W. Arundel Orchard


1867 – 1961


Who was W. Arundel Orchard?

William Arundel Orchard OBE FRCM was a British-born Australian organist, pianist, composer, conductor and music educator.

Orchard was born in London and educated privately. He attended the University of Durham, graduating Bachelor of Music in 1893. In 1896 he left England for Perth, Western Australia, to take up a position as a choir director. He later worked in Hobart and New Zealand, before settling in Sydney in 1903. He was the founding conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1908 and also conducted the Sydney Madrigal and Chamber Music Society from 1908 to 1915.

In 1916, Orchard began teaching at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music, taking over as Director in 1923. The University of Durham made him Doctor of Music in 1928. He retired from the Conservatorium in 1934, but in 1935 established the first music degree course at the University of Tasmania, teaching it until 1938. In 1938, he founded the Musical Association of Tasmania, becoming its first President.

Returning to Sydney, he became the Visiting Examiner for the Trinity College of Music, and constantly travelled around Australia for the next 20 years.

Orchard was returning from a trip to England, when he died on board the Dominion Monarch. He was buried at sea, off Cape Town, South Africa.

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Apr 13, 1867
  • England
  • Australia
  • Durham University
Lived in
  • London
Apr 7, 1961

on July 23, 2013


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