John Farnsworth Hall
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. He was appointed deputy leader of the New South Wales State Orchestra.
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.
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.
In 1947 he was appointed the first resident conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO). During his time there, he introduced the symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams to Queensland concert-goers. 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.
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.
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