago Witness, April 27, 1910.


Towle, Henry Francis

Composer, musical director, tenor, organist, music teacher
Born: 1848, Geelong, Australia
Died: 1899, Dunedin
Active in New Zealand: 1878? – 1899

Harrison, W. H. 1882 –
Harrison, H. T. 1894 –

Henry Towle had three distinct musical identities during his career. Born Henry Towle he changed his performing name to W. H. Harrison in 1882, then H. F. Harrison in 1894. He acted as musical director for a number of musical theatre companies including Mugroves and Pollards.

The light that leads me never dies. (Christchurch: Canterbury Music Depot, 1880?)
Prince Bulbo (unpublished)

Other Resources
Australian Variety Theatre Archive


Towsey, Arthur John

NZ Illustrated Magazine, June 1901

Organist, conductor, music teacher
Born: 1847, Henley-on-Thames, England
Died: 1931, Cambridge, Waikato
Active in New Zealand: 1865-1931

Arthur Towsey learned the organ from a number of leading English organists including Sir John Stainer. He took on the role of organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, Dunedin in 1865, staying there until returning to England in 1878 for some further studies before resuming his role in Dunedin. He was one of the early conductors of the Dunedin Choral Society. In 1884 he had moved to a position at St John’s Church, Christchurch where he was also director of the Liedertafel, Musical Society and Amateur Comic Opera Company He returned to Dunedin, was musical director for the 1889 New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition and then moved to Auckland (St Matthew’s) . From there he relocated to Whanganui, settling in Cambridge on retirement.

His skills as an organist were without question and his abilities as a conductor meant he was sought after and also become involved in establishing a number of groups. He was followed by his some Cyril and grandson Pat as leading piano teachers in their communities.

Bridal march, for organ. (Unpublished, 1880)
Wherewithal shall a young man: anthem for tenor solo and chorus. (London: Novello, 1880)
Finland love song, for female voices. (Unpublished, 1897)

Other Resources:
Towsey Tales


Trimnell, Thomas Tallis

Organist, choirmaster, music teacher and composer
Born: 1827, Bristol, England
Died: 1897, Wellington
Active in New Zealand: 1885-1897

Tallis Trimnell had a well-established reputation and career in England as an organist and pianist. He had obtained a BMus from Oxford Univeresity and as well as having positions in Sheffield gave recitals at a number of other venues. In 1885, for reasons of health, he moved to New Zealand, first to Auckland where he was organist at St Mary’s, Parnell and secondly, from 1890, to St Peter’s Wellington. His first stay in Auckland was very short, with him leaving soon after supposedly because of the poor nature of the organ and lack of career prospects. However, he returned the following year (1886) and stayed in New Zealand until his death. As well as providing music for services, he gave organi recitals and also acted as an adjudicator for brass band competitions.

Compositions (during New Zealand residence only)
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D major. (London: Novello, 1892)
Magnidicat and Nunc Dimittis in F major. (London: Novello, 1892)
Kyrie, and Nicene Creed. (London: Novello, 1893)
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in E flat major. (London: Novello, 1894)
Cantate Domino & Deus Misereatur in E major. (London: Novello, 1895) (Novello’s Parish Choir Book, etc. No. 243)
The Earth is the Lord’s: 24th psalm. (Wellington: 1896)
A Festival Communion Service in … C major. (London: Novello, 1897)
O clap your hands. (London: Novello and Ewer, 1900)

Other Resources:
Thomson, John M. Biographical dictionary of New Zealand composers. (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1990)


Triphook, John Robert

Music teacher, music seller, choirmaster, organist
Born: 1857, Wellington
Died: 1938

John Triphook was the son of Thomas Triphook. He was born in Wellington but later lived in Christchurch where he had a music business in partnership with his father and brother from 1876 until 1877. He then moved to Oamaru where he taught the piano and violin. He later worked in Spensley’s Music Warehouse in Christchurch for 12 years. Following a move to Whangarei he taught the piano and the violin, and was choirmaster and organist at the Anglican Church.

Other Resource: Cyclopedia of New Zealand: Auckland Provincial District, p.546 (photo source).


Triphook, Thomas Dawson

Engineer, music seller
Born: 1828, Ireland
Died: 1899, Bay of Islands
Active in New Zealand: 1856-1899

Thomas Triphook worked as an engineer in Wellington, Napier and Christchurch. He played the clarinet in the Christchurch Orchestral Society, was a member of the Christchurch Harmonic Society and founded the Mendelssohn Society. In 1876 he started a music business in Christchurch but this closed after a year. He later moved to the Bay of Islands where he resumed his career as an engineer.


Trowell, Arnold Thomas Wilberforce

Cellist, composer, music teacher
Born: 1887, Wellington
Died: 1966, England.
Active in New Zealand: – 1907.

Although most of his career was spent in England, Arnold Trowell was born in New Zealand and received his early education in Wellington. He and his twin brother Garnet left for study in Europe as mere 16 year olds. He became a professor of music at the Guildhall School of Music and then the Royal Academy of Music. He composed a number of works for cello, ranging from smaller chamber works to a cello concerto. He is also remembered for his connections with the New Zealand author Katherine Mansfield.

Compositions (Selected pre-1920):
Rêverie du soir : violoncello (or violin) with pianoforte accompaniment : op. 12. (London: Bunz, 1907)
Six morceaux pour violoncelle avec accomp. de piano, op. 20. (London: Schott, 1908)
3 morceaux pour piano. no. 3, Valse-scherzo : op. 18. (London: Laudy, 1908)
Capriccio : op. 18, no. 2. (London: Laudy, 1908)
Six morceaux lyriques pour piano. Rêverie tarantelle : op. 26, no. 3, (London: Laudy, 1909)
Nocturne. Op16. (London: Schott, 1909)
Concerto for violoncelle avec accompagnement d’orchestre (ou piano) : op. 33. (London: Schott, 1909)

Griffiths, Martin. Arnold Trowell: violoncellist, composer and pedagogue. PhD thesis, University of Waikato, 2012.

Other Resources:
Griffiths, Martin. Arnold Trowell: violoncellist, composer and pedagogue. PhD thesis, University of Waikato, 2012.
Trowell, Arnold Thomas Wilberforce, 1887-1966 : Music scores and papers. Alexander Turnbull Library. MS-Group-1661

Photo source:
A young Arnold Trowell playing the ‘cello. Ref: 1/2-050216-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22722283


Trussell, Charles

Composer, band adjudicator, euphonium player, choir conductor
Born: 1869, London, England
Died: 1947, Queensland, Australia
Active in New Zealand: 1895 – 1907

Receiving most of his musical education was enlisted in the 14th Regiment of the Imperial Army, Trussell emograted to Australia on his discharge. He further migrated to New Zealand from Tasmania, settling in Auckland. He was Bandmaster of the Newton Brass Band before moving to become Bandmaster of the Nelson Garrison Band, where he also set to music some songs by Laura Holyoake.

He frequently took on the responsibilities of being adjudicator at various brass band competitions in New Zealand and Australia and over the years provided the music for a number of the test peces. His works were published in various Australian Band Journals including the Military Band Journal and Sutton’s Journal.

Compositions (selected)
Pateena waltz. (Tasmania, 1889)
Brothers. (Nelson: Colonist, 1901)
Rally round the Union Jack. (Dunedin: Dresden, 1902)
Heart’s delight. (Melbourne: Military Band Journal, 1905)
Joys of life. (Melbourne: Langley, 1905)

March: Maryborough. Paeroa Municipal Band, 1947?. Nga Taonga 5054
March, Rifle Volunteers. Waihi Federal Band, 1947. Nga Taonga 5061


Tutschka, Herbert Joseph

Violinist, piano tuner and repairer, music teacher, orchestra leader and conductor
Born: 1883, Sydney, Australia
Died: 1936, Sydney, Australia
Active in New Zealand: 1895-1930?

Herbert Tutschka was the son of Louis Tutschka, and like his father a talented violinist. He performed as both a soloist and member of orchestras, and was also the conductor of the Hamilton Orchestral Society. By profession he was a piano tuner and repairer, working for Colliers and also the British and Continental Piano Company.

From his home in Hamilton he moved to Wellington in 1906 where he continued his trade and was also a member of the Wellington Professional Orchestral. In 1919 he was the Leader of the Wellington Original Jazz Band.


Tutschka, Ludwig (Louis) Leopold Victor

Violinist, pianist, music teacher, conductor
Born: 1855?, Austria
Died: 1896, Auckland
Active in New Zealand: 1882-1896

Tutschka was a member of the Austrian Band which toured Australia from 1880. He was appointed conductor of the Bundaberg Musical Union but joined the Tambour Opera Company as Musical Director for its tour of New Zealand in 1882/83. In 1884 he set up as a music teacher in Auckland, advertising that he had attended the Imperial Academy of Music, Vienna. Amongst his pupils were Winifred and Muriel Kerr-Taylor for whom he wrote a song. He was also visiting music master at the Girls High School, Mrs Clayton’s School. Parnell, and the Church of England Grammar School, Parnell.

After moving to Napier in 1895 on account of poor health he returned to Auckland in 1896 but died at the age of 41.

The Queensland Polka. (Unpublished, 1881)
[Waltz], (Unpublished, performed 1884).
The arrow and the song. (Unpublished, 1889)