Halinka Tarczynska-Fiddian

Born in Melbourne on July 9, 1923 Halinka was one of the three children of Stanislaw De Tarczynski and Jadwiga De Tarczynska.

Halinka’s mother and father migrated from Poland to Australia in 1912. A distinguished violinist, Stanislaw was a Laureate of the Warsaw Academy and had studied at the Berlin Hochschule. He played with the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Opera in Moscow, and in Brussels and Australia. In Australia, he became Leader of the Victorian Symphony Orchestra (one of the original names of the MSO) as well as teaching at the Melbourne University and Melba Conservatoriums. He later became Leader of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

At the age of four, Halinka began piano lessons with her mother and by age 11 played Mozart’s A Major Piano Concerto with the Victorian Symphony Orchestra. At the same age she was singing on stage as well as in Italian, French and German for the ABC’s language sessions.

Her singing career included significant roles with the National Opera and J. C. Williamson productions, and as a soloist in oratorios and recordings for Columbia.

Basing herself in London in the 1950s, she performed for BBC radio and television, performed in Noel Coward’s ‘After the Ball’ and appeared with the prestigious Glyndebourne Opera Company.

Returning to Australia, she continued her broadcasts, television appearances and concert performances. Halinka played Sister Bertha in the long running Melbourne production of ‘The Sound of Music’ in the 1960s.

In 1963, Halinka married Paull Fiddian who was Secretary of the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. Paull was Manager of the Sidney Myer Free Concerts for many years in the 1960s and 1970s.

Halinka developed a career as a singing teacher from her Melbourne home. She was active in Melbourne musical circles and was an AMEB singing examiner until her retirement in 1997.
Halinka passed away in June 2019.