G. W. L. Marshall-HallPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A sculpture commemorates G. W. L. Marshall-Hall, the first Ormond Professor of Music and founder of the University of Melbourne Conservatorium.

By the time of his appointment as first Ormond Professor of Music at the University of Melbourne in 1891 the English composer G.W.L. Marshall-Hall (1862–1915) had composed three operas, orchestral works and numerous songs. In 1901 a well-known English critic ranked him as a greater composer than Delius, Elgar, Granville Bantock and Hamish MacCunn, calling him “by far the most impressive personality.” By then Australian musicians had discovered that he was also one of the finest conductors of his time. In Melbourne he conducted the Marshall-Hall Orchestra for the twenty years of its existence, from 1892 to 1912, established two conservatoriums and composed another two operas, numerous picturesque orchestral works including two symphonies, as well as string quartets and other chamber works, and incidental music to local dramatic productions. 

In person Marshall-Hall was a “firebrand and an iconoclast,” whose public lectures and lascivious poetry offended many. Amid great public controversy, in 1900 his term as Ormond professor was not renewed and in the following year he established the Melba Conservatorium. In 1913 he left Australia for London, hoping for productions of his operas Stella and Romeo and Juliet. But after a disappointing version of Stella was done at the Palladium and with the onset of war Marshall-Hall’s hopes for the future of his music were dashed. Coincidentally in 1914 the incumbent Ormond professor died and a consortium of Melbourne friends including Alfred Deakin ensured that he was reappointed. Marshall-Hall returned to Melbourne in 1915 but died suddenly a few months later.


Address:Royal Parade, Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, , Parkville, 3052
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.797789
Long: 144.958158
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

G. W. L. Marshall-Hall
(1862 - 1915)
First Ormond Professor of Music
1891 - 1900, 1915
Founder, The University of Melbourne Conservatorium,

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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