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Photo of Henry Berger with the Royal Hawaiian Band

Henry Berger

1871 - 1915

The most influential bandmaster in the band's entire history, Henry Berger came to Hawai‘i originally on loan from the Prussian government. He quickly adapted to life in the islands and began working to compose or arrange nearly all the music played by the band. He even arranged music of European composers, including orchestral transcriptions as the band grew larger to incorporate more instruments. Through this, he introduced the Hawaiian public to classical European music though the core of his concerts was the Hawaiian songs he wrote and arranged for the band. He also composed the music to the "Hymn of Kamehameha I" which would later become the Hawaiian national, and now, state anthem "Hawai‘i Pono‘i."

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