John Farnsworth Hall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

John Farnsworth Hall (8 December 1899 – 15 June 1987[1]) was an Australian conductor and violinist.

John Farnsworth Hall was born in Petersham, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney, in 1899. He was an original violin student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (then known as the NSW State Conservatorium), under its founding director Henri Verbrugghen.[1] He was appointed deputy leader of the New South Wales State Orchestra.[1]

He was a member of the Farmers Trio, a pioneering radio chamber trio, in 1923. The other members were Horace Keats, piano, and John Boatwright, cello.[2]

He went to London to further his career, and played under various notable conductors. He harboured an ambition to be a conductor himself, and while on tour in New Zealand, he was given an opportunity to conduct when Henri Verbrugghen fell ill.[1]

He then became leader and deputy conductor of the new Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO). In 1946, Hall conducted the first performance by the SSO of Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 2 in D (an arrangement of his Oboe Concerto in C, K. 314), with Neville Amadio as soloist.[3]

In 1947 he was appointed the first resident conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO).[4][5] During his time there, he introduced the symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams to Queensland concert-goers.[6] He made a classic recording of Alfred Hill's piece for narrator and orchestra, Green Water, with the QSO and the speaker Peter Munro in 1954.[7]

From 1954 he was conductor in residence of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.[8][9][10][11]

He retired from conducting in 1965, and died in 1987, aged 87. He was survived by his third wife and a daughter, both named Deirdre.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Sydney Morning Herald, Obituary, 16 June 1987. Retrieved 2 March 2016
  2. ^ Horace Keats: Early Broadcasting Days Archived November 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Sydney Symphony: Viennese Classics[dead link]
  4. ^ "History of ABC Orchestras and Bands" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  5. ^ Our Queensland Archived July 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "''Courier-Mail'', 28 September 1954, Dr Robert Dalley-Scarlett, ''John Farnsworth Hall … An Appreciation''". Trove. 1954-09-28. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  7. ^ Saturdays & Sundays 6:00am - 9:00am with Colin Fox (2012-06-10). "ABC Classic FM Music Listing, 7 April 2012". Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  8. ^ Albany Hall Town Theatre Archived August 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Portrait of John Farnsworth Hall, conductor". Trove. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Pope, Brian (2000). "Lorna Crawford McKean". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  11. ^ "Concert Programmes". Arts and Humanities Research Council. Retrieved 2012-06-17.