Walter Stiasny

Walter Stiasny AM (190591), musician, arrived in Hobart in 1951, and was appointed musical director and conductor of the National Theatre and Fine Arts Society at the Theatre Royal. Viennese-born and trained to exacting standards, he brought to the position experience as a teacher, composer, piano soloist, accompanist and critic. He had to leave the Vienna State Opera in 1938 and soprano Sylvia Patriss, who became his wife, assisted him to reach England, where he conducted more than 500 concerts for the British Army. For a decade he provided Hobart with a twice-yearly feast of opera and operetta and regular, informed musical criticism in the Mercury. He was based in Sydney from 1962 to 1972 but he and Sylvia retired to Tasmania and remained involved in musical life.

Further reading: G Winter, 'Walter Stiasny', in P & A Elias, A few from afar, Hobart, 2003.

Gillian Winter