Notable South Australians/Carl Julius Hans Bertram

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Carl Julius Hans Bertram

IS the son of Herman Bertram, a German merchant, and a native of Brunswick. He commenced the study of music under his mother at the age of seven, and four years afterwards was placed under the tuition of Herr Winckler, with whom he remained several years. During this period he studied the principles of harmony, counterpoint, and thoroughbass; and acquired the art of performing on the organ and pianoforte. Though partially blind from infancy, at the age of 12 he became totally so through the unskilful treatment of an oculist. But this calamity appears to have stimulated his active mind to further exertions, and quickened his perceptions of the ideal beauties and sublimities of the art of which he is such an accomplished proficient. He first appeared in public as a pianist in his eleventh year, and shortly after commenced his career as a composer. At 16 he passed an examination with credit at the Berlin Conservatoire, and during this time he acted as organist of St. Peter's Church at Brunswick, in place of Herr Rebelling, who was absent. In 1881, he gave a farewell concert in his native city and arrived with his mother in South Australia the same year. In the following January he had the great misfortune to lose his parent by death, but his talent procured for him many kind friends. He has composed upwards of thirty-six Sonatas, fourteen Nocturnes and Romances, a number of Songs, &c. Of these the following among others have been performed in public:—Sonata in E flat minor, Nocturne in B flat minor. Concert Study in E flat minor, Organ Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, and the fine descriptive song, "The Wind in the Trees." Daring his residence in Brunswick Herr Bertram became personally acquainted with Rubinstein, Abt, and some other musical celebrities. His memory is wonderfully quick and retentive, as an illustration of which it may be mentioned, that a few days after his arrival in the colony the writer of this sketch heard him perform one of Beethoven's Sonatas, and though his visitor had the music before him, he could not detect a single false note. Though Herr Bertram's past career is marked with success, it may certainly be predicted that his future in this colony will be of that triumphant character which the genius and ability of such a talented composer and musician undoubtedly deserves.