LAST MODIFIED Tuesday 3 December 2019 9:05

Miska Hauser in Australia

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Miska Hauser in Australia", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 3 April 2020


HAUSER, Miska (Miska HAUSER)

Miska Hauser 1882-1887

Violinist, traveller, diarist, composer

Born Pressburg, Hungary (Bratislava, Slovakia), 1821/22
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 28 October 1854 (per Heloise, from Valparaiso, 23 August)
Departed Melbourne, VIC, 16 July 1858 (per Emeu, for Europe)
Died Vienna, Austria, 8 December 1887 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)


Briefly a former associate of Lewis Lavenu in California, Hauser's intention to visit Australia was reported in the Sydney press as early as May 1853.

The precise outlines of his almost 4 years of touring are better followed in the contemporary Australian press than in his own despatches (duly reported in the foreign press, from San Francisco to Stockholm) and the later edited account in book form.

Hauser was generally well received in Australia as a musician, but by the end of his first full year in the colonies, the local press began to take umbrage at published accounts of his travels, much of which appeared to be either fanciful, or contemptuous of colonial society, or both.

Accordingly, in June 1859, the Empire seemed happy to produce a slighting review of Hauser's recent Vienna concert. Further disquiet followed, when in July 1859, the Empire again reproduced an extended review from Bentley's Magazine of Hauser's travelogue. A year later still, an editorial in the Empire, on the subject of mendacious testimonies of returned Australian colonists, cited as bywords "the ridiculous falsehoods of FRANK FOWLER, or the inventions attributed to MISKA HAUSER".


Miska Hauser, c. 1850

Miska Hauser, c. 1850; from "Clerkpet", Parodi, below (plate after page 152) 

"Clerkpret" [Isaac Clark Pray], Teresa Parodi and the Italian Opera (New York: Wm. B. Parsons, 1851), 156-59

Miska (Michel) Hauser was born at Pressburg, Hungary, in 1821. His great love of music was perceived at an early age. When only six years old his teacher was astonished at his extraordinary ability to retain even the long compositions of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, after hearing them only once. Musicians had more attractions for him, than his books; and his hours were chiefly devoted to listening to an old violinist's performances, which he endeavored to imitate. Subsequently, he was instructed by one of the violinists of the epoch of Mozart, and very rapidly learned to play. At this period, he was taken by gypsies who hoped to profit by his talent, and was only released after playing sad laments, which appealed to the compassion of the tribe.

At the age of twelve years, he gave his first concert, and was received with delight by the lovers of music. Encouraged by such success, he immediately went to Vienna, where he entered the musical conservatory of that city. Under the admirable tuition [157] obtained at a trifling cost, at that institution, he soon obtained his diploma, and commenced his first great musical tour. There is no great city from the borders of Russia to the Hellespont - from the Ural to the Pyrenees, where Miska Hauser has not distinguished himself both as a composer for, and a performer on the violin. Every civilized nation in Europe, has been visited by him; and even in Turkey his musical strains have excited the phlegmatic admiration of the Moslem. After travelling through Germany, he went to Sweden, where he composed the celebrated march for the coronation of Oscar the First. It has become a national Swedish air. At the birth of the Prince, he wrote his Cradle Song, dedicated to her Majesty, the Queen of Sweden and Norway. This is a composition of rare beauty.

Having left Stockholm, where he gained a lofty reputation by his many compositions and performances, he visited Poland and Russia. We have seen some of his compositions, published at St. Petersburgh, which are remarkable for their scientific excellence and their melody. At one of his performances in the Russian capital, it is recorded, that he [158] received the fragments of a diamond ring, sent to him by a lady, who had broken it, while applauding him. In Turkey, the liberal Sultan Abdul Meschid, made him a present of a valuable pipe, in token of his esteem for his great musical accomplishments. In fact, his trophies, during a protracted tour of seven years, were almost numberless; and, when he returned to Vienna, the great musical artists of that city crowned him publicly with a laurel - an honor only bestowed upon Ernst, Ole-Bull and Vieuxtemps.

Recently he has visited London and the United States with great success. His career in New York, Boston and Philadelphia during the early part of the present year has been very brilliant, and having been engaged to exert his talents in the Parodi concerts, he is destined to achieve still further fame and fortune in this country. His style is original and brilliant, and is marked by none of those tricks which have captivated the public in some instances, but which are beneath the dignity of art. We are most pleased with him in scientific compositions, in which fancy and the best musical models blend, to show the full merits of the school to which he has educated him- [159] -self. As a composer for the violin he has contributed more than one hundred pieces, to the musical treasury, and a large number of these works are so exceedingly meritorious that they will long live in the memory and admiration of every true lover of the art.

M. Hauser is a man of simple and unostentatious manners, and must be indebted for his success solely to the force of his own talents. Many men with less ability, and with the tact sometimes used to create public excitements, would have realized a more notorious name in the musical world, but no one is more justly entitled to the full admiration and respect of the public for his brilliant accomplishments. We are quite satisfied that his own style of performing on the violin, will win for him distinction in every city that he may visit, while the musical world will not fail to give him that place to which he is fully entitled, not less for what he has accomplished, than for the purity and direct purpose of his style.

[News], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 May 1853), 4

. . . The first part of the Abyssinia's voyage was attended with tolerable success, she getting abreast of Norfolk Island in 38 days . . . Amongst her passengers are . . . Mr. Lewis Lavenue, a composer of much note from London, who has for the last two years conducted the concerts of Miss Catherine Hayes in the United States, and arrived in San Francisco with Miska Hauser, the violinist, which gentleman will shortly follow Mr. Lavenue to Australia.


For all TROVE items tagged Miska Hauser for the year 1854: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Australia (28 October 1854 to 16 July 1858)

Sydney, and rural NSW (28 October 1854 to 5 May 1855)

28 October 1854, arrived, Sydney, NSW

"ARRIVALS", Empire (30 October 1854), 4

October 28.- Heloise, American schooner, 338 tons, Captain A. Dyer, from Valparaiso August 23, Tahiti October 1. Passengers - . . . Hauser . . .

"THE VIOLINIST MISKA HAUSER", Empire (31 October 1854), 5

By the infallible and mysterious operation of the law which controls supply and demand, it would appear that no sooner has this community indicated a want for musical entertainment of a high order than from unexpected sources the want is supplied. We have now to record the arrival amongst us of a violinist who in his sphere has excited almost as great an excitement among our Trans-Pacific brethren as the enchanting songstress Miss Hayes. We do not expect that he will so entirely subdue the musical susceptibilities of the Sydney public as that lady had the good fortune to do. With her success many elements were mingled. She was a young, beautiful, and accomplished woman, singing the songs of her native country in a manner which appealed to the heart as well as to the ear of her hearers. The present candidate for public favour is simply and instrumental performer, and depends for his success on his power over what is truly called "the king of inanimate instruments," the violin. Of this wonderful instrument he is a master, and the testimony of many American journals which we have seen, sufficiently proclaim the effect he is capable of producing. We had the pleasure of hearing him perform last night, and can promise our readers, that on the occasion of his public performance, they will have a musical treat of a high order.

"THE CELEBRATED HUNGARIAN VIOLINIST, MISKA HAUSER", The Sydney Morning Herald (14 November 1854), 4 

"THE VIOLINIST MISKA HAUSER", Empire (14 November 1854), 5

"THE CELEBRATED HUNGARIAN VIOLINIST, MISKA HAUSER", The Sydney Morning Herald (14 November 1854), 4

ASSOCIATIONS: Alphonse Hainess, "the baron Hainess" (soemtimes "Haines"), arrived in Sydney with his wife in 1852; described as a Hungarian refugee, he was convicted of fraud in 1859, but pardoned after serving just one year of a three-year sentence.

16 November 1854, first Sydney concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 November 1854), 1 

"THE VIOLINIST MISKA HAUSER", Empire (17 November 1854), 4 

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (17 November 1854), 5

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (18 November 1854), 2 

Miska Hauser, Sydney, 1854

[Portrait of Miska Hauser], Illustrated Sydney News (18 November 1854)

As reproduced in The Australian picture pleasure book . . . engraved, selected and arranged by Walter G. Mason (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, 1857) (DIGITISED)

21 November 1854, second Sydney concert

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 November 1854), 4 

"MISKA HAUSER'S SECOND CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 November 1854), 5 

25 November 1854, third Sydney concert

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (25 November 1854), 2 

28 November 1854, fourth Sydney concert

[Advertisement], Empire (28 November 1854), 1 

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY'S CONCERT", Empire (30 November 1854), 6 

This society, which has recently sprung into a very vigorous existence, gave a concert to its members and their friends on Monday evening, at the School Room of St. Mary's Cathedral. There was a numerous assemblage, among whom we noticed some of the most devoted amateurs of the "social art." M. Miska Hauser was also present in his capacity of a member of the society, which includes on its roll of members Miss Hayes, Monsieur Coulon, and all the musical celebrities who have recently visited this city. The progress that this society has made is quite astonishing, which will be shown when we state that we heard complete symphonies by Beethoven and Hayden, performed in a very satisfactory manner by a full orchestra . . .

2 December 1854, fifth Sydney concert

[Advertisement], Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (2 December 1854), 2 

6 December 1854, Parramatta concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (6 December 1854), 1 

20 December 1854, sixth Sydney concert

[Advertisement], Empire (20 December 1854), 1 

27 December 1854, concert, Sydney Philharmonic Society

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 December 1854), 2 

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1854), 5 

. . . The chief attraction, however, of the evening was Miska Hauser, who, in his capacity of member of the Sydney Philharmonic Society, made his first appearance in St. Mary's Hall. His reception was enthusiastic in the extreme. The thema selected by him was from Lucia de Lammermoor, in which he has already created so great an impression at his recent concerts. Upon the loud encore which ensued being responded to, he performed his own capriccio, of the Bird on the Tree, with novel Variations . . .

29 December 1854, concert, Windsor, NSW

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1854), 6 


For all TROVE items tagged Miska Hauser for the year 1855: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

3 January 1855, concert, Maitland, NSW

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (3 January 1855), 3 

4 January 1855, first notice of publication of Rain drops in Australia (Woolcott and Clarke, Sydney)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 January 1855), 8 

For details see Rain drops in Australia

6 January 1855, concert, Newcastle, NSW

[Advertisement], The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (6 January 1855), 1 

"MISKA HAUSER", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 January 1855), 4 

This eminent musician, after a most successful visit to Maitland and Newcastle, at each of which towns he gave two concerts during the past week, proceeds this morning to Goulburn, where, in accordance with the flattering invitation of the leading gentry of the town and the neighbouring locales, he proposes to commence a scries of concerts on Tuesday next. Similar invitations have been, as we are informed, forwarded to him from the Western districts; but before M. Miska Hauser leaves the colony, it is said, in the musical circles of Sydney, that there is the prospect of his giving a grand series of concerts at the Prince of Wales Theatre, now on the eve of opening in Castlereagh-street.

16 January 1855, concert, Goulburn, NSW (and 2 more concerts)

24 January 1855, concert, Yass, NSW

[Advertisement], The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (13 January 1855), 3 

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERTS AT GOULBURN", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 January 1855), 5 

"MATTERS MUSICAL. THE HUNGARIAN AND THE TURK", The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (27 January 1855), 4 

"BREAKFAST TO ALI-BEN-SOU-ALLE", The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (27 January 1855), 2 

A dejeuner à la fourchette was given at the Goulburn Hotel, on Monday morning last [22 January], at nine o'clock, to Ali-Ben-Sou-Alle, the distinguished musician, prior to his quitting for Windsor, by several gentlemen of this town. Capt. Plunkett, Police Magistrate, presided at the breakfast table, and among the guests was the celebrated violinist Miska Hauser, the other of the twin stars that have shone in our musical firmament . . .

"GOULBURN HOSPITAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 February 1855), 2 

"HOSPITALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 February 1855), 2 

30 January 1855, concert, Braidwood, NSW (and 2 more concerts)

5 February 1855, concert, Berrima, NSW

[Advertisement], The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser (3 February 1855), 1 

"BRAIDWOOD", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 February 1855), 5 

"BRAIDWOOD", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 February 1855), 3 

12 February 1855, concert, Parramatta, NSW

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (12 February 1855), 1 

"PATRIOTIC FUND", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 1855), 4 

. . . No. 2, Wynyard terrace, February 20th, 1855.
Sir,-In order to express my deep sympathy with the widows and orphans of the sufferers in the present Eastern War, and my desire to contribute to the Patriotic Fund, I do myself the honor to place at the disposal of the Committee my services at a concert, to be given on such an evening as the Committee may deem desirable, and when arrangements for engaging a suitable concert room may be made. I beg of you to receive the assurances my high consideration;
and do myself the honor to subscribe myself, Sir, your most obedient servant,
[To] Charles Kemp, Esq., J. P., Honorary Secretary [Patriotic Fund]

"M. MISKA HAUSER", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 February 1855), 5 

This distinguished musician, left Sydney yesterday evening for Bathurst and other locales of the Western districts, whence he has received the most flattering invitations to series [sic] of concerts. Upon his return, he proposes to give a grand concert in Sydney in aid of the Patriotic Fund . . .

26 February 1855, concert, Bathurst

[Advertisement], Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal (24 February 1855), 2 

"CLEARANCES", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 March 1855), 4 

March 8. - Waratah (s.), 250 tons, Captain J. J. Warner, for Moreton Bay. Passengers - Messrs. J. Buchanan, Packer, Miska Hauser, J. Askinass [Askunas], Miss Flora Harris, Mr. A. Nicol, Mr. and Mrs. Kable, and 19 in the steerage.

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS", The Moreton Bay Courier (17 March 1855), 2 

13. Waratah, steamer, 350 tons. Warner, from Sydney, 8th inst. Passengers . . . Mr. Miska Hauser, Mr. Packer . . . Miss Flora Harris . . .

16, 17, 19, and 26 March 1855, concerts, Brisbane, Moreton Bay district, NSW (QLD)

20, 21, and 22 March 1855, concerts, Ipswich, Moreton Bay district, NSW (QLD)

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (17 March 1855), 3 

"THE CONCERTS", The Moreton Bay Courier (24 March 1855), 3 

[Advertisement], The Moreton Bay Courier (24 March 1855), 3 

"THE CONCERTS", The Moreton Bay Courier (31 March 1855), 2 

"DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. IPSWICH", The Moreton Bay Courier (7 April 1855), 2 

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. DEPARTURES", The Moreton Bay Courier (31 March 1855), 2 

30. Waratah, steamer, 350 tons, Warner, for Sydney. Passengers . . . Mr. Packer . . . M. Miska Hauser . . . Miss Flora Harris . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVALS", Empire (2 April 1855), 4 

April 1. - Waratah steamer . . . from Moreton Bay, March 30 . . .

7 April 1855, first notice of publication of Chanson d'amour (W. J. Johnson) NO COPY IDENTIFIED

[Advertisement], Freeman's Journal (7 April 1855), 11 

W. J. JOHNSON and Co., 57, Pitt-street.
Price 2s.; per Post, same price.

ASSOCIATIONS: William Johnson (music publisher); Caroline Montefiore (Louyet, c.1832-1901) had married Jacob Levi Montefiore in London in 1851

16, 19, and 24 April 1855, farewell concert series, Sydney

[Advertisement], Empire (16 April 1855), 1 

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERTS", Empire (17 April 1855), 4 

"THE NEW CONCERT HALL", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 April 1855), 5 

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1855), 1 

[Advertisement], Empire (24 April 1855), 1 

28 April 1855, concert, in aid of the Patriotic Fund

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (28 April 1855), 7 

"MISKA HAUSER", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (5 May 1855), 2 

We regret to say that this delicious performer leaves Sydney for Melbourne this afternoon. That prosperity may attend him is our hearty wish, and gladly shall we hail his return to re-delight us with the wonderful powers of his "king of instruments". We can assure our Melbourne friends that they have a treat is in store, and that once having heard Miska Hauser, they will ever after know the vast difference between a violin and a fiddle.

"CLEARANCES", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 May 1855), 4 

May 5. - Telegraph (s.), 650 tons, Captain George Gilmore, for Melbourne. Passengers - Messrs. Miska Hauser . . .

18 May 1855, first notice of publication of Mazurka (W. J. Johnson and Co.) NO COPY IDENTIFIED

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 May 1855), 1 

. . . NEW PIANOFORTE MUSIC by MISKA HAUSER - Just published, price 2s 6d. each, "Chanson d'Amour," dedicated to Madame Montifiore; and a Mazurka, dedicated to Madame Rawack . . . W. J. JOHNSON and CO. . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Amalia Mauthner Rawack

Melbourne, and rural VIC (8 May to 16 September 1855)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Argus (9 May 1855), 4 

May 8. - Telegraph, A. S. N. Co.'s s.s., 600 tons, George Gilmore, from Sydney 5th inst. Passengers . . . Mr. and Mrs. Waller . . . Miska Hauser . . .

"THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL", The Argus (15 May 1855), 5 

Mr. and Mrs. Hancock and Mr. Lyall have accepted a two months' engagement at the Sir Charles Napier Concert Room, Ballarat. They left Melbourne yesterday. Miska Hauser, the renowned Hungarian violinist, whose powers of execution are said to equal those of Sivori, D'Ernst, or Vieuxtemps, has arranged to give a series of concerts at the Queen's Theatre, commencing on the 22nd inst. Mr. and Mrs. Waller, the now lessees of the Queen's, will fulfil a short engagement at Geelong . . .

22 and 24, first two Melbourne concerts

[Advertisement], The Argus (22 May 1855), 8 

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT", The Argus (23 May 1855), 5 

{Advertisement], The Argus (24 May 1855), 8 

"MISKA HAUSER'S SECOND CONCERT", The Argus (25 May 1855), 4 

"MISKA HAUSER", The Age (26 May 1855), 5 

28, 31 May and 2 June 1855, second series of 3 concerts

[Advertisement], The Argus (28 May 1855), 8 

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (29 May 1855), 4 

[Advertisement], The Age (31 May 1855), 8 

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (1 June 1855), 5 

[Advertisement], The Argus (2 June 1855), 8 

4, 7, 11 (postponed from 9), and 14 June, 1855, third series of concerts

[Advertisement], The Argus (4 June 1855), 8 

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT", The Argus (6 June 1855), 6 

[Advertisement], The Age (7 June 1855), 8 

[Advertisement], The Age (9 June 1855), 8 

[Advertisement], The Argus (14 June 1855), 8 

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT", The Argus (15 June 1855), 5 

17 June 1855, concert for Melbourne Hospital

[Advertisement], The Age (16 June 1855), 8 

21 June 1855, last Melbourne concert

[Advertisement], The Age (21 June 1855), 8 

23 June 1855, extra concert, St. Kilda, VIC

"MISKA HAUSER", The Age (25 June 1855), 5 

. . . Sir, - I am directed by the Committee of Management of the Melbourne Hospital to convey to you their thanks for having, by the exercise of your splendid talents, on Monday evening last, augmented the funds of the institution 202l. 6s. 8d . . .

26 and 27 June, and 7 July 1855, concerts, Geelong, VIC

"GEELONG (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)", The Argus (29 June 1855), 6 

A wretched house again presented its compliments (!) to Miska Hauser last night. This is very much to be regretted, as he is a most extraordinary and talented artiste, and should be warmly supported. I think, however, that he himself is much to blame, as he should not have raised the price of admission . . .

9 July 1855, first concert, Ballarat, VIC


The grand event of the week is the arrival of the celebrated Hungarian violinist, Miska Hauser, at the Star Hotel Concert Hall. Miska Hauser was expected to arrive last week, and great was the disappointment when it was known that he would not make his appearance at Ballarat so early as was announced, being delayed by ill ness at Geelong. He arrived on Sunday last, and on Monday appeared for the first time at the Star Concert Hall . . .

"BALLARAT (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)", The Argus (19 July 1855), 6 

"MISKA HAUSER", The Age (18 August 1855), 5 

This gentleman's progress through the gold-fields has been a most successful one. He gave no less than seventeen concerts at Ballarat to crowded and applauding audiences, two at Castlemaine, and is now giving a series of four at Bendigo - after which, Miska Hauser purposes to return lo Melbourne, where we hope to have the pleasure of hearing him again.

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (31 August 1855), 5 

This eminent violinist has returned to Melbourne accompanied by Miss O. Hamilton and Mr. Paling. He has made a tour of the gold fields, on every one of which the little troupe has been most enthusiastically received. Miss Hamilton's singing and Mr. Paling's piano accompaniments, have been only less acceptable than the exquisite performances of M. Hauser on the violin. Our diggings' contemporaries exhaust the ordinary language of eulogium, and become quite poetical in their descriptions of the wondrous power exercised by M. Hauser's violin on the senses and the feelings of his audiences. We hope that arrangements will be made for M. Hauser's reappearance, under the most favorable circumstances, before his many admirers in Melbourne.

"THEATRE ROYAL", The Argus (7 September 1955), 5 

. . . This evening the opera [The daughter of the regiment] will be repeated; and the eminent violinist, Miska Hauser, will, for the first time at this theatre, perform his celebrated fantasia for the violin, on airs from "Lucrezia Borgia;" and the Capriccio, "The Bird upon the Tree."

"THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL GOSSIP", The Argus (17 September 1855), 6 

. . . The renowned Hungarian violinist, Miska Hauser, is to set out for Van Diemen's Land by the Black Swan, and will make his first appearance in the island at Hobart Town . . .

Tasmania (17 September to 1 December 1855)

"SHIPPING NEWS. LAUNCESTON. ENTERED INWARDS", The Courier (19 September 1855), 2 

L. S. N. Co.'s Steamer Black Swan, 147, Woods, Melbourne. Cabin - Messrs. . . . Bial, Miska Hauser . . .

"LAUNCESTON. CLEARED OUT", The Courier (3 December 1855), 2 

DECEMBER 1. Black Swan, steamer, 145, Woods, Melbourne. Cabin - . . . Miska Hauser, M. Bial . . .

Adelaide, SA (9 December 1855 to 25 January 1856)

"MISKA HAUSER", Adelaide Times (10 December 1855), 2 

This celebrated violinist arrived yesterday by the Havilah, and is about to commence a musical campaign at the Theatre. We are indebted to this gentleman for a late Melbourne Extraordinary, containing the late English news.

[Advertisement], Adelaide Times (10 December 1855), 1

MTSKA HAUSER. MISKA HAUSER, the CELEBRATED HUNGARIAN VIOLINIST, has ARRIVED, accompanied by the distinguished PIANIST, MR. CHARLES BIAL, from Berlin, and intends to give TWO CONCERTS ONLY, of which due notice will be given in next number. Dec. 10, 1855.


For all TROVE items tagged Miska Hauser for the year 1856: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

(Adelaide, SA, cont.)

"CLEARED OUT", Adelaide Observer (26 January 1856), 1 supplement

Friday, January 25 - . . . The steamer Havilah, 257 tons, Lowrie, master, for Melbourne. Passengers - Messrs. Lazaar, Grierson, C. H. Sayers, John Colton, Miska Hauser and Mr. Bial, in the cabin . . .

Melbourne, VIC (28 January to 11 June 1856)


January 28. - Havilah, steamer, 337 tons. Captain Lourie, from Adelaide 25th inst. Passengers - cabin . . . Messrs. Miska Hauser, Bial . . . and 83 in the steerage.

"MISKA HAUSER", The Age (29 January 1856), 3 

This gentleman has returned to Melbourne after a highly-successful tour in two of the adjoining colonies. We believe that the accomplished violinist gave no less than nineteen concerts in Adelaide with unabated popularity, and he brings with him several new compositions which we hope we shall shortly have an opportunity of hearing in this city.

31 January 1856, first notice of publication of Ballad (Thou'rt like unto a flower)

"MISKA HAUSER", The Age (31 January 1856), 3 

This gentleman, whose return to Melbourne we noticed a day or two since, has just published another of the graceful compositions of his pen. It is a brief and simple ballad, purely and expressively phrased, and pervaded by a plaintive feeling. As numbers of the eminent violinist's admirers will no doubt be anxious to possess a copy of the latest production, we may mention that it may be obtained at Mr Wilkie's Music Saloon, Collins street.

"NEW MUSIC", The Argus (31 January 1856), 6 

We have received a copy of a ballad, the music of which has been composed by Miska Hauser, the eminent violinist. The poetry, the first line of which "Thou'rt like unto a flower," we quote in default of a title, is pretty, and the sentiment is homely and genuine The melody which is in G, is at once graceful and original. The song ought to be on every pianoforte in the colony.

For details, see below, Ballad

Sydney, NSW (16 June to 5 November 1856)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCES. ARRIVALS.', Empire (17 June 1856), 4 

June 16, - London, steamer, 600 tons, Captain Watts, from Melbourne the 11th Instant. Passengers - . . . Mr. Miska Hauser . . .

William Stanley Jevons, letter, Sydney [? late 1856]; ed. in R. D. Collinson Black (ed.), Papers and correspondence of William Stanley Jevons, vol. 2: correspondence 1850-1862 (London: Macmillan, 1973), 250-51 (Letter 94) (PREVIEW)

. . . I might do a deal more at Meteorology & such things only that my Music takes up such an awful deal of my time. I have got, as perhaps you know, a moderately good harmonium on which I play for an hour or two per day an indiscriminate mixture of Operas & Oratorias, Sacred or Profane, beautiful and sublime musical compositions in much of my usual style of execution. It does not seem to injure anybody else, nor myself either, so I play away by myself to my hearts content, and say as people always say of music "its no harm". I likewise attend most of the Concerts in Sydney, and it is my firm belied that if I were in London I should go to some concert or theatre every night for three months. The last Philharmonic Soc.'s concert was a very good one as we had Miska Hauser a first rate violin player whose playing I was delighted with. I was also somewhat pleased to see a fair assemblage of the ladies of Australia, most of them young . . .

Melbourne, VIC (9 to 16 November 1856)

[sic]"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED (HOBSON'S BAY)", The Argus (10 November 1856), 4 

November 9. - Wonga Wonga, A. S. N. Company's s.s.s., 700 tons, R. G. Gilmore, from Sydney 5th inst. Passengers - . . . Miska Hauser

Tasmania (17 November to 27 December 1856)

"Shipping Intelligence. ENTERED INWARDS", Launceston Examiner (18 November 1857), 2 

Nov. 17. - L. S. N. Co.'s steamer Royal Shepherd, 300 tons, W. H. Saunders, master from Melbourne; G. Fisher agent. Passengers - . . . Miska Hauser . . .

[News], The Courier [Hobart, TAS) (18 November 1856), 2 

THE HUNGARIAN VIOLINIST, MISKA HAUSER, arrived in Hobart Town last night, and will shortly give a round of concerts in the city.

"MR. BUDDEE", The Cornwall Chronicle (27 December 1856), 5 

The friends and professional connections of this gentleman may with confidence expect his return to Hobart Town within about three or four weeks from this date. M. Buddee's present engagement will extend longer than he at first calculated, owing to his length of stay here. In conjunction with M. Hauser, he starts forthwith for Fort Phillip and Adelaide, and will return from the latter direct to Hobart Town, as stated.

Miska Hauser; lithography by Edmund Thomas; in The Australian musical album for 1857, frontispiece (DIGITISED)

23 December 1856, publication of Australian flowers and The bird on the tree (piano version), in The Australian musical album for 1857 (J. R. Clarke)

[Advertisement], Australian almanac for the year 1857 (Sydney: J. Cox and Co., 1857), 227 


For all TROVE items tagged Miska Hauser for the year 1857: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Adelaide, SA (8 January to 6 February 1857)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED", South Australian Register (9 January 1857), 2 

Thursday, January 8 - The steamer Burra Burra, 337 tons, A. Harper, master, from Melbourne January 5. Hall and Co, agents. Passengers - Messrs. . . . Miska Hauser . . . Herr Buddee . . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. CLEARED OUT", Adelaide Observer (7 February 1857), 1 supplement 

Friday, February 6 . . . The steamer White Swan, 330 tons, Gill, master, for Melbourne. Passengers - . . . Miska Hauser, Messrs. Buddee . . .

Melbourne and VIC (9 February to 26 November 1857)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED (HOBSON'S BAY)", The Argus (10 February 1857), 4 

February 9. - White Swan, s.s.s., 300 tons James, Gill, from Adelaide 6th inst. Passengers - saloon . . . Briddle [sic, Buddee] . . . Miska Hauser . . .

"RANDOM REMINISCENCES. BY F. K. S.", South Australian Register (3 March 1857), 2 

"JOURNAL OF LITERATURE AND ART", The illustrated journal of Australasia and monthly magazine (9 March 1857), 143

Sydney and NSW (29 November 1857 to 10 May 1858)

"SHIPPING. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (30 November 1857), 4 

November 29. - Wonga Wonga (s.), 700 tons, Captain Walker, from Melbourne 26th instant. Passengers - . . . Miska Hauser . . .

"DEPARTURES", The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (4 January 1858), 2 

December 28. - Boomerang (s.), 360 tons, Captain H. O'Reilly, for Moreton Bay. Passengers - Mr. George Harris, Mr. Miska Hauser, Mr. Charles Packer, Mr. S. Howard, Madame Sara Flower . . .


For all TROVE items tagged Miska Hauser for the year 1858: (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

(NSW, cont.)

3 May 1858, Hauser's Sydney farewell concert

"MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC SUMMARY. MISKA HAUSER'S FAREWELL CONCERT", The month: a literary and critical journal (June 1858), 305-04 

"CLEARANCES. MAY 10", Empire (11 May 1858), 3 

EUROPEAN, R. M. S. S., 1478 tons, Parfitt, for Suez, via Melbourne. Passengers . . . For Suez: Miska Hauser . . .

Melbourne (14 May to mid June 1858)


May 14. - European, E. and A. R. M. s.s., 2,500 tons, William Parfitt, Esq., commander, from Sydney 11th inst. Passengers - saloon . . . For Suez: Miska Hauser . . .

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (15 May 1858), 6 

This eminent violinist, who had taken his passage for England by the European, has been induced, at the solicitation of many of his friends, to postpone his departure until the next mail. We believe it is his intention to give one or two concerts in the interim, and the announcement of such a probability will afford general satisfaction, as well to his admirers as to those who have not yet had the gratification of hearing his exquisite performances.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (22 May 1858), 4 

Miska Hauser, the celebrated Hungarian violinist, having been engaged by Mr. Coppin for six nights, appears this evening at the Theatre Royal.

"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (4 June 1858), 5 

The first of Miska Hauser's two concluding concerts was held yesterday evening at the Mechanic's Institution. Despite the attractions of both of the theatres, the hall was densely crowded by the elite of the city, and nearly all of our musical connoisseurs. The attraction chiefly consisted of Miska Hauser's solo performances, quartettes by Mozart and Onslow given by Miska Hauser, Strebinger, King, and Chapman; solos on the pianoforte by Signor Cutolo, and ballads by Miss Julia Harland . . .

[Advertisement], The Argus (9 June 1858), 7

TO MUSICIANS, &c. WANTED, to DISPOSE OF, a VIOLIN, Cremona. Apply early, Miska Hauser, Criterion Hotel.

Adelaide, SA (21 to 26 June 1858)

"MISKA HAUSER", South Australian Register (22 June 1858), 3

The papers which arrived last week from Melbourne contained paragraphs to the effect that Miska Hauser had left by the Australasian for England. It seems, however, that he was induced by the pressing entreaties of friends to alter his mind at the last moment, and to remain for the purpose of giving a concert in aid of soma charitable object in Melbourne on Monday week next. The talented violinist, whose motto should be toujours fidèle, has therefore seized the opportunity to pay a visit to his old friends in this colony. He arrived yesterday by the Admella, and will return by the Havilah next week, his intention being to give a concert on Thursday evening and another on Tuesday evening. He is accompanied by Mr. Bial, pianist, who came with him to the colony on a former occasion. Miska Hauser gave fourteen concerts in Melbourne during the last three weeks of his stay there, and on his benefit night no fewer than 3,000 persons were present. Some new and beautiful compositions of Miska Hauser will be submitted to the Adelaide public at the coming performances, and Mons. Laglaise is engaged to take a part as vocalist in the entertainments.

Portland and Melbourne, VIC (28 June to 16 July 1858)

29 June and 1 July 1858, concerts, Portland, VIC

"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (30 June 1858), 2 

"MISKA HAUSER'S FAREWELL CONCERT", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (2 July 1858), 2 

Last evening Miska Hauser gave his farewell concert prior to his voyage to Europe. The large room at Mac's Hotel was crowded with a most respectable audience, who evinced their admiration by frequent encores. The performances of Miska Hauser on the violin, and Mr. Bial on the piano were exquisite, and admired alike for their eloquent sweetness and softness, as for their wonderful power of execution. Miska Hauser proceeds by this mail to Europe, where there awaits him without doubt, a long run of popularity.

"SHIPPING. ARRIVED (HOBSON'S BAY)", The Age (5 July 1858), 4 

July 3 - Lady Bird, s.s.s., 200 tons, Wm. Lucas, from Portland, 2nd inst. Passengers - cabin: Messrs. Miska Hauser, Bial . . .

"AMUSEMENTS", The Argus (15 July 1858), 7

. . . The great Hungarian violinist, Miska Hauser, after delighting us for many months with his exquisite performances, takes his departure by the Emeu tomorrow. A new musical celebrity - Signor Cutolo - has been charming us with his masterly execution on the piano . . .

15 July 1858, grand farewell concert, in aid of the Benevolent Asylum

[Advertisement], The Argus (15 July 1858), 8 

"MISKA HAUSER", The Argus (16 July 1858), 4 

16 July 1858, departure, per Emeu, for Europe

Later Australian reports and recollections (from 1858)

"MISKA HAUSER", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 June 1859), 8

The receipt of the Vienna Gazette of the 27th February (says one of our correspondents), one of the most respectable and reliable papers of Germany, and known for its impartial criticism about all concerning music, enables us to show our colonial readers the light in which the "would-be Australian Paganini", Miska Hauser, is viewed by an audience of connoisseurs. The said paper, after a lengthy comment on the virtuosi literal production of "Memoirs of a Virtuoso", with its atrocious falsehoods through-out, and with its most unlucky attempts to make Australia and her capitals (especially Sydney), appear a second Sodom or Gomorrah - speaks in the following terms of Miska Hauser's concert:

"Notwithstanding the 1200 concerts he has given (and it here suits us to believe his saying), Miska Hauser's play[ing] is the same as before his departure. An European critic would denounce M. Hauser's tone as thin, his execution as very very moderate, his fluency not quite faultless, but his double notes out of time, and his musical production flat and without taste. Most undoubtedly Miska Hauser, in giving a concert in Vienna, never intended to show his proficiency, he merely meant to show us the entirely different taste of the countries in which he gained his (self appreciated) laurels. As an illustration of his memoirs he only meant to give us a specimen of music, with which he enraptured the hairdressers and Chinese of San Francisco, or the mulattoes and creoles of Santiago, or through what style of music only he was enabled to soften and enamour even the heart of Queen Pomare. Was Miska Hauser, however, in giving us this concert guided by other motives - did he but for one moment think to let us judge between himself and a Vieuxtemps, Ole Bull, Joachim, Wieniawski or others of their stamp - we can then not withhold our astonishment at M. Hauser's impertinence to treat a Vienna audience to so miserable a hash of ditties as the bird on the tree".

[Editorial], Empire (17 July 1860), 4

THERE was once a time when the testimony of "a returned colonist from Australia" would have been viewed with great suspicion in the House of Commons, and denounced with indignant ridicule by the Times newspaper. There is just as much reason as ever for receiving their statements with caution; but Mr. MATTHEW HENRY MARSH has now come to be acknowledged as an authority, and his sayings are cheered in the House and quoted in the great journal just as if they proceeded from the fountain of truth itself. The fact is, however, that not all the ridiculous falsehoods of FRANK FOWLER, or the inventions attributed to MISKA HAUSER, can compete with the mendacious statements of Mr. MARSH. He is the very GULLIVER of Australian politics . . .

"MISKA HAUSER. To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (23 November 1865), 3 

"Music", The Queenslander (24 March 1888), 465 

I dare say many of my readers will recollect Miska Hauser, the violinist. He played in Melbourne in 1858, and his mannerism and charming tone quite captivated his audiences; the ladies especially were ready to die for him - at least, so they pretended. In this way he may be said to have led captivity captive. Musicians somehow excel at that sort of thing. Miska Hauser died at Vienna on the 9th December last. He retired into private life some twelve years ago. He used to play some "Lieder Ohne Worte" of his own composition exquisitely. King Victor Emmanuel created him a Knight of the St. Mauritius, a Lazarus order with which I am unacquainted. Kings have a way of doing these things on the cheap, though at one time honours were very precious and much appreciated by the recipients. Since his retirement nothing has been heard of him; he seldom or never played out of his own home. He was a cheerful and witty companion, and was deservedly respected.


"VALUABLE VIOLINS AT AUCTION", The globe and traveller [London, England] (25 January 1906), 8

At the Argyll Gallery, W., yesterday, Messrs. Glendenning and Company disposed of a valuable collection of violins . . . another by Joseph Guarnerius, 1697, formerly the property of the late Prof. Miska Hauser, at whose death it fell into the hands of Prof. E. Rappoldi, Chambre Virtuoso to the Court of Saxony, £240 . . .

"THE GREATEST VIOLINIST OF HIS DAY THE LATE DR. JOSEPH JOACHIM", The sketch [London, England] (21 August 1907), 7

BORN AT KITTSEE, IN TRANSLEITHANIA, JUNE 28, 1831. DIED AT BERLIN, AUGUST 15; 1907. Joseph Joachim began to play the violin when he was five, using an instrument that he himself described as "a common little thing, given as a plaything." In 1841 he went to Vienna, there to study under Miska Hauser, the elder Hellmesberger, and Joseph Boehm . . .

Hauser's Australian travel journals and other reports in the international and local press

"SYDNEY . . . Sydney Herald, 25th Nov., 1854", The musical world [London, England] (17 March 1855), 164 

[Editorial], Arthur's illustrated home magazine [Philadelphia, USA] (August 1855), 111

. . . Miska Hauser was still enchanting the Australians with his magic violin when last heard from, and had found much favor in the eyes of the citizens of Sydney in particular, by the generous tender of a concert for the benefit of the Goulburn Hospital. Miska draws much gold, as well as a very fine bow.

"A CONCERT IN SYDNEY. FROM THE DIARY OF A WANDERING FIDDLER", Chambers's journal of popular literature (18 August 1855), 104-105;view=1up;seq=118 (DIGITISED)

[News], Musical world [New York, USA] (8 September 1855), 219

. . . Miska Hauser is in the interior of Australia, and is everywhere received with marks of sympathy. At his departure from Abonmite-Bay, one of the cities recently constructed in the South of New Holland, a party of his admirers accompanied him into the forest, to protect him against the attack of the natives . . .

"MISKA HAUSER", Dwight's journal of music [Boston, USA] (8 September 1855), 166 

MISKA HAUSER, the knight-errant of the violin, who seeks new fields of virtuoso fame away in the Sandwich Islands and remote corners of the world, seems to be getting equally famous as a historian and romancer in the way of newspaper correspondence. We find him in the German papers, we find him in the Paris La France Musicale, and in the English papers. Latterly in Chambers' Journal, in giving an account of a concert in Sydney, Australia, he sketches an "independent editor," one of whose economies we think it might be fair enough for every editor to adopt in his own practice. He says: "A few days after my arrival, I paid my visits to the different editors of Sydney . . .

"A CONCERT IN SYDNEY", Chambers's journal of popular literature (22 September 1855),;view=1up;seq=206 

Our readers may remember the unfavourable report made by Mr. Hauser in the above article, in No. 85, on the state of society in Sydney. This has been flatly contradicted by so many respectable persons, that, having no knowledge of the subject ourselves, we hasten to withdraw from Mr. Hauser's statements any support they may be supposed to derive from the character of this Journal. We advise our readers to regard the paper, for the present, as merely an amusing and vivacious sketch, and look to other sources for solid information touching the manners and morals of the capital of New South Wales.

"Australien: Erlebnisse eines musikalischen Missionärs bei den Antipoden", Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes (8 November 1855), 533-34 

29 November 1855, Melbourne, VIC

"MISKA HAUSER (To the Editor)", The Age (29 November 1855), 6 

SIR, - My attention has been called to an article which appears in the Australian and New Zealand Gazette, of the 25th of August, entitled "An Hungarian, in Sydney."

"Mr. Hauser," observes the Gazette, "has favored some European journal - a German newspaper, we presume - with a sketch of his adventures in Sydney, by no means flattering to the inhabitants of that thriving city. This sketch has been translated into Chambers's Journal, and will no doubt create some sensation among the Sydneyists. We refer our readers to the Edinburgh Journal for full details; but there are a few statements of the fiddler too extraordinary to be passed over without notice."

And then the Australian and New Zealand Gazette goes on to quote certain statements, which if they had been ever penned by Miska Hauser, would be equally discreditable to his head and to his heart. In the absence of that gentleman from this colony, I take the earliest opportunity of repudiating on his behalf, the authorship of the statements referred to. They could not have been written without my knowledge; their style and sentiment are utterly inconsistent with the feelings, opinions, and modes of thought peculiar to the great violinist; and I have no hesitation in affirming my belief that the letters containing such statements are the fabrication of an enemy, anxious to render Miska Hauser contemptible in Germany and unpopular abroad.

This testimony on my part is voluntary and disinterested, as my connexion with the violinist terminated some months since, though the respect for him which was inspired by his character, survives the severance of our professional relations.
I am, Sir, Your obedient servant,

18 and 19 December 1855, Adelaide, SA

"ANOTHER PICTURE OF COLONIAL LIFE", Adelaide Times (18 December 1855), 2 

"A CONCERT IN AUSTRALIA. FROM THE DIARY OF A WANDERING FIDDLER (From Chambers' Journal, August 18)", Adelaide Times (18 December 1855), 3 

"MISKA HAUSER AND THE CHAMBERS' JOURNAL. To the Editor", Adelaide Times (19 December 1855), 3 

Sir - I regret to perceive in your paper of this morning (December 18) a republication of an article, absurdly attributed to me, from "Chambers' Journal." It is almost superfluous for me to say, I am not the author of the article in question; or to add that it is a tissue of falsehoods from beginning to end. The candour of the public mind will, I feel confident, receive this as my vindication from the charge of having published a gross and ignorant libel on the citizens of these colonies.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

"Miska Hauser . . .", Fränkischer Kurier (15 January 1856), 1 

"MISKA HAUSER. To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 January 1856), 5 

SIR - I enclose Miska Hauser's letter to you, and I beg your pardon for not doing so ere now; it is my neglect, and the only excuse I have for it is these, that I was to go to Sydney in December last, and take those letters along. M. Hauser went to Adelaide, two days' after he arrived from Hobart Town, and left the same to me. I thought of going every week, but as I have altered my resolution, I hurry myself to send them. I see in the Melbourne paper that the Messrs. Chambers have repudiated the truth of the mentioned letter.
I remain, your most obedient servant.
Ex-agent to M. Hauser.
Melbourne, January 14, 1856.

Sir, - An article appeared in "Chambers' Journal" of September 21st, 1865, called "A Concert in Sydney, or the Wanderings of a Fiddler" and said to be from my pen. The article in question being of a low, damaging character, both to the people of Sydney and myself as an artist and a man, it is necessary I should take the most public means of denying the authorship, and all knowledge of its existence until it was shown me in print.

During my stay in Sydney I only wrote one letter to Europe - to my father, at Pressburg, and to him I wrote briefly as I had experienced. My reception in Sydney was kind and flattering, and my success as a violinist great. In society I was ever treated with respect, and as a gentleman, I have much reason to remember with kindly feelings the people of Sydney; and believe me, Sir, that I do not exaggerate by saying that I should return to Sydney with the same pleasure as I would to my own native home. Every incident named in the article in question, as far as my experience goes, is [ ? ]; the whole letter is a vile forgery, and apparently intended to do me an injury. I shall take immediate steps with Messrs. Chambers, who own the journal, to get the wicked author if possible.
I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
Melbourne, 10th December, 1855.

N.B.- I have also contradicted the named letter in the Launceston paper during my stay there, where I first saw it; and Mr. Askunas, as my former agent, has done the same in Melbourne during my absence from this place, in justice to me, although he has no more connection with me. I enclose you his repudiation.
M. H.

"VALUE OF AN EDITOR'S TIME", Ballou's Monthly Magazine (February 1856), 180

"En artist I Australien", Ny Tidning för Musik (19 April 1856), 132

The theatre, desecrated by our wicked fiddler, is in reality very handsomely fitted up; and the performance on the stage would, in John Askew's opinion, do no discredit to the boards of the best of our metropolitan houses . . .

"THE ROVING FIDDLER", Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature (5 January 1856), 14-16;page=root;seq=26;num=14 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

"Eine Theaterscene in Melbourne (Aus Chambers's Journal)", Das Ausland (21 March 1856), 272

"UN ARTISTA IN AUSTRALIA", L'Italia musicale (5 April 1856), 110 

"Editor's Table", Graham's magazine [Philadelphia, USA] (May 1856), 455-56 

"Musical Chit-Chat", Dwight's journal of music [Boston, USA] (24 January 1857), 135

The New Orleans Picayune speaking of theatricals and music in Australia, says:

Miska Hauser, he with the "Bird on a tree," had also had a concert, introducing a sextuor, composed by Mayseder, and a quartetto with variations on "God Save the Queen, composed by Onslow, both of which were performed for the first time in New South Wales. His own variations on the national English anthem were greatly praised. "Of his solo playing," says a local critic, "it is unnecessary to offer comment; his perfect tone, the liquid notes which he produces, combined with an extraordinary memory, stamp him as a violinist of the first order." He had announced three Clinical Member concerts, promising to produce in perfection the quintets, quartets, trios, duets, &c, &c, of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Spohr, Mendelssohn, Onslow, Hummel, and other great lights of art, who, by their genius, have irradiated the family circle, and whose honored names are "household words" in all climes. He was to be assisted by our other old friend, Mr. George Loder, who had arrived at Sidney in the second week of August. The subscription was to be one guinea for the three concerts, and a brilliant success was anticipated.

By "Clinical Member concerts," in the above, are we to understand Classical Chamber Concerts? We wish Miska Hauser a safe delivery.

"Ausland . . . Aus Melbourne vom 13 März", Die Neue Zeit Olmüzer Zeitung (17 May 1857), 2 

"Beethoven in Australien", Oesterreichisches Bürger-blatt (25 May 1857), 336 

"CHRONIQUE ÉTRANGÈRE", Revue et gazette musicale de Paris (21 June 1857), 207 

Melbourne (Australie). - Miska-Hauser a fait sa troisième et dernière tournée dans les villes coloniales de l'Australie. On annonce son prochain départ pour l'Europe, où il se rendra par Java, Batavia, Saint-Maurice, Bourbon et le Cap.

"A STEERAGE PASSENGER'S VIEW OF SYDNEY", Chambers's journal (24 October 1857), 271 

John Askew, a steerage passenger, has favoured the world with a description, drawn from personal observation, of Australia and New Zealand; and, upon the whole, the world is much obliged to him . . . He is worth fifty of your more amusing, imaginative tourists - such as the musical artiste, who some years ago, by his misrepresentations of Sydney in these pages, placed us in so false a position towards the inhabitants. By the way, this is a fortunate thought; it suggests to us the propriety of taking the present opportunity of making the amende honorable to that injured city by giving John Askew's steerage view of it, to be placed in juxta-position with the caricature of Mishka Hauser, who was doubtless a cabin passenger . . .

"Die Musik in Melbourne", Niederrheinische Musik-Zeitung (28 May 1859), 169

"MISKA HAUSER", Empire [Sydney, NSW] (5 July 1859), 3

The "Fiddler round the World," as a continental newspaper terms this speculating would-be-literary violinist, has given to his fellow-countrymen, his American, Polynesian, and Australian experience in a two-volume potpourri, entitled "Aus dem Wanderbuche eines oesterreichischen Virtuosen." (From the Diary of a travelling Austrian Virtuoso.) The following Review of this musical and literary mélange appears in the latest (April) number of Bentley's Miscellany, under the title of NOTES FOR GOLD . . .

NOTE: This extensive review is one of the most useful summaries of Hauser's travel journal

[News], Dwight's journal of music [Boston, USA] (9 July 1864), 272 

Who has forgotten MISKA HAUSER, the violinist, who gave concerts here with Jaell in the "Germania" days? He has had travelling adventures and has written a book, of which a German correspondent of the Orchestra makes note as follows:

Miska Hauser, eminent violinist, whose success was marked when he recently gave a series of twenty-three concerts in Kroll's Theatre, Berlin, is celebrated not only as violinist, but as traveller. Herr Hauser has been round the world, and either took ten years to do it, or else kept on going round and round the world for ten years: it is immaterial which. Suffice it, a two-volume book of travels, and the Neue Berliner Musikzeitung spares us the universal Weherisch or Mendelssohnisch biographical paper for one week, and devotes a feuilleton to Hauser. From which it appears ho was born in '22 at Pressburg, Hungary; studied in Vienna; played at 12 in a Hofconcert before a K.K. audience - audience being the Kaiserin herself; went on an eight years' journey through Europe, even to the confines of Siberia, which appears to be a more musical country than people imagine. Next, coming back to Vienna in eighteen-forty-eight, found that city in an eighteen-forty-eightish condition generally, and K.K. notabilities at a discount. Whereupon, fearing that Orpheus, though he moved rocks and stones with his violin, might not be able to quiet rocks and stones when they were being pitched about by other people who hated Cosmos, the young musician came to England, where Kaisers and revolutions were not. Thereupon Ullmann seized him (the star called Carlotta being then merely nebulous), and introduced him to the New World. Here Miska Hauser catches the fever, and the Berliner Neue Musikzeitung gets on stilts. "Malicious fevers, which there, among forests full of buds and odours, like spiteful demons waylay the stranger, shorten his stay on that wonder-island;" wonder-island being Havanna, whence Hauser left for New York, came out with Jenny Lind, awakened a sensation, and became the rage. History then mentions many names of places which he visited, and is full of San Francisco (where he had a row on account of Lola Montes), Lima (where passionate Creoles languished for him), Santiago (where a nice set of fanatics excited the mob against him, on the charge that his violin was charmed by the devil), Valparaiso, shipwreck, and Otaheite. Here he stayed, and composed several pieces for Queen Pomare. The Neue Musikzeitung has an amusing account of him at the tattooed court. He is commanded to play, and commences with a "prelude:" Otaheite looks coldly on. Barefooted royalty is not to be touched with art, and tattooed nobility is indifferent even to fifths. So Hauser breaks out - with the fear of fiasco strongly before his eyes - in the "Carneval," and this works: all Otaheite is ravished, which may account for the present immortality of that everlasting air. From Otaheite Miska Hauser went to Australia, was presented with the freedom of Sydney, and received a vote of thanks from Parliament for his playing - that is to say, to charitable ends. Thence we have mention of Cairo, Alexandria, Turkey, the Sultan (the Lord of Men beat time while the Giaour played), Trieste, Milan, Turin, France, Germany, trills, staccatos, and immortal renown; all of which, in fuller detail than it can be given here, is it not written in the chronicles of the Neue Musikzeitung of Berlin?

The Australian journals

Complete German text (1859, 1860)

First edition 1859, volume 1

Miska Hauser, Aus dem Wanderbuche eines österreichischen Virtuosen: Briefe aus Californien, Südamerika und Australie . . . erste Band (Leipzig: Fried. Ludwig Herwig, 1859) (DIGITISED)

PREFACE GOOGLE TRANSLATION, UNCORRECTED: As publishers of the following travel letters, which were originally addressed to a close and familiar circle of relatives and friends, I hand them over, despite the friendly and encouraging reception which they found in the features section of the "Ostdeutsche Post," but only hesitantly and prejudiced to the public, driven by the fleeting impression of the moment, they can only shyly stand aside the many, often important travel works of modern times, and they can not afford to indulge the indulgence of the most benevolent reader, when the same new upliftment, scientific value, or thoroughness awaits. Who, on the other hand, neither overestimates nor disdains the simple observation of an undemanding virtuoso who sailed with violin and bow in all directions of the wind, and who finds it more convenient to travel the world in the innocuous pages of a book than over mountains and seas, I think, could be satisfied with the reading of these collected letters. To him these on-the-fly recordings, though not finished pictures, yet the sketchy interventions of a great transatlantic world, are likely to convey the impressions of deeply moving experiences and baptized appearances which the narrator has perceived and observed during his nine-year migrations.

Having said this, I may say that my brother, who was a migrant, born at Pressburg, Hungary, in 1822, at an early age expressed an unusual penchant for music, which displaced all children's games. Konradin Kreutzer, at the time Kapellmeister of the local theatre, visited the boy's art-loving home and had his first lessons in violin playing. The success was so favorable that the boy, barely twelve years old, could soon be heard in the theatre with much applause. Visiting the Conservatorium under the direction of Professor Böhm, Michael Hauser found in the k. k. Chamber virtuoso Mr. Joseph Mayseder, a friend and teacher as eager as he was warm, gave an artistic and promising direction to his further education. Accompanied by his father, who was once an excellent violin violinist with Beethoven, my brother made the first shy art trip to Germany in 1840, but with ever-increasing success, he went on an almost eight-year concert tour through Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, all Russia extended to the border of Siberia.

Having returned to Vienna in 1848, the first notes of a violin were drowned by the thunderbolts of the revolution; the onset of those events so distressing to art, which at that time shook most of Europe, determined him to seek the quiet hearth of a place of birth, where he, preparing for a greater journey to France and England, devoted himself exclusively to study and composition incumbent. Arriving in London, he was attracted by an exceedingly advantageous call over the ocean, and as early as January 1, 1850, the steamer "Baltic" brought him to New York. From there he spent two years traveling through the Union in all directions, accompanied by a concert company. From the snowfields of Canada to the flowering spring of Niagara, with its thundering cataracts, from the most remote settlements of the west to the lush orange forests of Louisiana, there is hardly a city left untouched by the visit of this modern Argonaut train.

Returning to New York in 1852, he sailed along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, past the glaring sceneries of the Slave States, to the enchanting zone of the South. The malignant fever of Havana, however, which stalked the stranger among the woods, full of flowers and scents, like treacherous demons, shortened a stay on that miracle island. He hastened back to New York, and here it was, where the adventurous as well as dangerous resolve matured in him, and then to California - but I do not want to anticipate the narrator. From since then started, the descriptions of the letters, the I hereby hand over to a larger readership. Would you like find a friendly reception and beware the interest what they used to say in the columns of a journal easy and unaffected to achieve. - Sigmund Hauser, Vienna, November 1858.


First edition 1859, volume 2

Miska Hauser, Aus dem Wanderbuche eines österreichischen Virtuosen: Briefe aus Californien, Südamerika und Australie . . . zweite Band (Leipzig: Fried. Ludwig Herwig, 1859) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

Second edition 1860, volume 1

Miska Hauser, Aus dem Wanderbuche eines österreichischen Virtuosen: Briefe aus Californien, Südamerika und Australie . . . zweite Ausgabe, erste Band (Leipzig: Fr. Milh Grunow, 1860) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

Second edition 1860, volume 2

Miska Hauser, Aus dem Wanderbuche eines österreichischen Virtuosen: Briefe aus Californien, Südamerika und Australie . . . zweite Ausgabe, zweite Band (Leipzig: Fr. Milh Grunow, 1860) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

Earlier letters:

[LAST LETTER FROM] San Francisco (12 July 1853) (1859, I, 68)

Panama (5 December 1853) (I, 81)

Lima (1 January, 15 January 1854; 1 February; 1 March; 15 September 1854) (1859, I, 86, 91, 98, 108, 118)

Valparaiso (14 May 1854) (1859, I, 127)

Santiago di Chile (29 June 1854) (1859, I, 137)

Tahiti (30 September 1854, 12 October) (1859, I, 159, 162, 173, 180)

"THE FIRST CONCERT IN TAHITI", Chambers's journal of popular literature (2 June 1855), 337-39;view=1up;seq=349 

"MISKA HAUSER IN TAHITI", The Age (27 October 1855), 7 

Letter 1 (Sydney, NSW, 1 December 1854)

Version A, 29 September 1855; edited translation, incomplete

"A CONCERT IN SYDNEY. FROM THE DIARY OF A WANDERING FIDDLER", Chambers's journal of popular literature (18 August 1855), 104-105;view=1up;seq=118 (DIGITISED)

Our readers probably remember Mishka Hauser and his Tahitian Concert; we have now from his pen the following sketch of his Australian Adventurers: -

It took us five dreary weeks to reach Port Jackson from Tahiti. Dense mist covered the beautiful bay when we arrived on the 25th of November, but the rays of the rising sun soon dispelled it, and we beheld Sydney with delightful surprise rising, like the fata morgana, from the waves. The town is situated between two promontories, which from the Bay of Sydney, protected by two forts, and affording safe anchorage to the largest ships. Charming groves of trees and villas are dotted over the shores; proud steamers and innumerable ships, gayly displaying the flags of all the sea-faring nations, float on the waves; and on the landing place there is a concourse of men of different races clustering and moving like bees. Sydney is the centre of the commerce of the Pacific; it is the seat of the government of New South Wales, has large public buildings, three theatres, many banks, an orphan asylum, a philosophical and an agricultural society, a topographical bureau, several hospitals, schools, and even a university and observatory. All the streets, as well as the dials of the clocks, are lighted with gas; the brickhouses, of light structure, look comfortable; the paving is tolerably good; whilst a motley crowd of Europeans, Chinese, Papuans, and Malays, in picturesque attire, enlivens the novel scene.

Several Germans called on me soon after my arrival: they had seen my name in the papers; and since in a foreign country it is pleasant to meet even with those slight acquaintances we scarcely notice at home, I was very agreeably surprised by their attention, and went under their guidance to see the sights of Sydney.

The centre of the town is Victoria Place: it is the head-quarters of its civilization. We see here, book-shops, reading-rooms, coffeehouses, hotels, confectioneries, elegant stores, and a rich display of jewellery, shawls, and all the luxuries of European life. And what a crowd of people of all nations, languages, manners, and customs! Here Englishmen, with their angular deportment and apathetic countenance; there the calculating Americans, with their sharp features; the bashful Germans, green and awkward, scarcely daring to speak aloud; forward Irishmen, quite at home in Australia; and, again, ugly Papuans, combining cunning and stupidity in their expression; and natives of the Celestial Empire, sauntering about with comical gravity, and staring with small twinkling eyes at the wonders of Sydney. Every individual of these varieties of mankind seems to be possessed by the demon of money-making. Mammon is the idol worshipped by the whole population.

We paid a visit to the Chinese quarter, and I feared I should lose my hearing by the deafening noise. Jugglers, dancers, and peddlers stop the thoroughfare - all shouting at the top of their voices, and trying to carry off the stranger by force into their shops and stalls; but each neutralizing by competition the attempts of his neighbor. A dispute arises, and ends in a row; and whilst they take hold of one another's tails, we escape from the riotous neighborhood and its furious din.

After sunset, weary and exhausted by my wanderings, I entered a coffee and eatinghouse in one of the most fashionable streets. I found a merry company here, laughing and shouting, with billiard-balls rattling, and the corks of champagne bottles popping. It was the strangest assembly of adventurers and gold-hunters - of respectable men and swindlers - of physicians, gamblers, and merchants - of Americans, Chinese, and Jews; the last mostly from Germany, apparently well pleased with their new home, the country of gold, which has everywhere so strange an attraction for the children of Israel.

Deep, I might say solemn, silence prevailed in the adjoining rooms, which are the palaces of play. Recklessness and crime are seated here round the green table; many thoughtless young men are fleeced every day; law has as yet no sufficient weight here to stop the doings of vice. The rage of gambling has a baneful influence on social life in Sydney. Rapacity and sensuality have established their headquarters in the town; and though much has already been done, still more remains to be done in establishing a higher moral tone of society in a commonwealth, founded originally by the thieves and swindlers of England, and now grown into absolute anarchy by inconsiderate immigration, the natural consequence of the discovery of the Diggings.

The hotels and eating-houses are established on the English principle, but they are just as expensive as the American hotels at San Francisco. It was in vain I watched carefully the strings of my purse, for it requires here fully four pounds a day to live respectably. But even such expenditure seems too slow for some lucky miners, who are anxious to spend their money as quickly as they gained it. Nearly 500 gambling-houses disgrace the town, and many thousands of men spend their lives in them. It is impossible to describe the wiles and tricks of the miserable corrupters of public morality; no means is too vicious for them, and the most refined allurements are resorted to, in order to lead the unsophisticated stranger to perdition. There is, for instance, a gambling-house here, which twice a week gives free dinner parties. Whoever has a black dress-coat, white waistcoat, and patent-leather boots, may enter and enjoy the dainties on the open table. Of course, after dinner he is invited in return to try his fortune at dice, when the fumes of champagne have clouded his brain. Many a foreigner has gone into this house for the sake of fun, and left it a despairing beggar.

The Botanical Garden - the Hyde Park of Sydney - is dreary and dusty, since the dry season, lasting eight months in the year, destroys the vegetation, and produces clouds of sand and dust. Two rows of stiff gum-trees form a long avenue leading into the Garden, filled with the fashionables of Sydney. Seated on chairs and benches, we see ladies who have long ago passed the summer-solstice of their life: these centres of attraction are surrounded and courted by young men, and in this paradise of the passees they are sure to arrive speedily at the blessedness of married life. Many a bachelor in Sydney remarks, sighingly, that the choice among the unmarried ladies lies within a rather too narrow compass; but the demand is great, the supply small, and Europe very distant Close to this place, on a green meadow, the hopeful offspring of the Australian gold-ocracy are gamboling, and making as terrible a noise as if they tried to prove themselves the worthy children of those men who, under the shade of yonder coffee and ice-cream stall, are transacting business - buying and selling gold with tremendous yells.

A few days after my arrival, I paid my visits to the different editors of Sydney. At my first call, I came to a palace-like house, the groundfloor occupied by the printing-office. On the first floor, among other advertisements, I found a tablet, informing visitors that the editor cannot be spoken with unless paid for his valuable time: accordingly, everybody without exception is advised to buy a ticket of admission at the door of the waiting room - one hour costing 10s.; half an hour, 6s.; fifteen minutes, 3s. Such were the contents of this singular pricecurrent of time. I went into the waitingroom, and buying, from the Australian negro, in red livery, an hour of his master's time, I entered the parlor with a strong feeling of curiosity. The editor received me in a very unprepossessing and sluggish manner. "You are an artist, and come from Europe to make money?" said he in a not very friendly tone. But when he understood that I had come from South America and California, his face lighted up, and his voice became less abrupt. He asked me, without longer preface, what pecuniary sacrifice I was ready to make in order to be pulled by his paper. I was startled by this bluntness, and replied that, in case of success, I would surely give him material proofs of my gratitude; but he did not find my answer precise enough, and requested me to come at once to a definite understanding, and to pay a certain sum, without which, according to him, it would be impossible for me to succeed. Telling him that I wished to adjourn the conference, as I could not at once come to a decision, I left this temple of editorial integrity and public spirit. The other editors were less rapacious and more friendly: they gave me, indeed, the best advice about my concerts . . .

"From Chambers's Journal. A CONCERT IN SYDNEY", Littell's living age (29 September 1855), 785-86 (DIGITISED)

Version B, 1859; as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), I, 189-99 (DIGITISED)

Sydney, December 1, 1854.

How sad are these coasts of Australia! dark and desolate, bare fragments of rock jut out of the hissing waves as if shattered by a turmoil of nature. Only here and there does a lonely palm, withered and defoliated by sunburn, protrude from these stony deserts, which make the traveler's mind so anxious and gloomy that one yearns and feels happy to reach the safe haven. After a five-week tiresome and dangerous voyage, we reached Port Jackson on November 25th. Heavy fog lay over the magnificent bay at our entrance, but soon the ray of the invigorating morning sun drove it away, and with delightful surprise we saw the long-awaited Sidney, rising like a fata morgana from the still tide . . .

. . . [198] . . . My first concert will take place on the 5th of December in the [199] Royal Theatre and I have the best chance of success.

Miss Hayez [sic], with whom I meet everywhere, is here showered with gold in the true sense of the word. All of Sidney raves about the "Irish Swan" (that's what they are called here), and since the discovery of gold nothing has produced more feverish enthusiasm than the singer's appearance. As often as she sings, the house is so crowded that I would be happy for half of this audience for my first concert. The concert costs are enormous, but also the entrance fees. The box costs 5 pounds sterling, 1 seat 2 pounds sterl. and Admission 1/2 Pounds sterl. I wish that the first concert would already be over, because this is crucial.

Letter 2 (Sydney, NSW, 20 December 1854)

Version A, 29 September 1855; edited translation, partial

"A CONCERT IN SYDNEY. FROM THE DIARY OF A WANDERING FIDDLER", Chambers's journal of popular literature (18 August 1855), 105-106;view=1up;seq=118 (DIGITISED)

. . . The costs are enormous, but so are likewise the prices of tickets: a box, L.5; stalls, L.2; pit, 10s. On the whole, however, my prospects were far from promising. I could not feel sympathy with the population of Sydney, and did not expect to meet with any from them. Everybody here being immersed in the cares of profit and loss, is cold and reserved, and in society dull and stupid. Political meetings alone are apt to draw out their eloquence, and nothing but drunken revels and cock-fights amuse them. How could we expect a taste for the fine arts in such a state of society?

The English maintain here the stereotyped customs and manners of the mother country; although the climate should suggest some modification, still nobody deviates from the English routine, even the ugly Austral negroes copying the habits of their masters in the most ridiculous way, though they hate them cordially. The Papuans are probably the dirtiest race of humanity - ugly, lean, and long; they are dull, though cunning, thievish, and cowardly; the sight of a sword or pistol frightens them into fits. Several thousands of these benighted people live in Sidney, where they have accepted the vices of civilization; their dress is made up from the most heterogeneous articles - for instance, they wear a black dress-coat with a lady's straw-bonnet, or the Chinese cap and broad Malay trousers. Most of them are clever barbers or lazy servants in the hotels, pickpockets or policemen; all of them are enthusiastically fond of brandy; and their propensity for thieving is scarcely to be checked by any means. Thus it happened that my black dress-coat which, on the day of my first concert, I handed to the servant to be brushed, disappeared in an inexplicable way. Happily I had another in reserve, and made a most careful toilet. Suddenly the waters of the sky poured down in a truly Australian shower, though no clouds were visible; but soon this ceased, and full of the brightest hopes, I had an open cab called, and hastened to the concert-hall. But, oh I what a discomfiture, unheard of in the annals of musical adventures!

Half an hour before the beginning of the performance, on the way to Australian fame and its golden reward, I was upset by the stupid driver, and lay in the mud of Sydney. What a fall! my dress-coat and gloves were spoiled, and the question arose how to remedy the loss. Like King Richard, I raved through the streets, "A dress-coat, a dress-coat! a kingdom for a dress coat!" A German tailor took pity on my despair, and with truly German amiability he sold me for L.8 a dress-coat - not precisely black, but light-blue, with yellow buttons, and not exactly fitting me: still it was a dress-coat. I now hastened to the Royal Victoria Theatre.

The house was half empty when I arrived: the overture of La Gazza Ladra was just verging to its end, and the curtain was raised. I stepped forth, made a respectful bow, and was about to put my fiddle-stick in motion, when suddenly an outburst of indignation was heard in the dress-circle, and I was ordered to withdraw. Confused and surprised by such a greeting, I retired bashfully; and behind the scenes the manager received me with a desperate countenance, and the most serious reproaches, for having dared to insult the gentry of the city, the best society of the antipodes, by appearing without gloves, and in a sky-blue dress-coat. Indeed, it was too bad; but what could I do? In a few words I told him of my mishap, whilst the audience shouted, "The conductor." He made his appearance, and related in a confused way the lamentable story of my two dress-coats; adding an extemporized biography of myself, and suggesting to the honorable company that, under such circumstances, a genius might be forgiven for his want of courtesy even to so distinguished an audience; and he wound up his speech by asking whether the ladies and gentlemen would allow Mr. Hauser to play or not. "Yes," replied a voice from the dress-circle; and " Yes, yes!" was the general shout throughout the assembly.

I was rather nervous at my second appearance on the scene of action, but with the Siciliana I made a bold attack on the ears of the punctillious public. Tremendous applause rewarded and encouraged me; and when I struck up Rule Britannia, with Onslow's variations, the audience grew rapturous, and the ladies in the dress-circle clapped their hands, and said, " Very fine!"

The concert, in short, which had began under such ominous forebodings, ended in the most gratifying way. The public seemed to be content, and all the places for my next performance are taken and paid for.

"From Chambers's Journal. A CONCERT IN SYDNEY", Littell's living age (29 September 1855), 786-87 (DIGITISED)

Version B, 1859; as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), I, 199-211 (DIGITISED)

Sidney, November 20, 1854.

I am now forty-two days in Sidney, and as comfortable as one feels after a three-month sea journey, which, in addition to hardships and dangers, leads to an almost overwhelming boredom, even those with the richest imagination able to transform gifted people into Cretins . . .

In the evening I visited the Theatre for the first time, for there was no place in the opera house where Miss Hayez was giving the Norma . . .

. . . I entered for the second time the hot planks of the stage, and with the "Siciliano" I began my first attack against the critical public. An applause, which my wildest hopes had not expected, rewarded me after the play was over. The gentlemen and ladies shouted "Very Fine", and when I gave the "Rule Britannia" with Beethoven Variations as an encore, John Bull was in ecstasy.

Of the other contributors I find only one singing lady worth mentioning; Miss Sarah Nero was her proud name - a song-ruin fantastically fanned out with many flowers and ribbons appeared and garnered an aria of Verdi in agonizing fashion, but had she maltreated the aesthetic hearing of her namesake than mine, the tyrant would surely ban her from tarpeic rocks have fallen down.

The concert, begun under the ominous forebodings, took a very happy course. The audience showed a lot of sympathy for me, and many seats have been ordered for the next concert.

The day after tomorrow I am summoned to Governor-General, the unlimited master of this world. It is the English general Sir Charles Natham, who is to be very artistic. It will be danced and musiced, and besides me, when Hayez is away, Miss Nero is still loaded.

Letter 3 (Sydney, NSW, 1 January 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), I, 212 (DIGITISED)

Letter 4 (Sydney, NSW, 1 January 1855, continued)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), I, 219 (DIGITISED)

Letter 5 (Sydney, NSW, 15 January 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), I, 225 (DIGITISED)

Letter 6 (Goulburn, NSW, 6 February 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 1 (DIGITISED)

Letter 7 (Goulburn, NSW, 10 February 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 10 (DIGITISED)

Letter 8 (Parramatta, NSW, 1 March 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 20 (DIGITISED)

Letter 9 (Bathurst, NSW, 15 March 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 30 (DIGITISED)

Letter 10 (Moreton Bay, NSW (QLD), 2 April 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 40 (DIGITISED)

Letter 11 (Sydney, NSW, 15 April 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 52 (DIGITISED)

Letter 12 (Melbourne, VIC, 15 May 1855)

Version A; 1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 62 (DIGITISED)

Version B, 25 January 1861; complete translation

"MISKA HAUSER'S IMPRESSIONS OF AUSTRALIA", Victorian review: a journal of the volunteer forces . . . (25 January 1861), 86 (DIGITISED)

SYDNEY [sic, recte MELBOURNE], (AUSTRALIA) - 15th May, 1851.

When the English navigator Cook and the companions of his voyage, full of enthusiasm and with shouts of joy, caught the first glance of unknown Australia - the year 1778, no one, in the midst of his delight, thought that proud and splendid cities would soon spring out of the desert and forsaken soil, in which at the present time, the travelling virtuoso, the opera singer and dancer, together with all modern passions of European civilisation, are unfolding their dazzling luxury; and we had prophesied such miracles to those bold seamen they would certainly have smiled, and have shaken their heads incredulously.

In less than ten years, with gigantic steps, centuries are anticipated. Parts of the globe are joined together. Nations become brethren. The state of the savage is mitigated, and hidden treasures are discovered.

Out of boggy uninhabited deserts, swiftly as an arrow flies, a whole world is conjured, in the midst of which proud Sydney [sic, Melbourne] rises like a shining monument. Anything more beautiful and picturesque cannot be imagined, than the entrance to the haven which presents an uncommonly lively and checkered, I may say, almost pompous appearance, and reminds me very much of the harbor of Havannah. Green islands grown over with Palms and Cypresses greet the stranger at an hour's distance, and in the distant horizon single white spots glitter through the early dawn, each charming islet, each friendly hillock, is crowned with ornamental villas. Kiosques and luxurious gardens, everywhere signs of wealth. industry, and civilisation are perceptible. Suddenly the great panorama discloses itself, and the astonished eye discovers simultaneously three glittering cities.

Proud churches towers, magnificent buildings and palaces rise imposingly from the white sea of houses. Vessels of all nations with a forest of masts and flags of all colours, fill the harbor. Splendid steamers smoke through the quiet river, conducting gigantic traffic which streams throughout India, China, and the South-sea Islands. Over the whole of this is suspended a cloudless sky of sapphire blue, smiling down upon the youthful city, which looks aloft: rosy as a blooming child.

Sydney [sic, Melbourne] with a population of 150,000 souls lies in the centre of the colony of Australia [sic, recte Victoria], and is the Capital City of the whole country. The uniform streets are adorned with large hotels, fitted up with spendthrift luxury. Thousands of people of all colours, races, and costumes, crowd amidst the unceasing rattling of omnibusses, private carriages, and drays; the most adventurous forms and faces are seen hurrying through the varied throng of merchants and brokers, who, shouting, and with wondrous gesticulations will, each at the same time, secure the booty of the day, like to a boisterous sea ebbing and flowing day and night, and in a manner to cause a stranger to doubt his eyes and ears.

From the harbor along row of houses, trees planted on both sides, leads through the centre of the city from one extreme to the other.

Note this: right and left, open uniform streets; the palace-like houses of which are just appearing above the ground; here, the upper stories are in progress, there the root is wanting, in many instances the cornice and windowframes, yet damask window curtains and high mirrors adorn the already inhabited apartments. Emancipated females in frivolous riding costume, cigar in month, are centering about on horseback; cracked gentlemen sitting six together on the box of an omnibus, rattle quick as an arrow after them, and smile delightedly should the piquant humor of a horse-woman induce her in joke to give them a cut with her riding-whip.

A small crowd of people attracted me; two sailors were engaged in angry words, the cause of their quarrel was hardly worth mentioning. The one a Chinese had pitched upon an old pipe on a rubbish heap; the other, a negro, laid claim to the treasure, clenched his fist, and with furious gestures, flew at his opponent. A frightful battle ensued. Ladies in line clothes, and dandies with foolish blase faces, watched this cruel sight with curiosity. "The pipe! rogue! give me the pipe you rascal," screamed the negro, and stabbed his opponent through the back of his neck with his knife, so that he fell dead and bathed in his blood.

The bye-standers had not made the slightest attempt to divide these mad men, and dispersed with heartless indifference as if they had but viewed some dancing monkey.

I went on. Elegant equipages, with finely-dressed ladies, are winding their way like snakes in and out, increasing the throng, and as I am a modest foot passenger, I must keep as close to the shops as possible, in order to avoid being crushed. I soon arrived at "William Pitt" place (Pittstreet?), which is very extensive, and surrounded by imposing buildings. The houses are, according to English custom, only adapted for one family; light and lofty, every door provided with shining brass furniture; the stairs with bronzed iron balusters, and under the windows charming flower gardens, railed round. Here is the forum of the female world. Here the temples of vanity on all sides are resplendent with magnificent shops, exhibiting every luxury. English and Indian stuffs hang in rolls from doors and windows. Chinese shawls, draped in every possible manner, reach down to the pavement; and, what is required in the great world for adornment is to be found here in such profusion that a princess might suit her choice.

Being tired of my wandering, I took my place at an ice pavilion, in front of a pastry-cook's, and amused myself in viewing the varied mixture of costumes, manners, and languages. Here sit peevish Englishmen, with the everlasting expression of weariness in their faces, their necks held stiff between high shirt collars, yawning and stretching out their long legs at full length; next to them foolish ladies who, without speaking a word, drink large bottles of sugar water; there, surrounded by gallant dandies, a coquettish Frenchwoman is throwing out her net - the large lively eyes make their debut in coquetting to the approbation of the surrounders, and the little tempting mouth chatters more in one quarter of an hour, than that stiff lady, who is casting angry grimaces from the neighboring table, does all the day long.

Not far from this, at a table covered with gold, the exchange brokers are arranging their business with wild exclamations. Here, again, newly-arrived sailors, who are examining the looking-glasses and china were with astonished and envious glances; there, the comic smiles of the Chinese, who are for the first time eating ices. A sparely clad woman totters by, and gathers alms; she begs for the child she is suckling, that, clad in rags, she shelters motherly from the wind and sun. Her sunken cheeks told how much she was in want, plainly enough to soften the hardest heart; but it seldom happened that any of the many assembled, who were talking and laughing and eating their ice, thought of throwing her a copper. A splendid carriage rattles up, a Moor opens the carriage door, and a lady, clad in silk and lace, alights. The beggar springs forward like a fury, rushes with furious gesture after the richly clothed stranger, who, confused and abashed, seeks shelter in a milliner's shop, and commences a volley of abuse of the lowest description.

Great sensation and curiosity. "The hag has seduced my child," exclaims the woman, with a voice almost smothered with rage, and she endeavours to follow the stranger into the shop; the Colonial Guard appears, and the tumult subsides.

(To be continued.)

Letter 13 (Melbourne, VIC, 15 May 1855, continued)

Version A; 1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 68 (DIGITISED)

Version B, 1861; complete translation

"MISKA HAUSER'S IMPRESSIONS OF AUSTRALIA", Victorian review: a journal of the volunteer forces . . . (1 February 1861), 103 (DIGITISED)

In this manner I wandered along for many hours, and in every street found the traffic enormous.

The sun was just upon the point of setting, when, tired out, I returned to my hotel, in order to wait for the tenor, who, in the meantime, had visited all the editors, managers of theatres and musical societies, in order to arrange the business of our concerts, which seemed here to be a matter of difficulty, for a whole army of prime donnas, virtuosi, acrobats, dancers, and such like birds of paradise, who wished simultaneously to shake the fruit from the trees, had occupied and pre-engaged weeks beforehand, every place fitted for a concert-room.

I waited in vain for the tenor, and as I wished to visit the opera house to hear a violin player, I made a start. To my astonishment, however, I found the door fastened from the outside. I rang the bell: no one came. I knocked loudly. In vain. At last, after waiting half an hour, the Commissionaire rushed into my room out of breath, - "Don't be alarmed, sir," said he, with a trembling voice, "It's of no consequence; all arrangements are made, and tomorrow all will be right; but do not leave your room today."

"What is of no consequence? Why am I not to be alarmed? and why shall I not leave my room?" I asked, astonished, and rather upset.

"Your neighbour in the next room, an Englishman, was suddenly seized with a fit to-day," exclaimed the Commissionaire, "and he is now running about, as if possessed by the devil. He is armed with pistols, and threatens to shoot the first who comes across him."

With these words be rushed away. After I had closed the doors, and had hermetically barricaded all the entrances with articles of furniture, I commenced examining the affair from a romantic point of view. The deranged stranger, who was trotting up and down in the next room, like a horse, accompanied my "Phantasie," and smashed bottles, glasses, and crockery with all his might against my door, cursed, laughed, and bawled until midnight. After this he was quieter. Without undressing, I threw myself upon my couch and slept more quietly than one usually does in such cases. In the morning, however, I was awoke by the sharp sound of a pistol. Terrified, I sprang from my bed, and every one in the hotel hurried to the spot.

The stranger had shot himself through the heart.

The authorities instituted inquiries as to the mysterious stranger, and by this means, discovered a more horrible event.

He was an Englishman, arrived from Calcutta; had landed a short time previously in Sydney with a beautiful young lady, and taken up his abode in one of the finest hotels, which he left the following day without the lady. The room remained locked; suspicion was aroused; it was opened, and the young lady was discovered dead in her bed, stabbed with a dagger. Similar cases occur here very frequently; scarcely any notice is taken of them; or they vanish like single waves in this sea of daily events rendered boisterous by eternal winds, for in no quarter of the globe do daring adventurers find a more suitable arena where they can unhindered indulge their corrupt lusts and wild passions than even here, where, in addition to the demon of gold, the avarice and temptation caused by the gaming-halls lead to the perpetration of the most frightful crimes, against which no laws are sufficiently strong.

I will mention the first theatre performance which I witnessed in Sydney, and which made me acquainted with the new opera of the Englishman, Balfe, called "Neolanthe, or the Fairy Maid." The opera house is generally very well frequented. The interior decorations are uncommonly rich, and almost pompous. The dress circle is filled with fashionable ladies who, full of English prudery and strict gravity, which does not allow of a single smile, sit as if chained to their seats, whilst the gentlemen, with affected indifference, eye the lady-world with their lorgnettes, or smoke cigars, sitting carelessly on their seats, paying scarcely any attention to the acting on the stage; for in the boxes of the dress circle, where, be it remarked, no really modest lady would put her foot, the sight is very tempting. This is the paradise of all coquettes and graces of easy virtue. Here, draped in red velvet curtains, sitting in the dazzling light of the gas lamps, and flattered by gallant admirers, the adventurous beauties of all countries are in their glory. French-women, Spanish-women, Creoles in bold Bloomer costume, but sparkling with flowers, brilliants and lace, - some leaning in a tempting attitude, smoking cigars, on the breastwork of the boxes; others chatting, laughing, or playing coquettishly with their fans, although blushing seems to have been long forgotten by the majority of them.

The opera, a true shelter for all musical vulgarities, seems created for this auditory, which has no taste for tender harmony, and only an uncultivated ear for every noisy amusement. The instrumentation was chaotic, boisterous. The male and female singers waged an undetermined contest in disharmony, and screamed the trivial melodies, accompanied by trumpets and clashing of kettle drums, to the conclusion. The tenor was endurable, owing to his want of voice; but the basso went conscientiously and alphabetically through every error of a bad singer, and when he arrived at emphatic parts, medical men might have prescribed it as an emetic. The ladies despised every etherial rule of art, and replaced simple melody by ceaseless shakes. The Prima Donna, as Fairy Maiden, appeared to me the living atropos of patience. I could endure it no longer; and, before the curtain arose for the third time, I reconciled myself with my insulted ears, by leaving the theatre.

The daily bustle was gradually subsiding in the streets - the rolling of carriages diminished - and the dissolute pleasures of the night commenced. Isolated, suspicious looking fellows, tempted forth from their hiding places by adventurous night and the obscurity, sneaked through bye streets. Here and there a tempting beauty of the night flew quickly past; and from the brightly illuminated gambling houses sounded the snake-like hissing of the Roulette table. Otherwhere reigned an almost sultry quietness, and the stars shone brightly from the dark firmament down upon the sleeping earth. Now we hear joyous voices - song and music. Nearer and nearer we approach, and soon arrive in front of an elegant French eating-house. We entered a large, well-lighted room. Lofty looking-glasses and rich damask curtains adorn the walls - around, were tables laid for more than a hundred persons. Elegant gentlemen, and finely dressed ladies were gayly assembled; and on a table covered with carpetting, stood a conjuror in diabolical costume. After he had concluded his stupid wonders, a young man dressed in black, stood forward, and to his guitar sang one of Schubert's songs.

We seated ourselves at a table close to the door - ordered our supper - and chatted harmlessly about the theatre.

Providence had surely led us to this seat - for it was ordained that we should play an important role this evening.

The tenor, who was in no ordinary degree disgusted with the performance at the opera, became too much heated, and abused it loud and audibly. Some gentlemen at a neighboring table cast piercing glances at us. I thought they would challenge us, and endeavored by signs to bring the tenor to silence. He, however, whetted his critical blade more and more, and worked most unmercifully at the basso. At this moment a bottle flew, as herald, close by our heads, and a gigantic form, which I instantly recognized as the Basso, precipitated himself upon him with threatening gestures. "Gaper," screamed the furious man at the tenor, with the voice of a bear, and visciously doubled his fists for a box. His wild herd of companions, as well as all the guests present, took his part, and a cry of rage was raised against us. The females giggled and gabbled, and stood up on tables and chairs, in expectation of the coming row, for a fight seemed unavoidable. A lucky accident shoved me out at the door. I looked upon this as the finger of Providence, and hastened down the stairs. On my arrival in the street I discovered the ruin of a human form reeling about, with his hat smashed in. A neighboring gas-lamp threw a few rays upon his doleful face. Oh, heaven! Oh, joy! It was my travelling companion, and beaten friend, the Tenor - who, with his badly threatened skin, made his escape out of the door just in the nick of time.

A few days later, as I was hurrying up the stairs of the theatre, to a rehearsal of my first concert, the Basso was rushing down, humming a tune, and our heads knocked together. I was dreadfully terrified, but he did not recognise me.

Letter 14 (Melbourne, VIC, 15 June 1855)

Version A, 5 January 1856; complete translation

"THE ROVING FIDDLER", Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature (5 January 1856), 14-16;page=root;seq=26;num=14 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

THE ROVING FIDDLER. Our readers will probably recollect the amusing sketches of the violinist Mishka Hauser, on Tahiti and Sydney; we have now, from the same pen, a no less lively description of the night-side of social and artistic life in Melbourne: -

Melbourne, June 15, 1855.

Life resembles here the carnival of Venice; it does not move in measured time and step, but whirls noisily about. Whoever likes maddening bustle and loud mirth, will feel happy at Melbourne; but he who cherishes higher aspirations, who delights in art and science, and refined social enjoyments, will scarcely find satisfaction.

Art, in fact, is practised in the same prosaic way as business. The theatres and concerts are always filled, and musical and histrionic artists cannot anywhere else in the world reap a more plentiful harvest and richer material reward; but it is only the tinsel, the false lustre which pleases this population; it is artificial execution which excites applause, not the high earnestness of art.

Since my arrival in Australia, I have often thought to myself when, wearied by the mad bustle of the public, I put my fiddle into its case: "Well, there can be nothing more new for me in the way of adventure;" but, on coming to another town, I have always found myself mistaken. Perhaps even a roving fiddler should have his secrets, if not from policy, from artistic vanity. But natural frankness always overcomes vanity with me; and so down go all my impressions into my diary without disguise.

Obliged to throw myself upon the manager of a theatre - for I found, on my arrival, that all the concert-rooms were already hired - I bound myself to play for him on twelve successive nights. My first appearance was to take place in the last days of May; and the papers having puffed me enthusiastically for weeks, and public curiosity being raised to the highest pitch, the house was full to suffocation. A ballet was to precede the concert; and all the professional singers, the Misses Octavia Hamilton, Olympia Montgomery, and Doña Aurelia Babietti the Spaniard, were ready to join in endless trills, cadences, and roulades; while besides them, an epic gentleman was engaged to read Milton; and Signor Botessini [sic, Potessini], with his sublime basso, was to sing till the welkin rang.

The curtain rose. A French dancer, an elegant supple young lady, of no great beauty, but much expression, and apparently on perfectly good terms with herself, appeared on the scene in her short lace dress, received by an outburst of applause and by the martial trumpets of the orchestra. But from the other side came a youthful blooming Spanish Creole, with beautiful eyes, large and soft; her complexion rosy, her figure tall - in fact, the very impersonation of Terpsichore. She bowed modestly - it was her first appearance at Melbourne - and the enthusiasm of the public, surprised by her beauty, manifested itself in vehement cheers.

The two dancers struggled for the palm of victory in a graceful tarentula. Like two glittering butterflies, they whirled around, accompanied by music and applause. The mercurial Parisian made use of all her most seductive wiles, of her most refined pirouettes, of her most enchanting attitudes; but the Creole seemed patronised by the Graces themselves. Thundering applause encouraged her; and as often as she came forward with her graceful modesty, nosegays, and rings, and bracelets were thrown at her feet. The French lady struggled with her last strength against the triumph of her rival, until, disheartened and exhausted, she fell to the ground.

The Creole approached her with compassion to raise her, when suddenly the Parisian darted up, and, with looks full of hate and fury, boxed the ears of her rival. The audience hissed and hooted, while she exclaimed with passion: "The wretch tripped me!" The poor Creole declared with dignity that she was innocent of the meanness; but a vulgar word, which slipped out of the lips of the French dancer against her, suddenly roused all the passions of the South in her bosom, and a singular struggle began. The two excited ladies rushed upon each other, and wrestled and tore and pulled one another's hair, while the thunders of the gallery made the whole atmosphere vibrate. I never saw a more natural performance. The better classes of the public did not interfere, but seemed rather to be amused by these not entirely Olympic exercises, until the Creole, bleeding and fainting, was carried away from the scene.

Some officers who, from a box, had witnessed the spectacle, were revolted at the conduct of the Parisian, and sent for the police to arrest her; but her friends collected and resisted the constables. A riot ensued; a portion of the public rushed on the stage; they jumped across the orchestra; the fiddles and bass viols were broken; ladies were fainting; children crying; and I - I took to my heels with my fiddle, and ran away without stopping till I reached my hotel.

Arrived in my room, I lay comfortably down on my sofa, and lighted an excellent cigar. "Farewell, Melbourne!" exclaimed I; and I began to revel in a world of imagination, full of the brightest hopes. India, the land of wonders, with its sights and perfumes, rose on my dream like an Arabian tale. In about thirty days, thought I, I shall be wandering on the sacred banks of the Ganges, whence the sea at length will carry me back to Europe, to my own dear country - what happiness! Enjoying the thought, I jumped up from the sofa, exclaiming: "To-morrow I leave Australia."

But at these words, the manager of the theatre rushed into the room. "The deuce!" shouted he, with a voice which seemed at the time like that of a bear; "you don't mean to leave Melbourne - if you do, I shall have you arrested!" He took our agreement from his pocket, and continued, tapping it fiercely with his finger: "Here is your signature, Mr. Mishka Hauser; you shall not escape me!" I looked at him mournfully, and requested him to spare me for at least this night. I pleaded headache and nervousness, occasioned by the scandalous occurrence in the theatre; but the manager had no more bowels than other managers. He said the public insisted either upon the concert, or the return of the entrance-fee; that the storm had been quieted by a compromise - that is to say, by the arrest of both the dancers; and that my absence would cause a renewal of the riot. With a heavy sigh, I took his arm, and went with him, like a lamb to the man with the blue apron. In a few minutes, I stood on the fatal boards.

The overture of Don Juan was to open the concert; but some of the performers could not be found; the instruments of others were broken; and the conductor had fled. Signor Botessini, the favourite singer of Melbourne, tried to calm the noisy public; but in vain. He was not listened to; hisses and laughter received him; the excited public demanded imperiously the overture, and the manager had to yield. At midnight, therefore, after the displeasure and impatience of the public had died away, I had to come forward and take the command of the disabled music band. All eyes, spectacles, and opera-glasses were turned towards my poor person, and, preoccupied and foreboding evil, I gave the signal for the performance. In my consternation, I scarcely heard how the work of the great Mozart was dealt with; when suddenly, just as the trombone announced the appearance of the Commander, an indescribable noise of hooting and shouting rent the air. I feared the ghost of the illtreated Mozart had entered the theatre; but it was something more prosaic - the police-officer; who, in the name of the governor, ordered the public to retire. The stage was soon filled with the police force; in five minutes the pit was cleared; and nobody was so glad of it as I.

The next day, all the papers severely censured the public. "What will Europe, what will the world think of us," said the Argus, "if artists, who cross the ocean for our sake, are treated with so little respect - if art, which ought to elevate us, is degraded by riotous conduct?" The lesson seems to have had its effect; a few days later, I played, and was received with distinction. A new piece, The Bouquets Irlandais - variations on Irish melodies - made a great sensation, and roused the excitable and here pretty numerous Irish population to the highest pitch of national enthusiasm. The day before yesterday I performed in the Arsenal for the benefit of the hospital; and as the receipts were very brilliant, the committee appointed me life-governor. I was honoured with a torch-light serenade, and other ovations, which, as the playbills say, were "too tedious to mention."

So, you see, there are the smooths as well as the roughs at Melbourne, after all. Even an ordinary walk is exceedingly interesting. There are here about 20,000 Chinese, who always amuse me greatly by their oddities. In walking through their streets - they occupy a quarter of the town of their own - we find ourselves in a new world. Before the hotel, where some Chinese gourmands are dining under the veranda, we see joints of dogs, roast cats, fried grasshoppers, salad of rose-leaves, and other peculiar dainties. A row among them is no rare occurrence, but it is never very serious: at the most, the vanquished loses his tail, which remains as a trophy in the hands of his victorious antagonist, who then gravely retires from the battle-field. At one of the corners, I saw a bookseller selling his books, not according to their value or to a fixed price, but according to weight. If, on weighing them, they were too light, he coolly tore some leaves from another book, and threw them into the scale.

The Chinese have here the curious custom of making one another presents of richly-adorned coffins, as testimonials of their love, friendship, or esteem. Parents take. such a present from their children as a token of filial affection.

But my letter becomes too long; I must close, and without a word about the Exhibition of Industry, and the first Australian University. As to the Exhibition, I shall send you by and by a detailed report. About the university, I know very little - only the first and last paragraph of the by-laws, which I happened to see under a grating on the gate of the college. The first paragraph intimates that smoking and drinking are strictly forbidden in the classes; and the last says, that smoking is allowed in the galleries and passages of the building. So that education here would seem to begin and end in smoke.

Version B, 1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 74 (DIGITISED)

Version c, 1861; complete translation

"MISKA HAUSER'S IMPRESSIONS OF AUSTRALIA", Victorian review: a journal of the volunteer forces . . . (1 February 1861), 103 (DIGITISED)

Life here is like a Venetian carnival. The movements are not made with quiet strides. It is a riotous gallopade, accompanied by shrieking, glitter, and masquerade riot.

He who is captivated by deafening uproar, and the noisy jollity of materialism, let him come to Sydney [sic, recte Melbourne]. He however, who has inclination for - who, far from the tumult of dusty business, would wander along the agreeable flowery paths of art, science, and civilized life, cannot here satisfy his yearning.

What the reason is that in these states, founded by England's criminals, a powerful social condition will not develop itself it is difficult to determine. It seems to spring from a dark dismal horror caused by the adventurous circumstances of the majority of the inhabitants, which, like an evil spirit, steps, sending and threatening, in the way of every law, as it appears.

A bold moral corruption, which pervades certain grades of society, like a Pontine marsh, poisons this beauteous blooming land of spring.

One sees all the dams of civil order torn away, and the filthiest passions break through like a flood.

In the higher, that is to say the richer, ranks, where avarice presides, the social condition is so unsatisfactory as I have never before met with during all my wanderings through the world, not even in California.

Women who have long ago in other countries forfeited all title to family happiness and social respect, may be here seen raised to rank and riches; and even young ladies, who claim to be considered educated and respectable, may be found sitting whole days at the modern gaming tables, where every virtuous element becomes enervated and unthreaded.

Even so prosaic as the mode of life, so is it with the arts.

Theatres, concert rooms, and other places of entertainment, are always overfilled, and nowhere can artists of every description meet with a more fruitful and material soil than here. But susceptibility reigns only for the tinsel of deceptive glitter; coarse humor only is understood and applauded, not the beautiful elevated seriousness of art. Often when, tired of the insane acts of the public, I put my fiddle in the case, I have thought with pleasure, "Well, worse it cannot be!" but as often, when I come into another town, I find myself deceived. Truly my etherial organisation would have been long since destroyed, had I not possessed strength of mind, resignation, and humor, enough to discover a diverting feature in this coarse juggle. A travelling virtuoso may have his secrets, which prudence, if not artistic pride, dictates to him that he should conceal; but my upright cosmopoliticality will not consent to this. My open-heartedness gives me ease; for if, in the face of the absurd acts of this public, vanity should beset me, my condition would in truth be very bad. I will therefore be candid, and describe exactly, ere it escapes my memory, all that happened on the occasion of my first appearance before the public in Melbourne. Forced to throw myself into the arms of the manager of a theatre (for I found all the concert rooms already let), I bound myself by contract to play twelve consecutive nights at the theatre. On one of the latter days in the month of May, my first appearance was to take place, and the good reputation which the newspapers spread for me - for every day for weeks they mentioned me most enthusiastically - as well as the general curiosity of the public, had, for result, that the house was crowded to excess.

As is the custom here, a ballet was to open the concert, and all the muses of Melbourne, with the Spaniard Aurelia Babette, the singer Miss Octavia Hamilton, and Olympia Montgomerie, united themselves for a hunt after long-winded shakes, turns, cadences, roulades, &, &c. In addition to my usual concert company, were added an hyperpathetic declaimer, and the blood-thirsty ultra-base Signor Pottesini.

(To be continued.)

"MISKA HAUSER'S IMPRESSIONS OF AUSTRALIA (Continued from page 103)", Victorian review: a journal of the volunteer forces . . . (15 January 1861), 141 (DIGITISED)

MELBOURNE, 15 May [sic], 1855.

The curtain rose. A French ballet dancer, in a short dress of varigated color, sprung upon the stage. She had a fine slim figure, much expression of countenance, but no beauty; was frivolous, even to shamelessness. She was received with applause, and the orchestra very characteristically setting her movements to music, raised a warlike crash of trumpets. Now a form appears, glittering in the bloom of youth - a creole, with superb eyes, tall, and lunguishing, a bewitching complexion, and magestic [sic] mien; in short, a real muse. Immediately on making the salutation at her entree, a general cry of surprise arose, and the male enthusiasm gave vent in a storm of applause.

These two spoilt darlings of the Graces strove for the palm of the evening in a dizzy Tarantelle. Like two many colored light-winged butterflies, they floated hither and thither in the air, accompanied by boisterous music and applause. The quicksilver Parisian squandered her whole treasure of refinement in the alluring art, and executed a whole regiment of seducing pirouettes and languishing attitudes, in order to beat her opponent out of the field; but the creole appeared to be protected by the graces - she remained invulnerable, as if enchanted. Thunders of applause supported each of her movements, which were animated by an indescribable grace, that drew the most enthusiastic acknowledgements from the public, and as often as she appeared at the lights, whole cargoes of bouquets, rings, and bracelets were thrown to her. The vain French woman competed, with her last efforts, against the ever conquering rival, but was always outflanked and beaten lack; and soon the angry woman, with drooping wings, like a wearied hen, fluttered around her rival until exhausted, and breathless she sunk on the ground.

The creole, full of compassion, approached the fallen, in order to raise her; she, however, shot up like a flash of lightening, strode furious, and with doubled fists, towards her enemy, and on the open stage before the whole public gave her a box on the ears in the most unartificial manner possible. A thunder of displeasure arose against the Frenchwoman, who screeching with anger and impotent fury, cried out "the wretch tripped me up." The ill-treated girl, with a quietness which belongs only to innocence, declared her conscience to be clear; but a vulgar epithet, addressed to her by the Parisian, caused her southern blood also to boil, and a frightful battle ensued.

The two excited women breathing hate, flew at each other, and seized each other by the hair, accompanied by the mad screams of the gods in the gallery. I never on the stage saw any acting so natural. The uproar-loving public looked on at this abominable procedure, like at the Olympic games, until the creole was carried away from the Stage fainting. She was bleeding violently; and now a portion of the public commenced taking her part.

Some English officers who had witnessed the disturbance from one of the boxes, and were disgusted with the impudent behaviour of the Frenchwoman, caused the stage to be occupied by constables, and had her arrested, but the friends of the latter, who had gathered together in numbers, opposed this proceeding, which soon gave rise to a general storm. A great number of those in the pit rolled towards the stage, and sprung over the orchestra. Fiddles and bass viols were smashed; clouds of dust obscured the seat of war; and half fainting women were screaming in the crush.

I, however, flew off with my violin, as if the devil, with all the legions of hell was [sic] at my heels, and made no halt until I arrived at my hotel. Having reached my apartment and congratulating myself upon my arrival in a haven of safety, I threw myself in my softest arm chair, and, with much gratification, lighted a splendid cigar. Adieu, Melbourne, I cried, and a whole world of delightful and blooming ideas juggled and flattered my imagination.

The East Indies, that magic land of my dreams, with its woods full of blossom and scent, lay like a fairy tale before me. In thirty days at the utmost, said I to myself softly, thou will'st wander in that land of the gods on the banks of the sacred Ganges. Thence, Oh joy! the ocean carries thee to Europe - to thy beloved fatherland. A heavenly delight thrilled through me at these thoughts, and with the words "to-morrow I shall set out," I sprang inspirited from my chair. But, Oh! Comet, like whim of fate, what are human intentions? The manager of the theatre rushed into my room. "What! The Devil! You want to be off? I shan't allow you to move from the spot," shouted he in my ear, with his bear-like voice, making me shudder. He held under my nose the signed contract. "There, read your signature. You shant escape me." I looked at him imploringly, and begged him to spare me only for this day. My head ached, and I felt quite unwell; but the cruel wretch had no pity. He said the public tumultuously demanded the commencement of the concert, otherwise it would require the money to be returned, and would then pull the house down; besides, said he naively, the tumult is appeased, by the arrest of both the dancers, and some of the rioters, and your obstinate refusal can only raise a new storm. With a deep sigh I took his arm; - it was as if I were being led to the place of execution; - and in a few minutes I stood upon the fatal boards. A horrible noise, vapour, and gobbling met me here, and I felt great apprehension. The overture to Don Juan was to open the concert, but as the instruments had been smashed, the musicians had separated, and the conductor had flown. Signor Pottessini, the ultra-basso, came forward. This Fermier-general of all foolery, in order to produce effect, appeared in the diabolical costume of Bertram, and was turned back by laughter and hisses. The excited multitude noisily demanded the overture, and the manager was compelled to promise that it should be executed. Late (it was l2 o'clock at night), after every acoustic sign of ridicule and abuse had been exhausted, I came forward. I made my low bow at the head of this invalide music band. A general eyeing commenced. Telescopes, lorgnettes, and opera glasses were directed to my weak I, so that embarrassed and with strong forebodings I gave the sign to commence. I felt an oppressive sultriness, and in my confusion scarcely remarked how the work of the great master was ill treated and massacred. The disharmony only shot through my nerves, like twitches of the gout - otherwise I saw and heard nothing. Just as the trumpets were announcing the last judgment, a roaring, stumping, hissing, and screaming commenced, such as I never yet heard. I feared that the ghost of the insulted Mozart was storming through the play-house; but it was something quite different to a ghost. It was a police agent, with a white staff, who suddenly appeared in the scene, and, in the name of the Governor, closed the theatre. The stage became filled with colonial soldiers, the audience left, and in less than five minutes the pit was as if it had been swept out; and in the whole city of Melbourne no one was more delighted than I.

The next day all the newspapers of Melbourne preached a lecture to the ill-behaved public. "What will Europe, what will the world, say of us," wrote the indignant Argus, "if artists who come to us from over the ocean, braving so much danger, are so little respected? If art, which should raise us, is so humiliated?" These penetrating words were not without result, for a few days later, when I played, the greatest distinction was shown me. After every piece, the effect was greater, and on the following day I was really crushed with marks of honor. A new piece - "Bouquet Irlandais" - composed of Irish melodies, with variations, causes great uproar, and awakes in the easily excited Irish (of whom many reside here), a real "national feudalism."

The day before yesterday I played in the Arsenal for the benefit of the English hospital, and out of gratitude for the sum of £600, which I forwarded to the institution, as the receipt from the concert, I was installed by the committee, with much pomp, as Vice-Governor, and honored with a serenade. I will pass over the multitude of marks of honor and homage which flowed to me from all sides, because it is tedious for me to speak of it, and partly in order to speak of other things. For example, in Melbourne there are above 20,000 Chinese, who cause me unceasing amusement, and turn my ill-humour into smiles. If one wanders through their quarters and streets with the variegated bustle of Chinese (Mandschure?) and Mongolians - if one passes by their shops, where their wares are all laid out in the streets, scenes and groups may be observed which remind one of the tales in the Arabian Nights. Here, at a fruiterer's, where epicures are sitting enjoying their tit bits, in addition to the usual domestic animals, dog, cat, and rat meat is roasted. Lobworms, softened leather, baked roses, grasshoppers, and other confitures are eaten with great appetite in the open streets. Here some of the upper classes are playing chess, which, however, is quite different to the game usually played. A quarrel ensues, then a lively fisty cuff, which, however, seldom has a bloody conclusion, owing to the cowardly effeminate character of this people. At the utmost the vanquished party leaves his pig-tail in the hands of the conqueror, after which he gravely quits the place. At one street corner a bookseller has his stall. He sells his books, not according to value or a fixed price, but according to weight. If anything is wanting in the latter, with the greatest composure in the world, he tears a quantity of leaves out of the first book which comes to hand and completes the weight. Singular is the custom which they observe of making presents to their relatives, their parents and children, of elegantly decorated coffins during their lifetime - a delicate mark of affection. But a whole book might be written, as easily as a single page, about the ridiculous custom of this funny people, and as events crowd upon each other, and my paper is almost filled, I can only touch with flew words upon the great Exhibition of Industry which is being prepared here, similar to that in England, and the first Australian University which is opened. The exhibition I will touch upon hereafter more fully; and concerning the University, I know nothing more than the first paragraph of the statutes, which are appended to the University door in a wirework frame, and reads thus: Smoking and drinking are prohibited in the lecture rooms.

(To be continued)

Letter 15 (Melbourne, VIC, 6 July 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 85 (DIGITISED)

Letter 16 (Melbourne, VIC, 4 August 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 95 (DIGITISED)

Letter 17 (Ballarat, VIC, 30 August 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 105 (DIGITISED)

Letter 18 (Geelong, VIC, 21 September 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 116 (DIGITISED)

Letter 19 (Geelong, VIC, 15 October 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 125 (DIGITISED)

Letter 20 (Adelaide, SA, 30 November 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 136 (DIGITISED)

GOOGLE TRANSLATION, UNEDITED: Adelaide (South Australia), November 30, 1855.

Letter 21 (Adelaide, SA, 20 December 1855)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 148 (DIGITISED)

Letter 22 (Adelaide, SA, 5 January 1856)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 158 (DIGITISED)

Letter 23 (Adelaide, SA, 1 February 1856)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 169 (DIGITISED)

Letter 24 (Sydney, NSW, 28 May 1857)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 178 (DIGITISED)

Letter 25 (Melbourne, VIC, 2 August 1857)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 188 (DIGITISED)

Letter 26 (on board the Emeu, July 1858)

1859; German as first published in book form

Aus dem Wanderbuche (1859), II, 196 (DIGITISED)

Australian musical works and editions

Rain drops in Australia (impromtu for piano) (January 1855)

Rain drops in Australia ("Impromptu"; "Dedié a son ami Frederic Ellard") (Sydney: Woolcott and Clarke, in The Australian Presentation Album for 1855) (DIGITISED)

"New edition" advertised January 1856 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: Frederick Ellard (pianist, dedicatee); Jacob Clarke (music publisher)

The fisher maiden (barcarolle, for voice and piano) (1855; published edition 1859)

As Du Schönes Fischermädchen [Heine], "composed by Miska Hauser for Frederic Ellard", it was first sung by Ellard at Hauser's Sydney concert on 16 April 1855

The fisher maiden, barcarolle, transcrit par Frederic Ellard; composé par Miska Hauser (Du Schönes Fischermädchen [Heine]; "composed expressly for his friend Mr. Frederic Ellard"; "dedicated to Miss Barney, Wootonga, North Shore") (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1859]) (DIGITISED) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: Henrietta Barney (born Sydney 1836, died 1922), of Wotonga [recte], was the youngest and remaining unmarried daughter of colonel George Barney (c.1792-1862), late surveyor general, and his wife Portia (d.1883); she was married a former naval officer, Robert Deane, on 26 May 1860. Stephen Marsh had previously dedicated The Ophir schotticshe (1851) to her

Chanson d'amour (April 1855)

Chanson d'amour, morceaux [sic] de salon for the piano, dedicated to Madame Montifiore [sic] ([Sydney: W. J. Johnson, 1855]


ASSOCIATIONS: William Johnson (music publisher); Caroline Montefiore (c.1832-1901, married Jacob Levi Montefiore, London, 1851)

Mazurka (for piano) (May 1855)

Mazurka for piano, dedicated to Madame Rawack ([Sydney: W. J. Johnson, 1855])


ASSOCIATIONS: Amalia Mauthner Rawack (pianist, dedicatee)

Ballad ("Thou'rt like unto a flower") (voice and piano) (? by January 1856)

Ballad, composed and respectfully dedicated to Lady Mac Donnell by Miska Hauser (Adelaide: Penman and Galbraith, [late 1855 or early 1856]) 

Copy at the National Library of Australia (cover: "Penman & Galbraith, Lith. Adelaide") (DIGITISED)

Copy at the State Library of New South Wales (cover with printer's name removed); music pages same print run as the above'rt+like+unto+a+flower+(Hauser) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: Blanche Macdonnell (dedicatee), wife of the governor of South Australia, Richard Macdonnell; Penman and Galbraith (lithographers, printers, Adelaide); Joseph Wilkie (music seller and publisher, advertised the print in Melbourne at the end of January 1856, on Hauser's arrival from Adelaide)

Australian flowers (second impromptu for piano) (1857)

Australian flowers, impromptu for the piano forte, by Miska Hauser ("2nd Impromptu, dedicated to Miss Aldis") (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, in the Australian album 1857) (DIGITISED) (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

ASSOCIATIONS: Hannah Aldis (pianist, dedicatee)

The bird upon the tree ("The bird on the tree") (arranged for piano) (1857)

The bird upon the tree, composed and arranged for the piano forte by Miska Hauser ("The bird on the tree [sic], dedicated to Lady Macdonald") (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, in Australian album 1857) (DIGITISED)

ASSOCIATIONS: "Lady Macdonald" (unidentifiable); ? Blanche Macdonnell, above

Arranged by the composer from:

Das Vöglein im Baume, The bird on the tree, L'oiseau sur l'arbre, grande caprice burlesque pour violon avec orchestre ou piano, op. 34 (Leipzig & New York: Schuberth and Co. Hambourg, [1854])

The original violin version, widely performed by Hauser in Australia, is usually referred to in programs and the press as The bird on the tree, and that tag has accordingly been used for instances of that version (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Though the piano version bears both versions of the title, the cover title is The bird upon the tree, and usually catalogued accordingly; so, as as means of distininguishing between the two versions, that tag has been used for the piano version (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

Farewell ("Farewell dear land of hill and vale") (voice and piano) (January 1857)

Farewell by M. Hauser ("Farewell dear land of hill and vale"); manuscript (? composer's autograph, or contemporary copy), National Library of Australia (DIGITISED)

Bibliography and resources

Wasielewski 1869

Jos. Wilhelm von Wasielewski, Die Violine und ihre Meister (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1869), 346

Brewer 1892

Francis Campbell Brewer, The drama and music in New South Wales (Sydney: Charles Potter, Govt. Printer, 1892), 61 (DIGITISED)

In November, 1851, Miska Hauser, a Hungarian violinist, visited Sydney, and performed at the Victoria theatre, his characteristics were a very glassy tone, and skilful manipulation of harmonics; his rendering of De Beriot's concertos was his forte in the classic school. Hauser travelled through the country and gave concerts, and by this means did much service in the elevation of musical taste in the interior. He said on one occasion when visiting a small country town, "I can take my violin under my arm, and play - if with accompaniment, well; if not, well too. The pianist cannot take his piano in a carpet-bag." Hauser may be regarded as the pioneer of violinists of celebrity. He was a pupil of Bohm and Mayseder, and when only twelve years of age made a tour through Europe. After leaving Australia in 1858, he resumed performances on the Continent, and in 1860 was feted by King Victor Emanuel and the Sultan of Turkey. He died in Vienna on December 9, 1887.

Benson et al. 1930

Eric Benson, Donald Peet Cobb, and Horatio F. Stoll (trans., ed.), The letters of Miska Hauser, 1853 (San Francisco: Works Progress Association, 1930) (DIGITISED)

Orchard 1952

W. Arundel Orchard, Music in Australia: more than 150 years of development (Melbourne: Georgian House, 1952), 33, 36, 137 (DIGITISED)

Roderick and Anderson 1988

Colin Roderick (trans.) and Hugh Anderson (ed. and annotated), Miska Hauser's letters from Australia, 1854-1858 ([Melbourne]: Red Rooster Press, 1988) 

Skinner 2011

Graeme Skinner 2011, First national music, especially 232-36 (DIGITISED)

Online only

"Miska Hauser", Wikipedia

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020