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Leila Ida Waddell (1880–1932)

from Sydney Morning Herald

Leila Waddell, 1910

Leila Waddell, 1910

from The Sketch, 24 August 1910

The death occurred yesterday of Miss Leila Ida Bathurst Waddell, the Sydney violinist, who achieved considerable fame abroad. She was the daughter of Mr. David Waddell, of Bathurst and Randwick, and Mrs. Waddell, of Bellevue Hill.

A pupil of Mr. Henri Stael, Miss Waddell became teacher of the violin at the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Croydon, and Ascham and Kambala schools. She made her public debut at the organ recitals of the then city organist (Mr. Arthur Mason), and joined, as a soloist, "The Brescians," a party from Europe, who appeared in peasant festival costumes in association with J. T. West's early cinematograph shows. Mr. West introduced her to London, and she achieved success as the leader of the Gipsy Band in "The Waltz Dream" at Daly's Theatre. As "The Ragtime Gipsy," Miss Waddell won fame in vaudeville throughout England. She toured Europe with a party which she formed of six girl violinists with a talent for stately dancing, and also with trios and quartets. Miss Waddell next visited the United States, and stayed there for many years. She studied under great teachers, including Leopold Auer. She travelled across the country, appearing in all the great cities. She returned to Sydney a few years ago after a long absence. She had since been a member of J. C. Williamson Ltd orchestras at Her Majesty's and the Criterion, and was also engaged for the Conservatorium and Philharmonic Society's orchestras. Despite a recent serious illness, she retained her position as teacher of the violin at the Convent School of the Sacred Heart, Elizabeth Bay.

Besides possessing an excellent technique, Miss Waddell's style as a violinist was particularly marked by charm and refinement.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Leila Ida Waddell

  • Sydney Mail, 21 September 1932, p 18, by Gerald Marr Thompson

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Waddell, Leila Ida (1880–1932)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 June 2024.

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