Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.


Claude Haydon


Born: 1884 Died: 1960


Claude Meurisse Haydon was born in Melbourne, Australia, the youngest of three children. His mother was French and his father Australian. He was crippled from birth although this didn’t stop him from wanting to pursue a career as a concert pianist, however that became impossible when one of his legs had to be amputated in 1917. In 1920 Claude, with his mother and sister Amicie (his father having died in 1900), moved to New Zealand when Amicie was appointed principal of Queen Margaret College in Wellington. She returned to Melbourne after her marriage in 1924, while Claude and his mother remained in Wellington, living in Lower Hutt, and becoming New Zealand citizens. His mother died in 1927. In 1930 Claude married Lily Hall, a Masterton school teacher and pianist. Once settled in Lower Hutt, where he taught piano and music theory, he became highly respected and well liked. He became a dedicated Salvation Armyist and wrote much music for the organisation.

His opera Paolo and Francesca was performed in Melbourne the year he left Australia and he continued his musical professional life in New Zealand as an organist and teacher. He is credited with writing the first oratorio in Australasia. He was a prolific composer writing chamber, piano, and choral music. The Alexander Turnbull Library holds manuscripts for more than 90 songs, many using verses that Haydon himself wrote. He also arranged music by others. Most of his published music was printed before he arrived in New Zealand, however it seems that very little of the music he wrote was ever published, although it often featured on the radio. In both 1928 and 1930 a whole evening was devoted to Haydon’s music on Wellington radio station 2YA.

A newspaper in 1922 reports on a concert where Hamilton Hodges sang one of Haydon’s songs, and Bernard Page also performed. A later concert had Beatrice Tombs and her husband Harry as part of a string quartet that performed one of Haydon’s.

Composed (4)


for voice and piano


for voice and piano


for voice and piano

To Sleep

for voice and piano