Harty, Hamilton


Harty, Hamilton

The Children of Lir, poem for orchestra

SKU: 4361 Category:


Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty – The Children of Lir

(b. Hillsborough, Irland 4. December 1879- d. Hove, England, 19. February 1941)

London’s best piano accompanist, celebrated conductor, respected composer – Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty was a musical all-rounder in English musical life after the turn of the 19th century. Born in 1879 as the son of an organist in the small Northern Irish village of Hillsborough, he follows in his father’s footsteps at an early age, learning to play the viola, piano and organ. At the age of 21 Harty moves to London, where he quickly earns a good reputation as a piano accompanist in the salons of wealthy ladies and gentlemen. Soon musical greats like John McCormack, Joseph Szigeti, Fritz Kreisler and Agnes Nicholls become aware of him and engage him for their concerts. Especially the encounter with Nicholls is a turning point in Harty’s life – she becomes his wife. But his abilities are not limited to accompanying. Inspired by his mentor Michele Esposito, Harty begins to compose. In 1904 his Irish Symphony , which becomes very successful, follows various prize-winning works for chamber ensembles. At the same time Harty’s conducting career begins. In 1905 he follows an invitation from Esposito to conduct his symphony in a concert with the Dublin Concert Society. This experience leaves a lasting impression. However, Harty’s conducting career only really gets underway in 1911 with an engagement with the London Symphony Orchestra, which he continues to conduct regularly for the next two seasons. In 1920 the composer becomes principal conductor of the Hallé Orchestra. Under Harty’s direction – as critics agree – the Hallé is the best orchestra in England. In his concert repertoire Harty is deeply committed to the work of contemporary British composers as well as to Hector Berlioz, whose work he introduces on the British Isles. The fact that Harty today stands in the shadow of conductors such as Beecham, Sargent, Boult or Barbirolli is due to his early death at the age of 61 in 1941, which prevents him from participating in the great post-war era of sound recordings. But even today, Harty’s recordings are still characterized by great vitality, richness of detail and a deep musical understanding, which alone makes it worthwhile to deal with this exceptional musician. …


Read full English and German preface > HERE

Score No.






Go to Top