• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6181

Harrhy, Edith Mary

(1893 – 1969)
  • Born 19 December, 1893, London Middlesex England
  • Died 24 February, 1969, BrisbaneBrisbane Queensland Australia
  • Occupation Composer, Music teacher, Musician, Singer


Edith Mary Harrhy was educated at Shenley House School, London, and took her first Trinity College examination at the age of seven. Later she entered the Guildhall School of Music as an Ernest Palmer Scholar and here she studied piano, singing, harmony, counterpoint and opera. During this time she was the recipient of a number of annual scholarships and prizes.

In 1914 Edith went on tour with English violinist Mary Law and it was during her travels that she met William Constant Beckx Daly in Australia. The pair married on 8 April 1919 in London, before returning to Melbourne.

During the 1920s Edith travelled with her husband for his work, all-the-while performing for charities, clubs and societies. From 1930 to 1933 Edith and her family lived in London, where she continued giving recitals. On her return to Melbourne, she began her work with amateur and semi-professional musical-theatre groups. She was involved with Gertrude Johnson’s Australian National Theatre Movement from its inception in 1935, and was its musical director in 1940-48. She also worked as musical director with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Victoria, the Q Guild and the Lyric Light Opera Society. Edith also worked as staff coach and accompanist for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Opera Society from 1950.

Edith was also a life governor of Prince Henry’s Hospital and a member of the Lyceum Club.


Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Edith Harrhy, 1902-1992 [manuscript]
    • Harrhy, Edith
    • Subseries 9-12. Other collections, 1896-1984
  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Edith Harrhy, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
  • State Library of South Australia
    • Manuscript of music

Related entries

  • Membership
    • Lyceum Club (Melbourne) (1912 - )