Some stories of Henry “Harry” Hyndes
Some stories of Henry “Harry” Hyndes

Some stories of Henry “Harry” Hyndes

composer of the Mindaribba Waltz published circa 1895

Henry Charles Hyndes, known to family and friend as Harry, was the son of furniture maker and
retailer Robert Hyndes and Emily Susannah Hyndes, nee Jenkins. His father, had emigrated
from Roscommon, Ireland with his family on the Ayrshire which arrived at Sydney on 25 October
Harry was the second of twelve children and was born on 4 December 1862 at his paternal
grandmother’s home at Shepherd Street, Darlington in Sydney. He lived with his parents and
siblings in West Maitland, spending his early years in their residence over the shop on High
Street. Educated at the schools of St. John run by the Dominican Nuns, his interest and ability on
the piano was soon noticed and encouraged. He then entered St. Patrick’s College at Goulburn,
followed by two years study with Signor Giorza in Sydney. Although he had special talents he
enjoyed the outdoors and when the family moved to “Sans Souci” in Regent Street the house
provided a large extended playground for Harry and his siblings.
His dedication to his music became obvious to his parents and at the age of seventeen his father
made arrangements for him to study his passion in Italy and Harry was accepted into the
Conservatoire de Musique in Milan. Here he received instruction from the best masters in Italy,
considered to be second to none and he became a highly valued pupil. Prior to his departure from
the Conservatoire he was presented with a piano that Senior Adreoli, one of the great masters,
had had made for his pupil whom he considered to be almost perfect. This gift cost 300 guineas.
Harry had the piano shipped to Sydney, and later the instrument was installed in the Palings
Music Store in Sydney where Harry was teaching.
Harry played before the Queen of Italy and he dedicated his composition “Souvenirs of Italy” to
her Highness. His other known composition titled “Mindaribba Waltz” was published by
Palings. Mindaribba is the name the local aboriginal people gave to the Maitland area and why
Harry used that name is a puzzle. A simple reason could be that Mindaribba is a much more
flowing name and a far more musical title to his work, than Maitland Waltz. It was without doubt
in honour of the place he called home.
On his return to Australia, Harry performed with other musicians in his debut concert in Sydney.
The report in the Sydney Morning Herald and another from the Echo is an enlightening look at
his abilities.
Described as a bright star in his profession Harry’s untimely death robbed Australia of an
amazing talent that was destined for greatness.
His Obituary published in the Maitland Weekly Mercury on 28 May 1898 at the young age of 35
reveals the strong sense of loss felt by his family, friends and social contacts.
SMH Mon. 2/3/1885 p.7

Mr. Harry Hyndes, a young Australian pianist, will give his debut concert to-morrow night, at
the New Masonic Hall, Castlereagh-street, under the patronage of his Excellency the Governor
and Lady Augustus Loftus, Rear-Admiral Tryon and the officers of the Nelson, the members of
the Ministry, and his Worship the Mayor. Mr. Hyndes who will be remembered by many Sydney
and Maitland people as having displayed great talent when quite a lad, and who has been
cultivating that talent in Italy for several years past, was to have given this concert some weeks
ago, but was compelled to postpone it owing to an injury to his thumb, which made him unable to
SMH Tue. 3/3/1885 p.11

Mr. Harry Hyndes, the Australian pianist, who has lately arrived from England, having finished
a three years study of music on the continents, will give an invitation debut concert on Tuesday
evening next, the 10th of March, in the New Masonic Hall. It will be remembered that Mr.
Hyndes had arranged to give a concert on the evening the 5th February last, for which a large
number of invitations were issued; but owing to his sudden illness a postponement of the concert
became necessary. Fresh invitations for the forthcoming concert have been issued, which alone
will be available.
SMH 11/3/1885 p.10 – Amusements

At the new Masonic Hall last night an entertainment was given at which Mr. Harry Hyndes
made his debut as a pianist. There was a very large attendance of ladies and gentlemen who were
present by invitation and who, judging by the manifestations they made of their pleasure, must
have thoroughly enjoyed the programme prepared for them. Mr. Hyndes is a native of Maitland,
in this colony, but has studied music for four years at Milan, and he has now announced his
intention of settling in Sydney and practicing as a professor of the pianoforte. The programme
comprised a variety of high-class compositions of an elaborate character by Rubenstein,
Mendelssohn, Costa, Pinsuti, Chopin, and composers of equal excellence. A commencement was
made with a trio in G minor (adagio and acherzo) by Rubenstein, in which there took part M. de
Willimoff on the violin, Herr Patek on the violoncello, and Mr. Hyndes on the pianoforte. In the
first part of the composition but little opportunity was afforded to Mr. Hyndes to exhibit his
abilities, but in the second that gentleman was more fortunate, and in rapid passages proved them
most effectually. His part then became more prominent, and he played it with decision, and with
a facility for delicately fingering intricate passages, and with an unpretentious confidence that
showed him to have been subject to experienced training and long practice, and to have become a
master of the noble instrument at which he intends to preside. Subsequently he played Etude No.
7, op. 25, and Valse Brillante No. 1, op 34, by Chopin. For these he was favoured with many
beautiful bouquets, and, being encored, he responded with “Remembrances of Italy,” a waltz of
his composition, which he has dedicated to the Queen of that fair country. He also played a
concerto in F minor (primo tempo) by Chopin, in which he was assisted by Mr. Fred McQuade,
who undertook the orchestral part arranged by Reinecke. In this as in his other efforts he
exhibited much power of facile movement over the keyboard, and in fact throughout the whole of
his playing he created a very favourable voice, sang “I’m a Roatner,” by Mendelssohn, a difficult
composition, which, however, the singer rendered with an ease and expressiveness which won for
him many and hearty manifestations of approval. The Evening Prayer, from Costa’s “Eli,” was
sung by Miss Marie St. Clair; Mons. de Willimoff played on the violin a composition by
Mendelssohn; and Mr. Morgan in a pleasant way sang Pinsuti’s charming tenor song “Smile and
bid me Live.” With the exception of Mr. Morgan, all the performers named took part in the
second portion of the programme, in which also Herr Patek played on the violoncello Schubert’s
“Litany” by Rover. The duties of musical director were undertaken in a very satisfactory manner
by Mr. Charles Huenerbein,
The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW: 1843-1893)
Sat 14 March 1885 Page 21
Mr. Harry Hyndes’ Concert
Following is the Echo’s report of the invitation concert given in Sydney on Tuesday evening last
by Mr. Harry Hyndes. (It has some variations to the report in the S.M.H.)
Mr. Harry Hyndes, a native of Maitland, who from childhood exhibited great musical ability,
and who, after studying under various masters here, has had the advantage of four years residence
and study in Milan, gave an invitation concert last night in the New Masonic Hall. A noticeable
feature of the pianoforte selections was the fact that, although Mr. Hyndes has passed so long a
time in the city which holds a pre-eminent place among musical centres in Italy, and that he may
naturally be credited with forming his taste upon what he has had most frequently brought before
him, the composers he illustrated were all from the north – the Russian, Rubinstein; the Pole,
Chopin; and Raff, Swiss by birth, but now German by education; three of their compositions, at
least, it is believed, were heard for the first time in Sydney. The distinctive features of Mr.
Hyndes’ playing are a clear, bright touch, very clean fingering, refined phrasing, an utter absence
of “bang,” a great facility in execution. His demeanour is singularly modest and unpretentious –
a quiet confidence, the result of thorough study and mastery over what he undertakes – and there
is a force in his loud passages for which the extreme delicacy in others scarcely prepares the
hearer. In his opening piece Mr. Hyndes was assisted by M. de Willimoff and Herr Patek. The
second and third movements were played of Rubinstein’s trio in G minor. The adagio opens with
a soft pianoforte accompaniment to long sustained notes by the strings, attenuated with melodious
phrases given out by the violin, and repeated by the violoncello; the pianoforte during the greater
part is quite subordinate, but towards the close there are brilliant passages and some difficult left
hand work; the scherzo has an almost grotesque character about it; the ‘cello has the opening
melody, but the pianoforte part is very brilliant; there are quaint passages in unison for the strings,
while the pianist has some elaborate work. In this Mr. Hyndes was particularly effective; he was
well supported by his coadjutors, and the piece was enthusiastically received. The concerto in F
minor, (op. 21) is one of Chopin’s most important works. Herr Carl Reinecke has very clearly
arranged the orchestral part for a second pianoforte. This was ably played by Mr. Fred McQuade.
The concerto opens with a long introduction for the orchestra, (second piano) in which the
leading themes of the first movement are heard. Beginning very softly, it rises into a loud cry as
if of agony, and throughout there is a mournful character. Each burst of agitation is followed by a
moan of sorrow. The introduction ends on a full chord pianissimo, and the solo instrument at
once takes up the same tones fortissimo, and a long passage in double octaves follows until the
sadness is heard and felt again. Throughout the movement there is the struggle of grief, rising
almost at times to despair; and when in the larghetto some relief, some brightness, is expected,
there is but little comfort in the continuous murmur with which the bold character of the solo part
is followed. The last movement is more cheerful; and with the changing of the scale to F major
and in the orchestra the sound of the horns, as if summonsing the revelers to a banquet, there is a
quiet merriment. The concerto, besides the technical qualities of a virtuoso, demands an
extremely sympathetic temperament and a highly educated audience for thorough appreciation,
and it is therefore particularly creditable to Mr. Hyndes and to Mr. McQuade that the work was so
warmly received, and the two pianofortes in many respects give a happier illustration than the
orchestra – never a strong point with Chopin. In the etude and waltz by Chopin Mr. Hyndes
showed his entire sympathy with the composer and his ability to interpret the works admirably.
For this solo he was so persistently applauded that he resumed his seat at the piano, and played a
melodious and graceful “Valse de Concert,” which he has composed and dedicated to her Majesty
the Queen of Italy. In Raff’s nocturne and the Rubinstein etude Mr. Hyndes was equally
successful, and from his first performance it may be with confidence asserted that he is a valuable
acquisition to the pianists in Sydney. M. de Willimoff was greatly applauded for his playing of
the andante and finale of Mendelssohn’s concerto; the last movement was far better rendered
than on the last occasion he gave the same solo’ and Herr Patek’s fine tone and skill were well
evidenced in Rover’s arrangement of a “Litany,” by Schubert. Miss Marie St Clair sang with fine
effect the “Prayer,” from Costa’s “Eli,” and later with Mr. Hallewell the great duet from
(Rossini’s opera)
“Semiramide.” Mr. Hallewell has rarely been in grander voice, and his singing of the aria from
Mendelssohn’s operetta, “Son and stranger,” was a great treat. This work, composed for the
silver wedding of his parents, shows Mendelssohn’s dramatic ability in a most agreeable form,
and makes one regret anew that no opera libretto which satisfied his taste was available for a
work on a large scale. Mr. Hallewell’s rendering of this and Elliott’s fine song, “Hybrias and
Cretan,” was most heartily received. For encore to the second he gave Mr. C. Huenerbein’s
patriotic song, “Australia to the Front,” which was also enthusiastically applauded. It is much to
be regretted that a tune with such a swing should not be allied to words more worthy the music
and the subject. Mr. Hyndes was fairly laden with bouquets and floral baskets, and the frequently
expressed approbation of the crowded assembly must have been highly gratifying. Mr. C.
Huenerbein efficiently directed the concert.
Harry liked to return to the family home at Maitland. He received a mention in the Maitland
Mercury on July 6, 1886 that he had been “Entertaining guests at the piano performing known
works and some of his own compositions at his parent’s home.”
The Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW: 1870-1907) Sat 14 Sep 1895 page 37
Reported the following:
Sydney Social Events
A very successful dance was given on September 4 by Mrs. Thomas Dalton, at Wheatleigh,
North Sydney. The drawingroom was converted into a ballroom, and the band was stationed on
the enclosed verandah. The whole house was fragrant with flowers, and the moonlight tempted
many into the garden, a set of lancers being danced on the lawn. Among the guests were:- Sit
Joseph and Lady Abbott, Dr. and Mrs. Shewen, Dr. and Mrs. Sheldon, Mr. and Mrs. Creswell,
Dr. and Mrs. Collins, Dr. and Mrs. Mullins, Major and Miss Dodds, Major and Mrs. Lee, Mr.
Harry Hyndes and Miss Hyndes, the Misses Hay, Mackenzie, Moses, Basett, Badgery, Wilson,
Messrs. Pring, Dowdell, Wardill, Mackenzie, Manning, etc.
SMH Thur. 9/6/1898 p.1
Public Notices – In the Estate of Henry Charles Hyndes, late of Sydney, in the colony of New
South Wales, Pianist, deceased. – All persons having Claims against the above Estate are
requested to forward particulars of same to the undersigned on or before the 13th June, 1898.

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