The Beatles (Pete Best replaced Ringo Starr for the tour) acknowledged the huge crowd from the Adelaide Town Hall Balcony during their visit in 1964.

Carl Linger to Peter Dawson to Cold Chisel to Sia – that's made Adelaide a UNESCO City of Music


ADELAIDE JOINED WORLD-WIDE CREATIVE CITIES by being declared a UNESCO City of Music in 2015. But Adelaide had earned its international musical credentials in 1964 when it produced the biggest welcoming crowd of The Beatles world tour in June 1964. (This was as remarkable as 50,000 people packing Adelaide Oval in March, 1931, to hear 3000 voices, a 250-piece orchestra and as many bandsmen in threatening weather at the South Australian Musical Association's tribute after Nellie Melba died.)

The Beatles hadn’t been scheduled to visit Adelaide originally but a campaign led by 5AD radio DJ Bob Francis, with sponsorship by iconic South Australian store John Martin’s, saw more than 300,000 greet the group who played four packed concerts at Centennial Hall, Wayville. (Adelaide also had Australia's biggest Elvis Presley fan club, started by Lee Gaston, then Hook, in 1963.)

Adelaide’s impact on the music world continues with singer composer Sia Furler, now linked to one of the city’s serious music foundations: the Elder Conservatorium. That major and widespread impact is remembered by the South Australian Music Hall of Fame. World music in all its forms comes to Adelaide at the WOMADelaide festival and Adelaide Festival, Cabaret Festival, Guitar Festival and OzAsia Festival. 

Diversity is the keynote of Adelaide music. The city that created its own 1960s folk boom, and wrought classical gems such as Australian String Quartet and Adelaide Chamber Singers, also has produced wild rock alternative groups such as Atlas Genius, Testeagles and Mark of Cain. This is alongside mainstream figures such as Mark Holden and Guy Sebastian, who were became associated from different generations through Australian Idol, children's songs performer Peter Combe and multi-talented Hugh Sheridan.

The Beatles’ visit had an impact on a South Australian phenomenon: the UK migrants to Adelaide’s northern suburbs. From there would come bands such as Cold Chisel.

On 1971, near a sleepy town south of Adelaide, thousands of rock fans were at a three-day festival that changed the Australian scene. Inspired by Woodstock, Myponga Musical Festival’s lineup included new Australia group Daddy Cool, Spectrum, Fraternity, whose lead singer was Bon Scott (before he joined AC/DC), Chain and Billy Thorpe and Aztecs. Overseas drawcards included Black Sabbath. 5AD was the main media sponsor and organisers were Adelaide music entrepreneurs Alex Innocenti and Trevor Brien. They were joined by Hamish Henry, who financed the venture through his millionaire father.

South Australian music makers keep making a world of difference.



and an entrepeneurial streak build an Adelaide musical richness

Aboriginals use regular corroborees as paid Sunday shows for settlers in the parklands

One of Adelaide earliest public musical dance performances was an Aboriginal corroboree in the parklands in 1839. The 1839 corroboree was at the Queen’s Birthday event hosted by governor George Gawler (borrowing from New South governor John Macquarie). Gawler’s “peace corroboree” was to “restore those former peacable relations … between us and our friendly native tribes” after a recent killing of the white settlers on the River Murray vessel Maria at the Coorong. By 1845, Sunday corroborees, promoted by Aboriginals for a paying audience of European settlers, became regular but colonial secretary ordered Matthew Moorhouse, the first protector of Aborigines, to tell the “native encamped near Adelaide” and Adelaide is “now a Christian country” and they were to “abstain from making a noise on Sundays”. The corroboree venture was checked by the 1850s Victorian gold rushes. The loss of European labour stimulated rural demand for Aboriginal workers. To meet this demand, the government closed the native school and discouraged Aboriginal visitors to the city.

Maurizio Lencioni starts strong Italian input of opera and music tuition for South Australia

The early Italian influence on Adelaide music started with Maurizio Lencioni, a Passionist priest from Lucca, who arrived in 1846, and Alfred Mantegani, who performed piano in Adelaide theatres and concert halls in the 1850s. Cesare Cutolo, a Neapolitan who had studied in Italy under composer Mercadante, in 1858-59 taught singing and pianoforte and gave concerts as far afield as Reynella and Kapunda. Cutolo was runnerup to German Carl Linger for Gawler Institute’s 1859 prize to the best musical composition for Caroline Carleton's verse “Song of Australia”. Signore and Signora Bianchi and their Grand Italian Opera Company in 1861 started a “golden phase” of opera in South Australia. In the 1880s, Faustino Ziliani and Raffaele Squarise helped develop many Adelaide music students, along with Raffaele Squarise, from Vicenza. In 1923, Ercole Filippini formed the South Australian Grand Opera Company, with seasons in 1924-25.

Adelaider Liedertafel 1858 male choir survives tough times to be one of Australia's oldest

Adelaider Liedertafel 1858 is the oldest continuing choir in South Australia, oldest continuing male choir in Australia and close to oldest choir of any type in Australia. An Adelaider Liedertafel formed in 1850-51 under the conductor Carl Linger, composer of “Song of Australia”, rehearsing in Wiener-Fischer's cafe in Rundle Street until disbanded 1855 when Robert Wiener and George Fischer left to operate Tanunda Hotel. It merged with a choir rehearsing in Hotel Europe, also under Linger. Deutsche Liedertafel, founded at Hotel Hamburg in 1848-49, joined Adelaider Liedertafel in 1858, with Linger conductor (until he died in 1862) and J.W. Schierenbeck as president. In 1878, at the choir’s inspiring 20th anniversary concert in Adelaide Town Hall, it presented its first songs in English. High point of its popularity was the 50th anniversary concert in 1908 on the exhibition grounds, North Terrace. Guest choirs were Adelaide Orpheus Society, Adelaide Choral Society, Adelaide Bach Society, Port Adelaide Orpheus Society, Adelaide Glee Club and Broken Hill Quartette Club. The state governor spoke of the immense value of German immigration. Five years later, with World War I, concerts stopped. Again, with World War II in 1939, many members were interned, though singing continued. Friends in Tanunda hid sheet music and its 1860 banner donated by J.F.M. Armbrüster. In 1945, Hermann Homburg started rebuilding the choir with eight members and Emil Metz conducting. In 1978, it received the Zelter plaque from the Federal Republic of Germany government for contribution to German song.

Carl Linger composes 'Song of Australia'; Carl Puttmann conducts first amateur opera in colony

Carl Linger and Carl Puttman led the major German influence on South Australian music.Carl Linger and Carl Puttman led the considerable German influence on South Australian music. Linger, who arrived in 1849 after the German liberal revolution, had studied at the Institute of Music in Berlin. He  eventually won access to the colony’s wealthiest families as a music teacher. He was the founder and conductor of the German Liedertafel in 1858 and composed church music, including the “Ninety-third Psalm” and “Vater unser”. He conducted Adelaide's first philharmonic orchestra and its first performance of Handel's Messiah in 1859. Also that year,  Linger won the Gawler Institute prize for the music to “The Song of Australia”. Violinist Carl Puttmann in 1866 became conductor of Adelaide Liedertafel. Its first performance under his baton was also the first amateur opera in Adelaide: Die Mordgrundbruck bei Dresden at the Theatre Royal in 1868. Putmann’s Victorian Cantata was composed for the Adelaide Jubilee International Exhibition of 1887. It opened with variations on Carl Linger’s “The Song of Australia” and ended with a fuge on “God Save the Queen”. Puttmann taught music at St Peter’s College, Prince Alfred College and Christian Brothers’ College.

Charles Cawthorne sells music, composes, plays bassoon, promotes and manages orchestras

Charles Wittowitto Cawthorne became a fulcrum of 19th Century Adelaide music as music sheet seller and band master. Cawthorne, son of teacher/painter W.A. Cawthorne and pianist Maryann, began studying piano at 14 with Louis Eselbach and violin with F. Draeger. He also learnt the bassoon. From 1870, he worked with his father in a newsagent's business that, as Cawthorne & Co., grew into “music-sellers and artists’ colormen”, in Gawler Place and later Rundle Street. By 1896, Cawthorne’s were carrying sheet music from 60 publishers from England, France and Germany. At 18, Charles Wittowitto Cawthorne also was conducting the Adelaide Amateur Orchestra of 40 players and had composed a prize-winning "Olivia Waltz". Cawthorne was bassoonist and business manager for the Adelaide Grand Orchestra in the late 1890s. He managed concerts to promote Clara Serena (Kleinschmidt), Adelaide Choral Society, Bach Choir, Adelaide Liedertafel Society, Metropolitan Male Voice Choir and Adelaide Glee Club. He encouraged young talents and raised money for them to study abroad.

South Australian police band Australia's first in 1884; high standards set with groups versatility

South Australia’s police force, first in Australia from 1838, was also first to have a band in 1884 after commissioner W. J. Peterswald encouraged the Adelaide Metropolitan Foot Police to form a volunteer brass group. The band was soon setting its high standards, winning brass band contests, under director T.H. Davey, at the exhibition building in 1903. In recess during World War II, the band became full time in 1957 under commissioner Brigadier John McKinna. In 1974, it changed from brass to a military band with woodwind instruments. The band has been acclaimed internationally at military tattoos in Edinburgh, Germany and Switzerland. The band operates on different versatile formats to fit official events or private bookings. These formats include a 35-piece concert and marching band with singers for full concerts, ceremonies, balls and cabarets, street parties and parades. A 22-piece show band is suitable for balls, dances, floor shows and private events. Medium-sizes bands – Dixie band, Kind of Blue, Off the Cuff, Saxes and Rhythm, Sons of Zorro ­– is available for cocktail parties, community groups, private and small events. Smaller combinations include clarinet, French horn, saxophone and trombone quartets, a brass quintet and woodwind quintet. The band also does school performances through its rock patrol for high schools, delivering personal and road-safety messages through rock and pop music, and the school beat bands performing to young children in childcare centres and primary school students to highlight road safety and the message that police are their friends.

Albert Mümme, Adelaide violinist, singer, teacher and patriotic composer around pre-war 1900s

Albert Mümme, a prolific Adelaide music teacher, was another German-heritage South Australian composer to display overt patriotism – forgotten during the anti-German World War I backlash. During fundraising for the South African War (1899-1902), Mümme’s song “For the Flag” was popular at 1000-voice concerts by public and private schools in the exhibition building. He also wrote and performed “The Royal Salute” for the Duke of York’s visit and arranged and conducted orchestral works for services at St Peter's and St Francis Xavier's cathedrals celebrating the coronations of Edwards VII and George V. Born in Adelaide in 1868 to a German immigrant Heinrich Gustav Friedrich Mümme and Emily (nee Clisby), Mümme had an uncle Carl who was an tenor in the Liedertafel choir (conductor 1886-91) and St Francis Xavier's Cathedral choirmaster. His grandfather Redford Clisby opened Adelaide's first musical instrument warehouse. At the German School in Wakefield Street, Adelaide, Mümme learnt music from six and later studied with Italian teachers: piano and harmony under Signor Giorza and singing under Faustino Ziliani. He added violin under Francesco Gargaro and bowing under Raffaele Squarise. At 14, he composed with music to D. H. Bottrill's “Haven of Love", bought by Glasgow publishers Kerr and Co. At 17, he was violinist and pianist at the Theatre Royal under Squarise. He played in many Adelaide orchestras and ensembles. He combined with Ziliani and Signor as a popular vocal trio. He also became well known with his music school and teaching at public and private schools. 

Hermann Heinecke has major impact as violin teacher and conductor of his Grand Orchestra

August Moritz Hermann Heinicke was brought out from Germany in 1890 as violin teacher at Adelaide College of Music by its founders Gotthold Reimann and Cecil Sharp. Heinecke was acclaimed soon as Adelaide's premier violinist and violin teacher. Daisy Kenny and William Cade were among his pupils. When Adelaide University's Elder Conservatorium of Music opened in 1898, the college closed and Heinicke became an acclaimed senior teacher there. Charles Cawthorne’s Adelaide Orchestra in 1893 became Heinicke's Grand Orchestra, with 45 players. In 1890, Heinicke had proposed a United German Gentlemen's Singing Society. Sixty-four men formed the new Adelaide Liedertafel that Heinicke conducted until World War I. In 1914, with strong anti-German feelings affecting Adelaide, nine university students, who felt that Heinecke “had attempted to affront British sentiment at a public concert”, assaulted him and painted the union jack on his bald head. He resigned from the conservatorium in 1916.

Jack Becker: Music Man of Adelaide with college, league and the 'world's largest' '30s boys' band

Jack Ellerton Becker became The Music Man of Adelaide in the 1930s, including forming “the world’s largest” boys’ military band. Born in Unley and educated at local public schools, Becker became apprenticed to jewellery firm S. Schlank and Co. As a sideline, Becker opened a music studio in Victoria Square, Adelaide, and started instructing in banjo, mandolin, violin and saxophone – instruments he’d taught himself . His prime interest was wind instruments and, by 16, he’d earned enough to fund a year working at Conn Musical Instrument factory in Indiana, USA. From 1926, Becker was a salesman at Allans music shop in Adelaide. He promoted fife bands for 53 schools, selling them instruments he designed. In 1932, Becker quit Allans and founded Adelaide Drum and Fife Band, with the top 200 schoolboy players. It performed week-long seasons in Adelaide's largest theatres, gave radio broadcasts, and toured Melbourne and Sydney in 1936-37. In 1932, Becker's studio became the Adelaide College of Music with  part-time teachers from leading dance bands and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Becker also started the Music League of South Australia that mounted On Parade, an annual extravaganza involving 1000 players. The first, in December 1939, had nine sellout performances. Later shows included Adelaide Boys Military Band, Adelaide Boys Saxophone Band, Adelaide Banjo Club, Adelaide Drum, Bugle and Baton Corps, Rhythm Pups Dance Band, Adelaide Boys Choir, solo dancers and ballets. The sale of Adelaide College of Music, with 643 students and 17 lecturers, in 1942 gave Becker his first fortune.

Harry Green's Adelaide College of Music goes to higher scale: challenges Elder Conservatorium

Harry Green, a Port Adelaide-born former Christian Brother, helped Jack Becker stage the On Parade extravaganza at the Theatre Royal in 1939. On Parade showcased Adelaide College of Music and the Music League of South Australia, both run by Becker. Green, a renowned art teacher as "Brother Jerome", brought stunning sets and Hollywood-style to On Parade. Green became vice principal of Adelaide College of Music. In 1941, Becker made Green principal and next year sold the college and Stradivarius Instrument Co. to him for a £1 deposit, expecting Green to make enough to pay the balance. This happened. In the next 20 years, enrolments grew from 1200 to 9900 and staff from 37 to 400. Until its last in 1975, the annual On Parade always sold out over nine nights. Green founded other colleges at Port Adelaide, Berri, Broken Hill, Brisbane and Perth. By 1963, Sydney and Melbourne bodies joined his Associated Music Colleges of Australia. Green competed with Elder Conservatorium of Music from 1944, undercutting its tuition charges. Using private teachers and South Australian Symphony Orchestra members, he formed what in 1953 became Adelaide Conservatorium of Music. By 1960, it was preparing 2100 pupils for exams by the Australian Music Examinations Board or Royal College of Music, London. From the 1960s, enrolments declined. In 1975, Green sold the business to Music Houses of Australia, taken over soon by EMI. On November 11, 1975, Green and his staff were told to stop teaching immediately. Green declined help to relaunch the Adelaide college. 

Music college's Adelaide Conservatorium turns out top world tenors, all of that jazz and more

Two international principal tenors – Lance Ingram (stage name Albert Lance) with the Paris Opéra and Kevin Miller with the English National Opera – were products of Adelaide Conservatorium – a a serious music division of the Adelaide College of Music competing with Adelaide University’s Elder Conservatorium. Adelaide College of Music, as revived by Jack Becker in 1923 and carried on by Harry Green until 1975, was a rebirth of the college founded by Immanuel Reimann in 1885 and later absorbed into the Elder Conservatorium. The raw talent of tenor Lance Ingram (Albert Lance) was nurtured at the college by soprano Greta Callow, who’d studied at Nellie Melba’s Melbourne conservatorium and sung at Melba’s Adelaide Farewell concert in 1927. After Adelaide Conservatorium, Kevin Miller won a scholarship to study in Roma and London. He joined Glyndebourne in 1955, returning to Australia for Eizabethan Opera Company’s first season and then working for Welsh National, Dublin Grand, Scottish Opera and Sadler’s Wells companies. Several Adelaide college brass, clarinet and percussion students gained celebrity. Bruce Gray, Bill Munro and Bob Wright were central to developing traditional jazz in Australia. Syd Beckwith became a well-known band leader in Canada. Errol Buddle and Jack Brokenshaw formed the Australian Jazz Quartet/Quintet that won critical approval with its USA 1954-58 tour. Guitarist George Xanthos became a star with the Hawking Brothers. In the college's Radio Institute of Australia gave training in radio and, later, TV work. One of its students was Bobby Limb.

Crowning glory of South Australia's music tradition: the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra had been the crowning glory of South Australian music since 1936. The state’s largest performing arts organisation, the orchestra has built a reputation for vitality and versatility and won international acclaim. Besides delivering performances to more than 90,000 each season, the orchestra has increasingly extended its audiences and activities beyond the concert hall. These include the Out of the CBD series and regular broadcasts on ABC Classic FM radio. Adelaide Symphony’s comprehensive Learning Series for schools and families symphony directly reached more than 16,000 children. In 1998 and 2004, the orchestra gained international attention for its role in the first fully Australian production of Richard Wagner’s The Ring in 2004. It was involved in Adelaide Festival’s 2017 staging of Barrie Kosky’s opera Saul and the Australian premiere Brett Dean’s opera Hamlet (2018). Delivering diverse and colourful programming with leading international and Australian musicians, it has enjoyed successful performances with such artists as Ben Folds, Tim Minchin and the Hilltop Hoods. In 2015, the orchestra and Hilltop Hoods reprised their collaboration to record Drinking From The Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung. Adelaide Symphony Orchestra showcases new music and Australian premieres. It as madeinternational tours, including China, Korea, Singapore and Carnegie Hall in New York, and plays a vital role in the Adelaide Festival  Adelaide Cabaret Festival, OzAsia Festival, WOMADelaide, State Opera of South Australia and Australian Ballet.


ELDER CONSERVATORIUM BECOMES A MUSIC POWERHOUSE for South Australia – from classical to electronic experimental

Thomas Elder bequest secures university's chair of music started by governor in 1883

Elder Conservatorium of Music, Australia’s oldest music academy, became a formal identity in 1898 after a bequest by pastoralist Thomas Elder. These funds guaranteed Adelaide University’s chair of music that went back to 1883 when the colony’s governor William Robinson, a musician, raised £5000 to employ a professor but only for five years. Also in1883, Berlin-trained pianist Gotthold Reimann started his Adelaide College of Music, with Cecil Sharp (later to become famous as collector, and even inventor, of English folk songs) as a fellow director in 1889. For its first few years, the university school of music (composition and theory) and Adelaide College of Music (practical training in performance) complemented each other. After Elder's bequest, the two schools merged in 1898, operating in the college’s Wakefield Street premises until 1900 when the North Terrace university building was completed. Elder’s funds also enabled the Royal College of Music in London and the music board of the University of Adelaide to support the Elder overseas scholarship (in music)



Elder Conservatorium born out of Gotthold Reimann's Adelaide College of Music in 1898

(Immanuel) Gotthold Reimann was a crucial figure in the start of South Australian serious musical education. Locally born, Reimann, a boy soprano, was taught singing at Traugott Wilhelm Boehm’s Hahndorf Academy. From eight, he learned piano, with the principal Mrs B. J. Price. Reimann became music master at the Hahndorf Academy in 1875 and a music teacher in Adelaide before completing his musical education in Berlin at the pianist Theodor Kullak's renowned Neue Akademie der Tonkunst and at the Scharwenka Konservatorium. Reimann gained his diplomas, returned to Adelaide, and in 1883 founded the Adelaide College of Music (Cecil Sharp was co-director 1889-92). From 1890, Reimann brought out Hermann Heinicke, Otto Fischer and Hermann Kugelberg from Germany as teachers. The college won repute and by 1896 attracted 250 students. When Thomas Elder’s bequest enabled an Adelaide University music conservatorium to be founded in 1898, Reimann's college was informally incorporated and his teachers and pupils transferred to Elder Conservatorium of Music without compensation. For 30 years as the conservatorium's piano teacher, eventually as assistant director, he helped shape the curriculum for music studies at Adelaide University. He became honorary pianist and director of Adelaide String Quartet Club and the Adelaide chamber music concerts, though not during World War I. He was major editor of music for the Australian Board of Musical Examinations. From 1891 to 1931, he was organist and choirmaster at the Lutheran Church in Flinders Street, Adelaide.


Joshua Ives starts Elder Conservatorium with Australia's first music academy doctorates

Elder Conservatorium’s first professor Joshua Ives, amid controversy, did achieve important firsts including the idea of a “Conservatoire” within Adelaide University. He set up the first Australian public music examinations at Adelaide University in 1886. This led to the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB). In 1898, through Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide University was the first in Australia have a doctor of music degree. Edward Harold Davies gained the first Australian doctorate of music. Others, including Tristram Cary, Peter Maxwell Davies, Graeme Koehne, Charles Bodman Rae, David Lockett and Ross Edwards, were all associated with the Elder Conservatorium. Joshua Ives was Adelaide University’s first professor of music in 1885 after studying at Queen’s College, Cambridge. His £500 salary, financed by public subscription, was the lowest of the university’s seven professors. This led to an overabudnace of music students – but few graduates –  when Ives was allowed to received students' fees of up to £250. Other complaints about his competence and bias as a music examiner prompted Ives' term being ended by the university council in 1901.

John Bishop and Charles Bodman Rae add to the Elder Conservatorium's prestige from 1948

John Bishop’s years (1948-66) as Adelaide University’s Elder professor of music saw initiatives such as the university’s wind quintet and the Adelaide Festival of Arts (as inaugural artistic director). Bishop learnt piano at 12 from noted Adelaide teacher William Silver. He won the 1919 Alexander Clark Scholarship to Elder Conservatorium and the 1923 South Australian Elder Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London, to study piano and conducting. After eight successful years as conductor of Royal Wellington Choral Union and Wellington Philharmonic Orchestra in New Zealand, he became music director at Scotch College, Melbourne, in the 1930s. With fellow music teacher Ruth Alexander, he founded summer camps for young musicians from 1948. These led to the Australian Youth Orchestra, in 1957. Appointed Elder professor of music at Adelaide University in 1948, Bishop reorganised the curriculum with valued composers and musicologists as well as performance excellence and visits from composition lecturers. Professor Charles Bodman Rae, from 2001, again repositioned the Elder Conservatorium’s leadership. In 2005, the conservatorium won a classical music award (from Australasian Performing Rights Association) for “outstanding contribution by an organisation” (the only Australian music academy to win such an award), recognising its music program for the 2004 Adelaide Festival of Arts (curated by Bodman Rae).

Beryl Kimber, Clemens Leske wed brilliance to their teaching at uni's Elder Conservatorium

Beryl Kimber, a towering figure in the Elder Conservatorium of Music as associate professor of violin (1964-98), married Clemens Leske, long-time director of the conservatorium and dean of the faculty of music. Their son Clemens became a distinguished pianist – and a senior lecturer at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. During her own brilliant international violist career, Kimber was a soloist with every major British orchestra. Leske senior also made his mark as a national and international pianist. Kimber and Leske were honoured by former students, including violinist Adele Anthony, at Elder Hall in 2015 when they were presented with the distinguished alumni awards by Adelaide University. A graduate of New York’s Juilliard School, Clemens Leske junior has performed with all Australian symphony orchestras and in Spain, the United Kingdom, Singapore, New Zealand, Hungary and China. He has served on juries for piano competitions, including the ABC’s Young Performers’ Awards, the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition and the Australian National Piano Award.

Electronic music unit at Elder Conservatorium sustains contemporary and experimental music

Elder Conservatorium’s strength in research lies especially in composition and new music. Its electronic music unit was developed in 1962, when Dr. Henk Badings was composer in residence. The unit’s recording studios, with computer suites and analogue synthesizers, are also a venue for concerts of contemporary and experimental music; the first such studio in Australia. Composer Tristram Cary, who wrote the Dr Who electronic music theme, brought his studio from England to Adelaide University where he was lecturer until 1986. Cary designed the legendary VCS3 synthesizer, used by Pink Floyd in Dark Side of Moon’s “On the Run". Martin Wesley-Smith was also part of the vibrant contemporary art music scene fused around the electronic music unit with influences such as Soundstream, Zephyr Quartet and The Firm. Pianist Gabriella Smart championed contemporary music nationally for more than 20 years, primarily through Soundstream started in 1994. Unit staff member, composer, performer, critic and lecturer Stephen Whittington has featured music of underperformed composers such as Morton Feldman, Gyorgy Kurtag and Charles-Valentin Alkan. 


Cecil Sharp, Clara Serena, Peter Dawson,Percy Grainger's mother

Cecil Sharp, father of English folk revival, a creative music hero in 19th Century Adelaide

Cecil James Sharp, founding father of England's folk-song revival in the early 20th Century, had migrated in 1882 to Adelaide – which he chose because of Beethoven's song of that name. He became musical director in 1883-84 of Adelaide String Quartet Club (whose first secretary was John Grainger, Percy’s father). He was also assistant organist to Arthur Boult at St Peter's Anglican Cathedral and conducted and arranged “Nursery ditties” for its choral society. Sharp composed music for three productions by Adelaide writer Guy Boothby: the comic opera Sylvia (1890), The Jonquil: an Opera (1891) and an operetta Dimple’s lovers for Adelaide’s Garrick Club at Albert Hall. Sharp also conducted the Adelaide Philharmonic Choir. From 1898, he was co-director with Immanuel Reimann of the Adelaide College of Music. He returned to England and his folk music phase in 1892. In 1918, Percy Grainger arranged his popular “Country Gardens  based on a Morris dance that Sharp collected.


Pianist Maude Puddy brings London/Vienna teaching/performance back to Conservatorium

Maude Puddy was among the most remarkable early Elder Conservatorium graduates. Puddy was gifted from an early age. Her father, a fitter and turner and self-taught pianist, encouraged her playing. She attended Hindmarsh Public School and, at age 10, won joint first prize with a 15-year-old at the Public Schools Floral and Industrial Exhibition. In 1900, at 17, she gained Adelaide University's first associate of music diploma. In 1905, Puddy left for a year in London, then to Vienna as pupil of eminent piano teacher Theodor Leschetizky. From 1919, she returned to the Conservatorium as a teacher for three decades. She inspired eminent visitors to the Conservatorium including fellow Leschetizky pupils Ignaz Friedman, Benno Moiseiwitsch and Ignacy Jan Paderewski, along with renowned Australians Lauri Kennedy, Nellie Melba and Percy Grainger. Puddy continued giving world-class solo concerts. She played with the South Australian and Verbrugghen orchestras, and she was among the first classical musicians to embrace wireless broadcasting, performing on 5CL from the 1920s.


Ruby Davy, Australia's first female doctor of music, develops colour themes in composing

Ruby Davy was the first Australian woman to receive a doctorate in music, from Elder Conservatorium, and to become a fellow of Trinity College of Music, London (1921). From 1909, Ruby Davy was composing, giving recitals and became a successful teacher with her mother. In 1912, she temporarily taught theory and counterpoint at the conservatorium. Davy performed her song “Australia, fair and free” in Melbourne and Adelaide in 1934. She began popular lecture recitals on radio and to various associations in Melbourne, where she settled. She developed a controversial topic, “The evolution of chamber music with special reference to colour”, in three lectures in 1938. She set up the Davy Conservatorium of Music at her South Yarra home, using unconventional teaching. In 1939, she toured England, Europe and the United States of America.  In 1941, she founded the Society of Women Musicians of Australia. Davy died in 1949 and was buried in West Terrace cemetery. She left £300 to the Elder Conservatorium for a prize in music composing.

Daisy Kennedy among many Adelaide violinists influenced by Otakar Sevcik and Prague

Daisy Kennedy was directly influenced by Otakar Ševčik and the Prague music conservatory and the Czech school had a major effect on other Adelaide violinists, including Brenton Langbein and Lyndall Hendrikson. Langbein and Hendrickson were instructed at Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium by Ludwik Schwab, who had studied under Sevcik in Prague, and came to Australia in 1934. The great tradition of the Prague Conservatoire in South Australia that Swab brought was further spread by Hendrickson as an exceptional teacher whose pupils included Jane Peters, who won the bronze medal at the 1986 international Tchaikovsky competition for violinists, in Moscow. Another Czech violin influence comes from Ladislav Jasek, who studied at the Prague Academy of Music under Jaroslav Pekelsky, as a soloist and teacher in Australia. He became concertmaster of Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 1983. Daisy Kennedy, one of the most outstanding women violinists of the first half of the 20th Century, was born in Burra Burra,160km north of Adelaide, in 1893. Her father Joseph was headmaster of Glenelg Primary School and president of the South Australian Public School Teachers' Union. Under an Elder scholarship from Elder Conservatorium, Daisy Kennedy was  was a private pupil for a year with Otakar Ševčik in Vienna where she also studied at the Meister Schule. She appeared in cncert in London in 1911 and toured Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Kennedy was a cousin of cellist Lauri Kennedy and thus related to violinist Nigel Kennedy.

Clara (Kleinschmidt) Serena's three-octave range dazzles opera goers in Covent Garden

Lobethal-born contralto with a three-octave range, Clara Serena built an international opera career at Covent Garden, London, and beyond in the 1920s/30s. Daughter of Hermann and Ida Kleinschmidt, Clara was 14 when pastoralist Peter Waite set up the Serena Trust for her education. Waite's daughter Elizabeth became her friend and chaperone when Serena won a scholarship in 1908 to the Royal College of Music, London. She upset Peter Waite when she married her accompanist Albert Roy Mellish in 1917. But, in 1922, she made her operatic début in London. She created the title role in Rutland Boughton's Alkestis at Covent Garden and in 1926 appeared in Vienna, Berlin and Paris. During Covent Garden 1928, 1929 and 1931 seasons, her roles included Amneris, Delilah, Erda and Waltraute. She joined the British National Opera in 1937 and worked with conductors including Thomas Beecham, Henry Wood, Adrian Boult and John Barbirolli. In 1939, an American tour was foiled by World War II and she returned to Adelaide in 1951.

Influence of his mother Rose (Aldridge) from Adelaide entwined into Percy Grainger's career

Percy Grainger’s bizarre and brilliant life on the musical world stage in the early 20th Century cannot be separated from his Adelaide-born and -raised mother Rose (nee Aldridge). Percy and his mother are buried together at West Terrace cemetery. Percy’s architect father John migrated from England to Adelaide in 1877 and married Rose (Rosa), daughter of a prominent Adelaide hotelier and race horse owner, in 1880. The couple moved to Melbourne but John, who produced designs for the Princes Bridge, left for England in 1890. This left Rose devoted to Percy’s precocious talents. She became his constant companion as he moved around the world, managing his business, social and emotional affairs, with his reputation soaring on many fronts including becoming a prime exponent of the music of friend Edvard Grieg. His record-breaking piano piece “Country Gardens" was published in 1919. Rose’s suicide in 1922 was a crushing blow for him.

Miriam Hyde wins Elder scholarship and devotes long life to music beyond pianist and composer

Miriam Hyde, one of Australia’s foremost 20th Century pianists and composers, won an AMEB scholarship at age 12 in 1925 to the Elder Conservatorium and an Elder overseas scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London (1932-35). In 1934, her Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat minor was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with her as soloist. In 1935, she played her Piano Concerto No. 2 with the London Symphony Orchestra. She returned to Adelaide in 1936 when she wrote music for South Australia’s centenary pageant, Heritage, at the Tivoli Theatre (now Her Majesty’s). After moving to Sydney, her major post-war works included the Happy Occasion Overture (1957) for the first concert of the Australian Youth Orchestra. Hyde’s work for the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) spanned 1945–82. The Music Teachers’ Association of South Australia honoured Hyde in a 1988 recital at Pilgrim Church on her 75th birthday, with proceeds for an award in her name. In 1997, at 84, she gave a concert of her major works at the Royal College of Music, London. Royalties from her autobiography, Complete Accord, went to the Elder overseas scholarship that she won in 1931.

Peter Dawson one of the first sellers of multi-million records led by popular British songs

Peter Dawson, bass baritone and songwriter, gained world renown through recitals and best-selling recordings of arias, oratorio solos and ballads over almost 60 years. In 1984, Dawson was one of the top-selling 10 singers on disc of all time. Born in Adelaide in 1882, he joined a church choir and received singing lessons from C.J. Stevens. He was featured at the 1901 Christmas Messiah at Adelaide Town Hall, before being sent to London for voice training by opera star Charles Santley and voice trainer F.L. Bamford of Glasgow. In 1909, he appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Richard Wagner’s The Mastersingers of Nuremberg. But he built a career on recordings with his sales topping 12 million by World War II. Although his repertoire ranged from oratorio, lieder and even Russian standards, Dawson was famous for British songs such as the “The Floral dance”, “The Kerry dance”. “The cobbler’s song”, “In a monastery garden”, “The road to Mandalay” and “Roses of Picardy”. His last public performance was a concert for the Australian Broadcasting Commission in Adelaide in 1961.

Lyndall Hendrickson: child prodigy hit by polio turns to teaching the gifted and autistic

Lyndall Hendrickson, born in Balaclava in 1917, packed an amazing musical life into her 100 years: from childhood violin prodigy (granted a scholarship to the Elder Conservatorium at age 14)  and the worldwide fame of performing with orchestras under the batons of Malcolm Sargent, Bernard Heinze and Thomas Beecham to being paralysed by polio in her twenties. The next phase of her career was as teacher, attracting worldwide interest. She developed her own innovative methods to nurture gifted violinists including Jane Peters, Adele Anthony, Rafaella Acella and Paul Wright. In her sixties, Hendrickson began to explore music as a communication for children with autism. In her eighties, she was still researching her ideas in collaboration with Flinders University academics and was teaching instrumental methodology and supervising a masters student at the University of Adelaide. She gave papers on psycholinguistics at scientific conferences throughout the world for 20 years.

Brenton Langbein starts Die Kammermusiker Zurich, adding to his international renown

Brenton Langbein, another South Australian violin prodigy who started studies at five, gave his first recital in Tanunda Town Hall at eight. Born at Gawler in 1928 to German and Scottish parents, he won a scholarship to the Elder Conservatorium at 11, studied under Ludwig Schwab and started playing with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at 14. In 1948, at 20, Brenton joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and became a solo performer, while studying composition under Eugene Goosens. He moved to Europe in 1951 to study in Switzerland and Vienna and with cellist Pablo Casals. In 1953, he settled in Zurich and led Paul Sacher's Collegium Musicum Chamber Orchestra. Appointed violin professor at Basel Academy, he formed an acclaimed duo/trio with Australian pianist Maureen Jones and horn player Barry Tuckwell. Langbein founded and led the renowned Die Kammermusiker Zurich that performed in Europe, England, America and Australia. He started youth orchestra schools in Zurich and Basel and was musical director of Zurich Opera Factory. He played and conducted in Australia and was musical director of Adelaide Chamber Orchestra. He died in Zurich and is buried at Lyndoch in the Barossa Valley where the auditorium of Tanunda arts and convention centre carries his name.

South Australia's world opera superstar Lance Ingram/Albert Lance rises from orphan start

South Australia’s Lance Albert Ingram became France’s national tenor and a world opera superstar in the 1950s/60s – as Albert Lance. It was an incredible triumph for someone born downstairs – for “fallen women” – at the McBride Salvation Army Hospital in the Adelaide suburb of Medindie in 1925. Ingram’s English mother had married the father, Renmark’s “Rolly” Ingram, a few weeks earlier and he disappared soon after the birth. The baby was given into the care of McBride home matron’s mother, Maria Latz, who became “Mutty” to Ingram in the strictly Lutheran German farm community at Cambrai on the Murray flats. Ingram grew up with Prussian German as a first language in very Australian rural conditions of Depression poverty and drought. Later taken to live in Adelaide by his father, Ingram Ingram worked at places such as Motteram biscuit factory and ACTIL during World War II years and had no ambition beyond returning to Cambrai to farm chickens. Ingram’s near-death experience with meningitis brought his mother back from Melbourne to care for him. She noticed his singing ability and urged him to enrol at Adelaide College of Music. This set off a winding sequence that saw Ingram's talent win through and arrive in 1955 in Paris aged 29. Within three years, Ingram conquered the French opera stage to critical acclaim. By 1958, he’d sung opposite Joan Sutherland at Covent Garden and with other greats Renata Tebaldi and Rita Gorr in Paris. But his experience next year at a Paris gala performance in Paris with volatile Maria Callas proved Ingram’s greatness – drawing on equanimity from his South Australian background.



Thomas Jones, William Pybus, George Oughton as organists become wider musical catalysts

George Oughton, Thomas Jones and William Pybus reflect the central role of organists to 19th Century Adelaide musical life at the town hall and churches. Oughton arrived in 1870 and became organist and choirmaster at St. Paul's Church, Pulteney Street, Besides founding the Adelaide Amateur Musical Union as an orchestra in 1872, Oughton was bandmaster of Adelaide's Volunteer Militia/Adelaide Military Band. Oughton was first voluntary organist (1879-84) at Adelaide Town Hall, succeeded by Thomas Jones (1885-91). Jones graduated from Adelaide University in 1889 with Australia’s first bachelor of music. At 16, he was appointed organist to the Baptist Church, Norwood: followed by 19 years at Tynte Street, North Adelaide, church; 20 years at Brougham Place Congregational Church; and 25 years at Pirie Street Methodist Church. Jones was passed over for William Pybus as paid city organist at Adelaide Town Hall in 1891. After study at Adelaide University, in 1873, Prybus had been made organist, ahead of Oughton, at Kent Town Wesleyan Methodist Church, where a Hill organ had just been installed. Prybus gained high repute as a piano, organ and singing teacher. He was also organist at Baptist Tynte Street, North Adelaide and Flinders Street Presbyterian Church. Pybus remained city organist until 1917 when he resigned due to ill health – and was succeeded by Jones.


George Oughton and Tanunda's heritage set standards for South Australian bands

Tanunda Town Band, drawing on the Barossa Valley’s German heritage, is the oldest continuing brass band in the Southern hemisphere, from 1857. The brand has won several South Australian A Grade band contests and the national title in 1957. It presents a Melodienacht annual concert in the Tanunda Agricultural Shed, and continues the Tanunda band competition started in 1910 as Barossa and Light Eisteddfod. George Oughton, who arrived in Adelaide in 1870 as organiser and choirmaster for St Paul’s Church, Pulteney Street, Adelaide, had a background in military band music. As Lieutenant Oughton, bandmaster of Adelaide's Volunteer Militia/Adelaide Military Band, which made its first public appearance with him as conductor, at Adelaide Town Hall in 1878, and played regularly at Elder Park rotunda. He took the band in 1886 to Melbourne where it was recognised as possibly Australia’s best. South Australia was the first police force in Australia to form a band in 1884. Cliff Sorrell of the South Australian Band Association is credited with, from 1965, getting the National Band Council of Australia to decide the principles and unified rules for the Australian bands competition.

Norman Sellick source of Unley, Norwood and Burnside orchestras among many music gifts

Norman Sellick, the Music Teachers’ (formerly Musical) Association of South Australia’s longest-serving president (1941-69), was also inadvertent originator of three Adelaide suburban orchestras: Unley, Norwood and Burnside. Sellick founded what became the prize-winning Unley City Orchestra in 1924. After a dispute with the Unley Council in 1956, the Unley orchestra moved to the City of Kensington and Norwood in 1957, becoming Norwood Symphony Orchestra. During the move to Norwood, another small group left and founded the Burnside Symphony Orchestra in 1957. Yet another group broke away in 1980 and started the present Unley Symphony Orchestra. Sellicks’ other wide contributions to Adelaide music included violin teacher; forming a junior orchestra in the 1930s; musical director for Adelaide Musical Comedy Company productions at the Theatre Royal in 1936-37; first violinist in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; with Lilian and Natalie, formed the Sellick Trio for Elder Hall Sunday afternoon concerts and broadcasts on 5CL in 1942; conducting the ABC Studio Orchestra for the first Carols by Candlelight in 1944, and judging for the Adelaide Eisteddfod in the 1950s.

Edith Dubsky builds up Musica Viva in Adelaide with legendary, loving, detailed care, 1947-83

Edith Dubsky was at the heart of Musica Viva in South Australia for 34 years (1947-83), building it from 300 to 1,100 subscribers and managing, as a virtual volunteer, more than 700 concerts with a combined audience of about 300,000. With Regina Ridge in Sydney, Dubsky is credited with a major role in nurturing Musica Viva into maturity. She arrived in Adelaide in 1941 as a Jewish-Viennese migrant escaping the Nazi menace. Managing an imported knitwear shop called Mitzi of Vienna, she liked Adelaide but missed her background in music and theatre, especially with many Adelaide Symphony Orchestra members fighting in World War II. After her first Musica Viva concert in 1947, its founder Richard Goldner – also Jewish Viennese – asked Dubsky to be honorary secretary of a branch to be started in Adelaide. Musica Viva resumed fully in 1954, with Dubsky taking on its subscriptions and publicity. She also organised rehearsals, took care of the visiting musicians and supervised front of house. With Adelaide committee chairman Jim Cornell, she created a friendly atmosphere that attracted audiences and impressed the visiting international and Australian ensemble musicians with her detailed care and remembering every name. Neville Mariner, conductor of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, cabled Dubsky: “Edith, you are a living legend. In England, you are our colonial civilised outpost.”

Chamber Singers' world title salutes Adelaide tradition of Liedertafel, Oughton/Prybus choirs

Adelaide Chamber Singers’ Pavarotti Trophy win to become Choir of the World at the 2013 International Eisteddfod in Wales saluted Adelaide's choral tradition started by glee clubs, Adelaide Choral Society (1842) and the Liedertafel at the German Club (1850s). Adelaide Amateur Musical Union (under George Oughton) and Adelaide Philharmonic Society (under William Pybus) were more serious attempts at secular choirs. The philharmonic society, formed in 1869, staged concerts to raise more than £500 towards the £1,200 needed for Adelaide Town Hall’s organ. Adelaide Philharmonic Choir was disbanded in 1979 along with the Adelaide Choir Society. From that came the Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus. Adelaide Harmony Choir remains one of the foremost large choirs in Australia. It was founded in 1947 by Lewis Dawe. St Peter's Cathedral Choir has been singing for more than 130 years. It is the only choir of children and adults of its type in Adelaide. Groups such as the Adelaide Singers and the Glenlea Singers performed on ABC radio and the commercial 5DN through the 1940s/50s. Barossa Valley has a long tradition of German choral music. The Graduate Singers were formed in 1977 for high-standard music making and Adelaide Chamber Singers, started in 1985 by director Carl Crossin, comprises some of Adelaide’s best and most experienced young ensemble vocalists.


State Opera of South Australia crashes through size limits with bold new productions

The State Opera of South Australia aspires to be the most exciting and innovative opera company in Australia. It has backed up that goal with two complete Richard Wagner Ring cycles (the Paris Châtelet production in 1998 and the first Australian-built cycle in 2004), Australian premieres of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Moby Dick; John Adams’ Nixon in China and El Nino; Philip Glass’ biographical opera Trilogy (Akhnaten, Einstein on the beach and Satyagraha); a world premiere of Cloudstreet based on Tim Winton’s Australian novel; with Adelaide Festival and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Flight, Le Grand Macabrethe Fiery Angel, Barrie Kovsky’s Saul and Brett Dean’s Hamlet. Created as a state government statutory authority in 1976, the State Opera of South Australia has its origins in the dedicated amateur Intimate Opera Group in 1957 leading in 1973 to the first professional, but with limited resources, New Opera South Australia that set the trend for a small specialist opera company to take on innovative work on a grand scale. With minimal staff at its Netley warehouse headquarters, State Opera is the tiny sibling of Australia’s big opera companies and its main challenge remains financial. 

1998/2004 'Ring' opera cycles a pinnacle for Adelaide music wealth, spirit from 19th Century

Productions of Richard Wagner’s four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen in Adelaide by State Opera of South Australia with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 1998 and 2004 were international triumphs. They recovered South Australia's accumulated musical wealth started in the 19th Century. Besides serious music concerts at White's Rooms in King William Street, Italian and English opera companies regularly visited Adelaide and performed operas at the Queen's Theatre and, after 1868, at the Theatre Royal. Adelaide Town Hall was another venue from 1866. Adelaide missed out on the Imperial Grand Opera tour in 1932 but a feast of operas was presented by Italian Grand Opera, brought out by J.C. Williamson’s, in 1949. Despite brave attempts by Adelaide groups, it wasn't until 1957 that the South Australian National Opera Company, formerly Adelaide Opera Group, created the foundation to develop opera in the state. It soon found lighter entertainment was more popular. After a big loss on The Turn of the Screw in 1960, the company moved towards operetta. State Opera of South Australia's place was only cemented by becoming a state government statutory authority in 1976.

Graeme Koehne scores attention with music for orchestra and ballet in Latin/Hollywood modes

Graeme Koehne has carried on the tradition set by Miriam Hyde of building on an Elder Conservatorium and international grounding to become major figures in Australian composing and musical education. Hyde won a scholarship to Elder Conservatorium in 1925 and an Elder scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London 1932-35. Another Elder Conservatorium graduate, Koehne was awarded a Harkness Fellowship in 1984 to the School of Music at Yale University where he studied with Louis Andriessen and Jacob Druckman and took private lessons with Virgil Thomson. In 1986, he was appointed lecturer in composition at Elder Conservatorium. He gained national attention at the 1992 Adelaide Festival with the Young Composers Prize for his orchestral work Rainforest. He started a long and fruitful collaboration with choreographer Graeme Murphy, including a children’s ballet based on Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and the full-length Nearly Beloved. Koehne is best known for his orchestral and ballet scores that embrace triadic tonality. His orchestral trilogy Unchained Melody, Powerhouse and Elevator Music makes allusions to Hollywood film scores, cartoon music, popular Latin music and other dance forms. Koehne has chaired the music board of the Australia Council.

Scott Maxwell, Renee
 McCarthy top teachers 
in a twist on George Pearce music tradition

Scott Maxwell from Mount Gambier’s Grant High School and Woodcroft College’s Renee McCarthy won the first two national ARIA Music Teacher of the Year awards 2017-18. A guitarist in The Bearded Clams since the 1990s, Maxwell represents a change of style but not standards set by the Music Teachers’ Association of South Australia. The association's annual scholarships and prizes recognise a tradition of inspiring legendary music teachers, such as George Pearce. Its Reimann-Robinson scholarship, for all 18-or-under instrumental/vocal students of association members, recognises Imannuel Gotthold Reimann, who, with Professor E. Harold Davies, founded the association in 1930. Gwen Robinson, who taught for many years at Wilderness School, had her scholarship merged with Reimann’s who was her teacher. An open award for any student and junior award (under 18) honours pianist and composer Miriam Hyde. The Norman Sellick Memorial Prize for students 12 and under salutes the Music Teachers’ Association of South Australia’s longest-serving president. The Music Teachers’ Association/Grace Barbara Turner Awards for excellence in performance build on the association sponsoring awards in the Adelaide Eisteddfod from about 1980.


1960s FOLK BOOM IN TV CROSSOVER WITH JAZZ AND COUNTRY lead to Bobby Limb, Mark Holden, Guy Sebastian, Hugh Sheridan

Tina Lawton leads a flurry of Adelaide 1960s folk talent from fusion with jazz and country

Tina Lawton was the leading figure of the Adelaide folk boom in 1960s that has crossovers with other musical genres. Lawton, who died in a plane crash in 1968,  had built a national following on Channel 9's The Country and Western Hour.  Keith Conlon embodied the folk-jazz crossover as one of The Wesley Three. Rob McCarthy, Lynne and Graham McCarthy, The Skillet Lickers, Phil and Pete Sawyer, John Fulton-Stevens, Bob Hardie, The John Gordon Trio, Phil Cunneen, Dick Bond, Judy Crossley, Doug Ashdown, Irene Petrie, Eric Bogle and Robyn Smith (Archer) were among others making Adelaide folk mainstream. Coffee lounges, Le Camille and The Catacombs, downstairs in the Romilly Building at the North Terrace/Hackney Road corner, were early venues offering light folk and jazz. Largest and most influential was the Folk Hut in Rundle Street, run by singer-promoter John Stevens with soft-drinks maker George Hall. Glen Tomasetti organised fringe folk concerts during the 1966 Adelaide Festival of Arts. Campus folk clubs evolved at Adelaide and Flinders universities while churches, folk masses and youth services featuring folk singers became popular.

Roger Cardwell hosts 'Country & Western Hour' taking Adelaide singers nationally

Adelaide took country and western to a national audience from 1963 with a show from Channel 9’s studios in Tynte Street, North Adelaide.The Country and Western Hour achieved excellent ratings and picked up two Logie awards. It was originally hosted by Roger Cardwell, an outstanding country music singer who also sung folk at the Folk Hut coffee lounge. A crossover with folk was also strong in the show where Tina Lawton gained her national following. Robyn Smith (Archer) had her start on the show at 15. It also showcased Johnny Mac who straddled country and mainstream music, especially with his hit “Pink champagne”. (Channel 9’s Adelaide Tonight was another outlet for musicians.) Backing group for The Country and Western Hour was Ray Brown and Bob Hardie together with Norm Koch (banjo), Ron Acfield (bass) and John Crossing (piano) with many Adelaide guest artists. Colin Huddleston’s square dancers were also regulars. When Cardwell left to join Channel 10 in the 1960s, Reg Lindsay became compere with Adelaide guest artists including the Del Rios, Viscounts, Wesley Three and Wills sisters Sue and Anne.

Bobby Limb, Bruce Gray, Errol Buddle and Dave Dallwitz get jazz start in Adelaide dance halls

Some of South Australia’s best-known jazz musicians – Bobby Limb, Errol Buddle, Bruce Gray’s All-Stars and Dave Dallwitz’s Southern Jazz Group – had their start in the 1940s and 1950s playing on radio and in dance halls. The source of jazz training in the 1930s and 1940s was Adelaide College of Music that presented an annual On Parade show, the first at the Theatre Royal in 1939, always attracting capacity crowds. Dave Dallwitz, a child violinist, was a teacher at the South Australian School of Art who joined, then led, the popular Southern Jazz Group (1945-51.) Bruce Gray, also a child violinist, played fife before moving to clarinet with the Adelaide College of Music Military Band and a jazz quartet with pianist Colin Taylor, Bill Munro and Bob Wright. He worked with Mal Badenoch in 1943 and joined Malcolm Bills’ Dixielanders that became the basis for the Southern Jazz Group. The 1958 Australian Jazz Convention was staged Norwood, when Adelaide had venues like the St Vincent’s Jazz Club where enthusiasts “bopped” to the Black Eagles.

No Fixed Address and Ruby Hunter open way for Aboriginal music in 1970s/80s mainstream

No Fixed Address, the first Aboriginal band to break into mainstream music, has been inducted into South Australia's music hall of fame. Ricky Harrison, Les Graham, John Miller and Bart Willoughby formed the reggae and rock band in 1979 and enjoyed wide success including for “We have survived”, before the band members went their own ways in 1988. Ruby Hunter also set firsts for Aboriginal music. A singer, songwriter and guitarist, of River Murray Ngarindjeri Aboriginal nationality, Hunter often performed with her partner Archie Roach whom she met at 16, while both were homeless teenagers. Born on the Murray banks, Hunter was taken from her family at eight as part of the Stolen Generation. Hunter first performed in public in 1988 during a festival at Sydney's Bondi Pavilion with her first song “Proud, Proud Woman”. In 1990, she wrote the autobiographical "Down City Streets", performed by partner Archie Roach on his debut solo album Charcoal Lane. In 1994, Hunter became the first indigenous Australian woman to record a solo rock album Thoughts Within. Hunter won Deadlys in 2000 as female artist of the year, 2003 for outstanding contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music and 2004 for excellence in film & theatrical score.

'Pushbike Song' by Idris and Evan Jones in state's Music Hall of Fame Top 10 Adelaide songs

“The Pushbike Song”, written by Adelaide brothers Idris and Evan Jones, and recorded by The Mixtures, reached numbers one and two in the Australian and United Kingdom music charts in 1971. Vocalist Idris and Evan were both in Adelaide’s Gingerbread Men band and also appeared as the Jones Boys. “The Pushbike Song” was featured in a concert presented by the Adelaide Music Collective and South Australian Music Hall of Fame, to launch a CD  featuring 10 classic Adelaide songs. The songs were originally performed by musical pioneers such as The Angels, The Twilights, Masters Apprentices, Redgum, Rose Tattoo and Bev Harrell. Other songs featured included “9:50” by Terry Britten of The Twilights; “Wars or Hands of Time” by Mick Bower of the Masters Apprentices, Doug Ashdown’s big US hit “Winter in America” and Bev Harrell’s “The Looking Glass”; Beeb Birtles’ (Little River Band) song “The Last Romance”, originally recorded by Mark Holden; and John Brewster’s (Angels) song “Shadow Boxer”.

Mark Holden starts on 'Adelaide Tonight' for life of hits, colour, controversy and law

Mark Holden’s appearance on Adelaide Tonight in 1972 was the start of a colourful career as a singer, actor, TV personality, record producer and songwriter. After Adelaide Tonight appearances, Holden featured on The Ernie Sigley Show in Melbourne. During 1973, Holden travelled between Melbourne and Adelaide. He'd nearly completed a law degree in 1974 when he had four top 20 hit singles, including “Never gonna fall in love again”, with regular appearances on Countdown. In 1975-76, Holden became the first pop star to play the lead in the first Australian production of Joseph and the amazing technicolour dreamcoat in Sydney. In the 1980s, Holden worked as a songwriter in Los Angeles for Meat Loaf, Joe Cocker, Gladys Knight, Bob Welch and Steve Jones. With Jack Strom, Holden signed 15-year-old Vanessa Amorosi whose debut album peaked at No.1. Strom and Holden formed Marjac Productions and helped launch careers of Delta Goodrem, Nikki Webster and Sophie Monk. Holden was an original judge on Australian Idol (2003–07).

Peter Combe becomes king of the kids' music with his songs and TV/radio broadcasts

Adelaide’s Peter Combe became the “loony tunes” pied piper of revitalised children’s music through his recordings and television shows in Britain and Australia. As a music teacher at Prince Alfred College junior school in the 1970s, he started writing songs and his first operetta – Bows Against the Barons (based on Robin Hood) – for his students. In 1977, he landed a job in London as presenter on Music Times, a BBC TV educational program. Back to Australia, he presented Let's Have Music, an ABC radio primary school music education program. From 1989-91, Combe created Ticklepot on ABC Radio National, voted best children's radio program in the world in New York in 1991. A video with his album Toffee Apple, and played during ABC TV children's programming, turned Combe into Australia's first kids' pop star. Toffee Apple won the 1988 ARIA inaugural award for best children’s album, equalled by Newspaper Mama (1989) and The Absolutely Very Best of Peter Combe (So Far) Recorded in Concert (1992). In 1993, Combe's version of May Gibbs' Snugglepot & Cuddlepie was part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts. 

'I was only 19' in 1983 peak of political songs by John Schumann with folk group Redgum

John Schumann’s chart-topping 1983 hit “I was only 19 (A walk in the light green)” with Redgum explored the effects on Australian forces during the Vietnam War.  The song's sales assisted Vietnam veterans during the royal commission into Agent Orange and other defoliants. In 1975, Schumann had contributed to a radical politics-in-art project, convened by Professor Brian Medlin with students Michael Atkinson and Verity Truman. The three students formed political folk band Redgum, performing in pubs and on campuses. An “underground recording” of their music was made at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation studios in Adelaide by Darc Cassidy. Chris Timms (also from Flinders University) joined the group in 1976. By 1980, they decided to become a full-time band and Schumann wrote their biggest hits including “Long run”, “The last frontier”, “I was only 19” and “I've been to Bali too” (1984). In 1985, Schumann left Redgum but later started a solo career with CBS, releasing records including Etched in blue (1987) and the children's Looby loo (1989)


Paul Kelly's colourful singing and writing career grounded in an Adelaide boyhood

Adelaide-born and -raised Paul Kelly, singer/songwriter, guitaris and harmonica player, has his “To her door” and “Treaty” (written with Yothu Yindi) in the Australasian Performing Right Association’s Top 30 Australian songs of all time. Kelly's Top 40 singles include “Billy Baxter”, “Darling, it hurts”, “Before too long”, “To her door”, “Dumb things” (in the USA in 1988) and “Roll on summer”. Top-20 albums include Gossip, Under the Sun, Songs from the SouthNothing but a dream and Stolen apples. Nephew Dan performed with Kelly on Ways and Means and Stolen Apples. Both belonged to Stardust Five, with a self-titeld album in 2006. In 2010, Kelly released his memoir, How to Make Gravy. Despite once singing that “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men wouldn’t drag me back again to Adelaide”, Kelly has returned to Adelaide for concerts. He also continues to follow the Adelaide Crows football team just as he followed the Norwood side in his early days in Adelaide.



BEV HARRELL, ROBYN ARCHER, JULIE ANTHONY, SIA, GRETA BRADMAN among state's leading song ladies across wide range 

Bev Harrell, a pocket rocket from the Penny Rockets, storms to No.1 national hits in 1960s

Adelaide’s emerging 50s/60s youth music scene produced the city’s first big rock band the Penny Rockets and a pocket-rocket singer Bev Harrell. She began singing at six on the Kangaroos on Parade 5AD radio series. By the end of the 1960s, Harrell's “What am I doing here with you?”, “Come over to our place” and “One in a million” were national hits. In 1966-67, Harrell won best female vocal and album of the year at The Major Network Awards (now ARIAs). She toured with international names including Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Winifred Atwell, the Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison. 
In 1970, Harrell cut a single for the US Bell label. She toured Europe, Canada (with her own television special Two New on Toronto TV), the Caribbean, South Africa and South East Asia. In London during 1971, Harrell released “Back To The People/ Travelling Easy” for Bell. The A side was written with Maurice Gibb. Representing England in the 1971 Tokyo World Song Festival, Harrell won the outstanding composition and performance award. Back in Australia in 1972, she released “It Was Easy/ "The Right Thing to Do”, “Carols by Candlelight" /You've Got to Save Me” (1973) and “Mon Pere/ I Believe in Music”. Harrell played Grizabella, with its song “Memory” in the Australian and New Zealand tour of the musical Cats.


Robyn Archer rises from child singer in Prospect to a global performer and festivals director

From a childhood singer in the Adelaide suburb of Prospect, Robyn Archer became an internationally acclaimed performer and advocate for the arts. She was singing professionally by 12, moving from folk and pop to blues, rock, jazz and cabaret. Graduating from Adelaide University, she took up singing full-time. In 1974, Archer she sang Annie I in the Australian premiere of Brecht/Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins to open The Space at Adelaide Festival Centre. She played Jenny in Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera for New Opera South Australia where she met English translator and editor John Willett. Archer has been linked since with German Weimar Republic cabaret songs of Weill, Eisler and Paul Dessau. Her one-woman A Star is Torn (1979) covering female singers including Billie Holiday and her 1981 show The Pack of Women became successful books and recordings, the latter produced for television in 1986. It played throughout Australia 1979-83, and for a year at Wyndham’s Theatre in London's West End.Archer also has directed arts festivals overseas and Australia, including the Adelaide Festival (1998, 2000).



Julie Anthony the voice of a thousand national anthems – after her Adelaide Tonight start

Julie Anthony’s voice is known to millions for singing the national anthem at the Sydney Olympics opening and in recorded versions at the former broadcast closing time of ABC television and at Australian Football League finals. Born on a farm near Lameroo, Anthony began singing with a local band and in 1970 won a talent quest before appearing on Ernie Sigley’s Adelaide Tonight. She moved to Sydney, doing television, club and cabaret before international tours. An engagement at Hong Kong Hilton in 1973 was followed by lead role in the Australian production of the musical Irene. She starred in the UK version at London's Adelphi Theatre. The Play and Players of London named her with best newcomer (actress) for 1976. She returned to Australian television in three national specials. In 1977, she won Sammy and Penquin awards for best television variety performer. On USA tours, Anthony worked with Bill Cosby, Roy Clarke and Merv Griffin. She played Maria in The Sound Of Music in 1983. For the 1988 World Expo in Brisbane, Anthony was lead singer with the renewed Seekers. In 1988, she performed the national anthem at the opening of Australia’s new parliament house. The same year, she returned to the stage in I Do!, I Do!. Anthony won Australia’s Mo Award for entertainer of the year three times and best female variety performer nine times.

Janet Mead's 'Lord's Prayer' in 1970s makes her second singing nun to have a world hit

“The Lord’s Prayer” was Sister Janet Mead’s surprise hit of 1974, reaching No.2 on the Australian charts and No.4 on the United States’ Billboard Top 100. The single earned a Grammy Award nomination and a Golden Gospel Award in 2004. It sold over one and a half million copies. Mead became the second Roman Catholic nun to have a top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100, after Sister Luc-Gabrielle’s No.1 in 1963 with “Dominique”. Mead formed The Rock Band at 17 to provide music for the weekly mass at her local church. She studied piano at the Adelaide Conservatorium the before joining the Sisters of Mercy as a music teacher at two local Catholic schools. She brought the “rock mass” concept in the 1970s to St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral In Wakefield Street. Festival Records asked her to record a cover of Donovan’s “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” with a rock arrangement of “The Lord’s Prayer” as the B side. This became the hit. Mead slipped onto the US charts again with the single “Take my hand".


Janet Seidel, Australia's first lady of jazz singing, a big hit in London and Japan with trio tours

Janet Seidel, known as “Australia’s first lady of jazz singing” and a “virtual institution”, started playing piano at an early age on the family dairy farm at Mount Compass. A bachelor of music graduate from Adelaide University, she became a high school music teacher and regular performer at Adelaide venues. From 1976-80, she was part of Adelaide Feminist Theatre Group, writing piano arrangements for their first show The Carolina Chisel Show (1976). She wrote and arranged all songs for the The Redheads' Revenge (1978). In the early 1980s, she formed her first trio with brother David (bass) and Billy Ross (drums). She moved to Sydney where her career took off in the cabaret and jazz scenes. Her first album, Little Jazz Bird  in 1993, was the first of 18 generally greeted with critical acclaim. They ranged from easy listening, lounge, cabaret to jazz. The Janet Seidel Trio, with brother David and guitarist Chuck Morgan, made regular international tours, headlining, and drawing rave reviews in London’s famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and in the US, Europe, Middle East, south-east Asia and particularly Japan.

Sia Furler Institute hones skills used by Adelaide's world singer, composer, video maker

Sia Furler Institute for Contemporary Music and Media opened at Elder Conservatorium in 2016, salutes Adelaide’s internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter, record producer and video music director. With father Phil Colson a musician and mother Loene an art lecturer, Sia is the niece of actor-singer Kevin Colson and Colin Hay from Men at Work. After attending Adelaide High School, Sia sung in the 1990s with acid jazz band Crisp, including their EPs Word and the Deal (1996) and Delirium (1997). Sia’s debut album OnlySee on Flavoured Records in Australia sold 1,200 copies. She moved to London and became background vocalist for British band Jamiroquai. Sia moved to New York City in 2005 and her song “Breathe Me” appeared in the final scene of the HBO TV series Six Feet Under. In 2014, Sia’s 1000 forms of fear, debuted at No 1 in the US Billboard 200 and generated the top-10 breakthrough single “Chandelier”.

Greta Bradman's songs that soar grounded in music passion of Don and other grandparents

As a young girl, Greta Bradman went to her grandparents' Kensington Park house every day after school where she was surrounded by her grandfather’s passion for music. Don Bradman had been a boy soprano in his school choir and played piano. At the Bradman centenary dinner in 2015, Greta sang his 1930 composition “Every day is a rainbow day for me. Greta's grandmother Jessie Bradman was also musical, her father was a talented jazz musician and her maternal grandfather an opera singer. Greta studied music at Elder Conservatorium when she was also a soloist and member of Adelaide Chamber Singers. She won the Australian International Opera Award in 2013-14 allowing her to move to Cardiff to train with the Wales International Academy of Voice. From there, Richard Bonynge selected Bradman to sing the title role in a performance of Handel’s Rodelinda in 2014. Greta Bradman has recorded for Sony, ABC Classics and independently.


Kasey Chambers into ARIA Hall of Fame with country music rooted in a Nullarbor childhood

Kasey Chambers, inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2018, was born in Mount Gambier in 1976 and spent her first nine years with her parents Diane and Bill, plus older brother Nash, hunting foxes and rabbits for pelts seven/eight months each year around the Nullabor Plain. From 1986, Bill and Diane returned to performing as a country music duo and later added Kasey and Nash to the Dead Ringer Band that, from 1992, released four albums. Kasey Chambers’ debut solo album in 1999, The Captain, reached No. 1 on the related ARIA Country Albums chart and won best country album with best female artist award for its title track in 2000. (“The Captain” was played in Episode 8 of The Sopranos third season in 2001.) Five of Chambers’ 12 studio albums have reached No.1 on ARIA charts: Barricades and Brickwalls (2001), Wayward Angel (2004), Carnival (2006), Rattlin’ Bones (with then-husband Shane Nicholson in 2008) and Drangonfly (2017). Chamber is the first Australian country music artist to have simultaneous No. 1 single and album. This was achieved with her second studio album, Barricades and Brickwalls, released in 2001 via EMI Music, produced by her brother Nash. Chambers won ARIA best country album for a record ninth time in 2018.

Beccy Cole, multi golden guitar award winner, brings out 'The Queer of Country' at 2013 Feast

Beccy Cole, a country singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist, has scored nine golden guitar trophies at the CMAA country music awards of Australia. Of her 10 studio albums, six have made the ARIA top 40 albums list. Her video album, Just a Girl Singer (2004), reached No.6 on the ARIA Top 40 DVD Chart. In 2005-06, Cole performed for Australian defence forces in Iraq and her related single, “Poster girl (Wrong side of the world)" won 2007 song of the year at the country music awards and its video was No.1 on Australia's Country Music Channel. Beccy Cole was born Rebecca Thompson in 1972 at Glenelg to country music singer Carole Sturtzel and Jeff Thompson, saxophonist for the Strangers. At 14, she joined her mother's group Wild Oats. In 1991, she moved to the Dead Ringer Band, led by Bill Chambers and met his daughter Kasey Chambers. Cole and Chambers performed as a duo at Port Pirie Country Music Festival and busked at Tamworth. In 2012, Cole revealed on ABC-TV’s Australian Story she is a lesbian. She became inaugural ambassador for the Adelaide-based Feast Festival in 2013 and presented her show The Queer of Country. By 2015, Cole was living in Adelaide with partner Libby O'Donovan, a cabaret singer. Cole and O'Donovan married in 2018.


part of Beatles-inspired northern suburbs rock wave 1960s-80s

Scottish immigrant Jim Keays a mainstay of Masters Apprentices, shaped by Beatles/blues

The Masters Apprentices started life as an Adelaide surf music instrumental band called The Mustangs in 1964, with Mick Bower on rhythm guitar, Rick Morrison on lead guitar, Brian Vaughton on drums and Gavin Webb on bass guitar. Profoundly influenced by the Beatles in 1964, The Mustangs changed to a beat style and took on a lead singer: Scottish immigrant Jim Keays. They rehearsed in a shed behind a hotel owned by Vaughton’s family. Original manager Graham Longley taped a rehearsal that was released on CD in 2004 as Mustangs to Masters... First Year Apprentices. In 1965, The Mustangs became The Masters Apprentices because “we are apprentices to the masters of the blues – Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and Robert Johnson." In a heat of Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds, they finished third behind The Twilights (eventual national winners). The Apprentices shared a gig with pop star Bobby Bright of Melbourne, who recommended them to Astor Records. Their debut single “Undecided”/”Wars or hands of time” climbed the Adelaide charts, thanks to local DJs’ support. “Wars or hands of time” was the first Australian pop song to directly address the Vietnam war. The Masters Apprentices moved to Melbourne in 1967. Keays became a mainstay of the band that had psycjhedelic-rock and wild-bad-boy phases and kept losing personnel. (Lead guitarist Peter Tilbrook from Adelaide band The Bentbeaks joined in 1967.) Their album Choice Cuts received rave reviews in England but the band broke up in 1972.

Elizabeth's Twilights set Australian standard in 1960s for big tight sound and stage presentation

The Twilights, formed in Adelaide’s heavily British migrant satellite town of Elizabeth, were, with The Easybeats and The Masters Apprentices, one of Australia’s most significant rock groups of the 1960s. Singer Glen Shorrock, who later fronted Axiom, Esperanto and Little River Band, and guitarist Terry Britten, later a producer who wrote hits for artists such as Cliff Richard and Tina Turner, were notable members of a group that started from capella trio, singing around the Adelaide folk/coffee-house circuit, that teamed up with instrumental outfit, The Hurricanes, to form The Twilights. The band’s 1965 debut single, "I'll Be Where You Are", written by Shorrock and Britten, gained some airplay in Melbourne but failed to chart outside Adelaid ebut their third, the Beatles-styled Brideoake/Britten original "If she finds out", gave the band its first chart success in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Under new manager Gary Spry, the group moved to Melbourne where they had their first national chart hit with “Needle in a haystack” in 1966 when they won the Hoadley’s Battle of the Sounds and a trip to England. Although shocked by the quality of competing British bands, The Twilights impressed with their stage sound and presentation. They recorded at Abbey Road with songs, including the Hollies’ “What’s wrong with the way I live?” (written for them), released successfully in Australia. The group left Britain disenchanted when the promise of releasing “What’s wrong with the way I live?” in Britain was broken in favour of the Hollies. “Cathy come home” was their huge hit back in Australia and although a Channel 7 sitcom series, Once upon a Twilight, fell through, it produced one of Australia's top pop albums of the era. The band broke up in 1969.

Glenn Shorrock the Adelaide thread from Twilights, Axiom and the Little River Band

Glenn Shorrock was the Adelaide founding member of national and international popular music successes The Twilights, Axiom and Little River Band. Shorrock's family migrated to South Australia in 1954 when he was 10. Shorrock's first public performance was in 1958 at St Peter's Lutheran hall in nothern suburban Elizabeth when he mimed Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up”. When the record stopped, he continued singing and realised he had a good voice. In 1962, Shorrock formed harmony group the Checkmates who changed to The Twilights (still with Clem McCartney and Mike Sykes). They performed with the Vectormen and the Hurricanes and then had some of the Hurricanes join them and dropped Mike Sykes. The Twilights went on to have eight consecutive national hits. When The Twilights disbanded in 1969, Shorrock formed early Australian supergroup Axiom. It had two acclaimed albums and three top-10 singles but disbanded in the UK in 1971. Shorrock stayed in the UK and recorded his own “Let's get the band together" in 1971 and covered “Rock'n'roll lullaby”. As Andre L'Escargot and His Society Syncopaters, he released “Purple umbrella". He joined progressive rock band Esperanto and did backing for Cliff Richard. Also in the UK was Australian rock band Mississippi with Beeb Birtles and Graham Goble, both originally from Adelaide where Birtles was in Down the Line that became Zoot. When Birtles reformed Mississippi as the Little River Band, Shorrock joined the first Australian band to have major US success. Shorrock wrote hits “Emma”, “Help is on its way” and “Cool change".  

Jimmy Barnes' Adelaide Orange start morphs into wild pub-rock Cold Chisel and 'Khe Sanh'

Cold Chisel became an epic Australian pub-rock music success from its start in Adelaide in 1973 as a heavy-metal cover band called Orange. Singer Jimmy Barnes and drummer Steve Prestwich brought the working class UK immigrant background from the northern suburbs. Barnes’ older brother John Swan was in Cold Chisel in the mid 1970s, providing backing vocals and percussion but was fired after violent incidents. In 1977, when Cold Chisel was moving to Sydney  from Melbourne, Barnes wanted to quit to join Swan in a hard-rocking blues band called Feather. But a farewell performance in Sydney went so well the singer changed his mind and Warner Music Group picked up Cold Chisel. In 1978, Cold Chisel recorded its self-titled debut album. Soon after, the song “Khe Sanh” was released but was deemed too offensive for commercial radio. It was only played regularly on ABC’s Double J but still reached No.41 on the Australian chart. It was No.4 in Adelaide, thanks to local radio support. Cold Chisel became notorious for wild behaviour, particularly from Barnes, but in 1981, the band won all seven major awards at the Countdown/TV Week  music awards. As a protest against a TV magazine being involved in a music awards ceremony, the band refused to accept its awards and, after performing a verse of “My turn to cry”, smashed the set and left the stage. Its album Swingshift debuted at No.1 Australian album, sealing the band’s status as the nation’s biggest-selling act. Barnes launched a solo career in 1984 with nine Australian No. 1 albums and an array of hit singles.

Adelaide's Angels rock as heavy-metal remake of the 1970s Moonshine Jug and String Band

The Angels, one of Australia’s most brilliant rock bands in the 1970s, began in Adelaide as the Moonshine Jug and String Band, a folk band featuring banjo, violin, harp, jug and tea-chest bass, with John Brewster, his brother Rick, Craig Holden, Bob Petchell and Pete Thorpe. They were joined next year by Belfast-born immigrant Bernard “Doc” Neeson on guitar and lead vocals. They played at university campuses and cafes. Holden left in 1972 and Spencer Tregloan joined on banjo, kazoo, jug, tuba and backing vocals. Their debut extended play, Keep you on the move, made top five in Adelaide. In 1974 came the single “That’s all right with me” and name change to Keystone Angels with a switch to electric instruments and 1950s rock at pubs. Personnel changes and disputes became a blight on the band. Beefing up to hard rock, the Keystone Angels (later the Angels) supported AC/DC's 1975 South Australian tour. Bon Scott and Malcolm Young from AC/DC recommended the Angels to Alberts records. The Angels' first single, “Am I ever gonna see your face again” (1976) was produced by Vanda and Young and written by the Brewsters and Neeson. By 1978, the Angels were Australia's highest-paid band, attracting record crowds. Neeson brought a theatrical edge as the band added punk/new wave to high-energy metal. The Angels’ top-10 albums were No exit  (1979), Dark room (1980), Night attack (1981), Two minute warning  (1984), Howling (1986) and Beyond salvation (1990). They were inducted into ARIA Hall of Fame in 1998 but effectively ended when Neeson left in 2000.

Adelaide's Vertical Hold pop band scores 1980s hits from a Greek Unley High School background

Vertical Hold was an Adelaide pop music band, starting from a Greek migrant family background, that had 1980s No.1 hits in South Australia and in the national top 50. Unley High School friends Mick Michalopoulos and Jim Mountzouros formed Gladiator Tortoise in 1972, influenced by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. After lead guitarists Kon Karanastasis and then Ulysses Metropolis left the band that became Tortoise for a while, Hillary Frost (cello, keyboards) and Noel Forth (drums) joined what became Vertical Hold in 1981. With local support such as Bazz & Pilko (Barry Ion & Tony Pilkington) giving a demo of their song “Baby let me tell you” airplay on 5AD in 1979, Vertical Hold was in the finals of SAFM Adelaide's Summer Search 1981 bands competition, when they were signed by RCA Records. Their single “My imagination” went to No.1, aided by many local gigs and Channel 7’s Music Express, airplay from 5KA/5AD, and a spot on Molly Meldrum’s Countdown. In 1982, they were poached by the WEA Australia label. “Tears of Emotion” was another hit but radio didn’t like the move from catchy tunes so the debut single from their album did little, although song videos by filmmaker Scott Hicks brought international exposure. WEA ended Vertical Hold’s contract but “Strange Love”, recorded by Mick Michalopoulos at home, was picked by SAFM for its Brewing album and recorded by the group as The Gradiators with Mick’s wife Maria on backing vocals and Chris Moutzouris on congas. Vertical Hold’s final public appearance was at the Greek Glendi Festival 1988.


like Hilltop Hoods, The Superjesus, Hugh Sheridan, Guy Sebastian

Blackwood's Hilltop Hoods keep hopping to No.1 on ARIA charts with multiple awards

South Australian hip hoppers Hilltop Hoods, formed in 1994, confirmed their legendary status with a 2019 world tour on the back of The great expanse becoming their sixth No.1 on the ARIA album charts. Suffa (Matt Lambert) and MC Pressure (Dan Smith), who met as Blackwood High students in 1987, founded the group. DJ Debris (Baz Francis) joined after fellow founder, DJ Next (Ben Hare), left in 1999. Hilltop Hoods’ other ARIA album chart No.1s have been The hard road (2006), Start of the art (2009), Drinking from the sun (2012), Walking under stars (2014) and Drinking from the Sun, Walking under stars Restrung (2016). Three tracks have topped ARIA charts: “Chase the feeling” (2009), “I love it” featuring Sia (2011) and "Higher", featuring James Chatburn (2015). “Cosby sweater” (2014) and “1955” (2016) reached the top 5. Hilltop Hoods'  quality and longevity is reflected in a string of ARIA music awards right though to 2014 when they were nominated for best group, best urban album and engineer of the year. They won best urban album – their seventh ARIA award. The group's first official release, in 1997, was a vinyl-only, seven-track extended play, Back once again.  DJ Next did the scratching and turntablism on the hoods early works. He regularly won the local DMC world DJ titles. Among the Hilltop Hoods creative branches was a 2010 “zombie flick”, Parade of the Dead, which they wrote, filmed and starred in. Hilltop Hoods founded the Certified Wise Crew – a hip hop collaborative – with local groups Terra Firma, Cross Bred Mongrels and After Hours. 

The Superjesus and Sarah McLeod create spinoff effects from their 1990s success

The Superjesus, with Sarah McLeod as lead vocals and guitar, stormed onto the national music scene in the 1990s. Formed in Adelaide in 1994, the group’s debut album Sumo (1998) reached No.2 on ARIA charts, followed by Jet age (2000) at No.5 and Rock music (2003) No.14. Singles included “Shut My Eyes” (1996), “Down Again” (1997), “Gravity” (2000) and “Secret Agent Man” (2001). They won 1997 ARIAs for best new talent for Eight Step Rail and breakthrough artist for “Shut my eyes”.


Hugh Sheridan a triple threat made in Adelaide before achieving fame on TV's 'Rafters'

Hugh Sheridan is a product of the Adelaide acting and singing system who has achieved national fame, most notably on television for his role in Packed to the Rafters from 2007. During primary school, he began studying drama at Unley Youth Theatre and Terry Simpson Studios in Adelaide. He sang with The State Opera of South Australia and, in 2007, Sheridan was awarded the Adele Koh Memorial Scholarship by The State Theatre Company of South Australia to study acting in New York. 

Guy Sebastian the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003, coming straight out of Paradise

Guy Sebastian was the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003, a judge on Australia's The X Factor (2010-12, 2015-16) and represented Australia at the 2015 Eurovision Song contest. His latest television involvement was on the ABC's 2018 music education series Don’t stop the music. Sebastian has sold nearly four million album and single recordings. Of his nine top-10 albums, the first seven achieved platinum or multi-platinum sales. Eight singles were multi platinum, including “Battle Scars”. Malaysian-born Sebastian migrated in 1988 with his family in 1988, eventually moving to Adelaide where early performance experience came through another Adelaide phenomenon: Paradise Community Church, one of Australia's largest, where he was one of the main worship singers. Sebastian studied medical radiation at the University of South Australia but left to pursue music. He taught vocals at Temple Christian College and other schools while working as a recording engineer and studying music technology at the University of Adelaide’s Elder School of Music.

MANE and Tkay Maidza maintain tradition of making national and international impacts

MANE (Paige Renee Court) and Tkay Maidza (Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza) continue the South Australian talent tradition of making national and international impacts. MANE, from Port Pirie,has won a string of prizes including best female artist and most popular pop artist at the South Australian Music Awards. Zimbabwe-born rapper Tkay Maidza emerged from Adelaide's Northern Sound System artist development program and made her debut single, “Brontosaurus”, at 17. 

Northern Sound System and music focus in state's schools backing emerging talent

Young musicians in Adelaide’s northern suburbs – birthplace of so muchAdelaide rock music – are being encouraged to apply for state government grants to produce works at Elizabeth's Northern Sound System, a studio run by the City of Playford. The focus is widening in schools with Belair Primary, Seaford Secondary, Kadina Memorial and the Open Access College joining Maryattville High, Woodville High, Playford International College and Brighton Secondary as special music schools.



kept alive by town hall, Elder Hall, pubs, Oval and Ukaria venues

Fellowship from Robert Stigwood of 'Hair', 'Saturday Night Fever', 'Grease', Bee Gees fame

Port Pirie-born music mogul Robert Stigwood, who managed the Bee Gees and guided Eric Clapton's solo career while producing stage musicals, lives on in a fellowship for South Australian musicians. Stigwood revolutionised the role of music managers in England by moving into music publishing, promotion and independent records. Stigwood worked with a many ground-breaking acts on the pop charts, with Cream and the Bee Gees, and on the Broadway stage, producing counter-culture stage hits Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. He also produced 1996 Hollywood film Evita, starring Madonna. It won an Academy Award for best music and a Golden Globe for best motion picture. Stigwood had earlier backed the ground-breaking film of The Who's rock opera Tommy. After the highly successful Grease, Robert Stigwood Organisation Films made Saturday Night Fever, one of the biggest hits in the history of the business. It introduced disco music and a young John Travolta while propelling the Bee Gees to global stardom. Adelaide-based music industry professional Stuart McQueen considered Stigwood (who died in 2016) one of his heroes. He worked with the state government’s Arts SA on the Robert Stigwood Fellowship Program to help young Adelaide creatives build their careers.

Jo Lawry carries aunt Tina Lawton's spirit, from Sting backups to star in her own write

Jo Lawry has carried the South Australian musical spirit of her aunt Tina Lawton around the world as backing singer for Sting and a vocalist and song writer in her own right. Lawton, an acclaimed Adelaide folk singer, died in a plane crash in Kenya in 1968. As her niece, Lawry grew up in her family’s Willunga almond farm home listening to Lawton records. Lawry studied classical singing and then jazz at Adelaide University’s Elder Conservatorium and New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She reached the 2004 semi-finals of the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition and next year was second in Australia’s national jazz awards. With a Fulbright scholarship, the George Murray fellowship from Adelaide University and an Australia Council grant, Lawry completed her master’s degree in New York, where she formed her own quintet and was noticed by jazz greats Bobby McFerrin and pianist Fred Hersch, who invited her to join his Pocket Orchestra. She also joined James Shipp's jazz quartet Nos Novo, singing and playing fiddle, mandolin, and melodica. In 2009, Lawry auditioned for Sting for his album of traditional songs, On A Winter’s Night. She became his tour backup singer and featured on Live in Berlin and The Last Ship albums. (She also appeared with Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel.) Sting encouraged Lawry's song writing and offered to be backup vocals on her first first album, I Want to Be Happy (2008). Lawry and Sting did a duet of “Impossible”, one of her 10 compositions on second album,Taking Pictures. Lawry was in the documentary film 20 feet from stardom.

Adelaide Town Hall bells ring out for a great history of band, organ and orchestral music

Adelaide Town Hall – a musical instrument in itself – was integral to presenting the city’s music through orchestras, bands and choirs. Two special features of the town hall are its eight bells and its organ. Opened in 1866 as the “largest municipal building south of the Equator”, the town hall was also significant as the only civic building outside England to house a full peel of eight bells in its Albert Tower. The town hall provides its own music to the outside world through the Adelaide Bellringers at work in its tower. The ringers, using the English style of full-circle changes, also operate the bells at St Andrew's, Walkerville; the world-renowned heavy octave at St Peter's Cathedral; the 12 bells at St Francis Xavier's Cathedral; the light octave of St Cuthbert's Prospect (scene of a record-breaking peal in 1995). A bellringing training centre is now in the eastern tower at St Peter’s Cathedral. When the town hall opened, the city’s amateur musicians started a campaign for a £1,200 organ in its town hall's main auditorium, by presenting concerts. This led to the Adelaide Amateur Musical Union orchestra and Adelaide Philharmonic Society choir being performed.


Elder Hall's rich and varied feast – classical, jazz, experimental – at Friday lunch and more

Friday lunchtime concerts at 1.10 pm, March to October, are a staple of many music performances at Elder Hall in the Adelaide University ground on North Terrace, Adelaide. Elder Hall was built from £65,000 that Thomas Elder, businessman and pastoralist, left to the university in 1897 – with £20,000 devoted to his love of music, enabling the Elder Conservatorium and the hall. The hall's Florentine gothic design was by architect Frank John Naish and constructed by North Adelaide-born master builder Walter Charles Torode, using freestone from his Stirling West quarry. Opened in 1900 when the only other major music venue was Adelaide Town Hall, Elder Hall was refurbished in 1978 and 2006. It now has 660 seats and state-of-the-art audiovisual. The original pipe organ built by J.E. Dodd of Twin Street, Adelaide, was replaced in 1979 by a spectacular French classical organ built by Casavant Freres of Quebec and regarded as one of Australia’s finest instruments. The hall's lunchtime concerts present local, national and international artists in a range from classical masters to jazz standards, baroque, experimental and contemporary. Adelaide Connection, Australia’s first jazz choir, are among those featured, along with Elder Conservatorium staff and students individually or in their own chamber and symphony orchestras.

Thebarton Theatre joins The Gov and Grace Emily hotels in hall of fame as iconic live music venues

Thebarton Theatre, in 2018 –  its 90th year – joined the Governor Hindmarsh and the Grace Emily hotels in the South Australian Music Hall of Fame as iconic Adelaide live music venues. Heritage-listed in 1982, Thebarton Theatre opened in 1928 as the growing suburb’s second town hall. Besides being used by film promoter Dan Clifford for weekly screenings, the hall did its community duties as host to dance classes, concerts and fundraisers. In 1936, a sellout crowd heard Catholic priest Father S.M. Hogan decry the "dechristianisation of society" in an Australia “half paganised already”. Ironically, Thebarton Theatre became the stage for some irreverently wild musical acts. This started in the 1950s, as adventurous new American music, such as drummer Gene Krupa’s explosive concert, transformed what became Thebarton Theatre into a live music venue. With renovations under new operators Weslo Holdings, Thebarton Theatre, in the 1980s-90s, joined the national touring circuit, with its 2,000-seat capacity. The huge list of acts at Thebarton Theatre have included Arctic Monkeys, B-52s, Beastie Boys, Beck, Belle and Sebastian, Ben Folds Five, Billy Bragg, Black Sabbath, Blondie, Brian Wilson, The Church, The Clash, Bruno Mars, The Cat Empire, Cold Chisel, Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Foo Fighters, Jeff Beck, Heff Buckley, Gipsy Kings, Hunters and Collectors, The Hoodoo Guris, Midnight Oil and The Kinks.

Entertainment Centre largest indoor venue with new competition from Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Entertainment Centre, opened after a $44 million outlay by the state government in 1991, with another $52 million upgrade from 2007, is the city’s largest indoor venue, holding up to 11,300. Previously, the indoor concert areas available were Apollo Stadium (3,500 capacity), Festival Theatre (2,000) and the heritage-listed Thebarton Theatre (2,000). Memorial Drive tennis arena also had been an outdoor venue for visiting acts. The entertainment centre on Port Road, Hindmarsh, has been the setting for big visiting pop concerts by singers such as Kylie Minogue, Miley Cyrus, Pink and Beyonce. But it has had increased competition from the revamped Adelaide Oval with its larger capacity for acts such as the Rolling Stones and Adele. Adelaide Festival Centre has taken over as a more suitable venue for musical theatre and this mantle will be passed on to the upgraded Her Majesty’s Theatre in Grote Street, Adelaide. The entertainment centre has flexibility of hosting events with audiences ranging from 1000 upwards. Its 11,300 capacity makes it Australia’s third-largest permanent indoor arena behind Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena (21,032) and Brisbane Entertainment Centre (14,500).

Ukaria centre grows
 as prestige music venue with bushland views of valley/Mount Barker

Ukaria Arts Cultural Centre, a 200-seat auditorium set in bushland at the summit of Mount Barker, is growing in prestige as a music venue. On the hillside of the Ngeringa property just outside Mount Barker, has hosted concerts for acclaimed musicians  since the mid 1990s. In 2014, its modest concert room was demolished and replaced with 220-seat concert hall purpose built for chamber music. The $7 million rammed earth and timber building on Williams Road was funded by businesswoman and philanthropist Ulrike Klein, who was a founder from 1985 of the international skincare label, Jurlique. The state of the art and environmentally sustainable Ukaria (formerly Ngeringa) cultural centre is attracting serious classical acts such as Australian String Quartet, the Adelaide Chamber Singers, Goldner String Quartet, Los Angeles Philharmonic Wind Quartet and US opera star Dawn Upshaw, as well as jazz and cabaret performers. It is built on what was once the Jurlique Farm for natural skin care products. Architect Anton Johnson has designed every aspect of the centre with the sensory experience in mind. 

The Adelaide violin for Carmel Hakendorf in the 1950s finds 18th Century Guadagnini glory again

The Adelaide violin, crafted in Milan in 1753-57 by renowned luthier Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, was bought in 1955 by the Music Committee of South Australia for virtuoso Carmel Hakendorf, who'd been invited by conductor John Barbirolli to play in London. A committee was formed to launch a public appeal to buy a violin worthy of her talent. With the help of several performances by Hakendorf, £1,750 was raised, enabling the Guadagnini violin to be bought. The South Australian Guadagnini Violin Trust was set up to preserve the violin. Hakendorf, a member of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, held the violin for many years. After she retired, the violin was loaned for three-year terms to a well-known violinists including William Hennessy, Jane Peters, Sophie Rowell and Paul Wright. But no funds had been raised to maintain and insure the instrument. Ukaria Cultural Centre, started at Mount Barker by music philanthropist Ulrike Klein, agreed to become violin custodian and the South Australian supreme court appointed it trustee in 2013. The violin was returned in 2015 to Cremona, Italy, and the workshop of international expert Eric Blot where restorer Barthelemy Garnier cleaned it, giving a much richer sound and more powerful middle and lower registers. With its value at $1 million, the violin was awarded for three years in 2019 to Natusko Yoshimoto, concertmaster of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. The violin's trustees decided to call it The Adelaide – suggested by Kerry Heysen-Hicks, who contributed to the public subscription when she was in Grade Two.

The Gov, Grace Emily and Crown and Sceptre among the pubs keeping live music scene alive

Old pubs carrying on a tradition of live music on all levels are a hallmark of Adelaide music. The Gov (Governor Hindmarsh) at Hindmarsh was crowned Best Entertainment Venue in Australia by the Australian Hotels’ Association in 2009/2012. Since the Tonkin family took over in 1993, The Gov has become as one of Adelaide’s leading live music venue. Besides hosting world-class musicians, its bars welcome groups such as the Adelaide Ukulele Appreciation Society, open mic sessions, Irish jam and live local bands. From a late 19th Century tradition, the Crown and Sceptre in King William Street, Adelaide, hosted numerous indie bands, including Luke Million, Funk Latin Union, Orelia, The Swiss and The Cat Empire in the 1990s and early 2000s. Starting as The Launceston, when the colony was only three years old, the hotel became The Grace Emily in 1998 and a live music stage was built in the former dining room. Some of the earliest to feature include Mick Thomas and Dave Graney. Paul Kelly and all members of Cold Chisel have performed there as have international stars Ben Folds, Jeff Martin, Justin Townes Earle and The Handsome Family.


Broadway Sessions at Norwood Hotel show off Adelaide talent in musical-theatre style

Broadway Sessions, an open-mic experience with a musical theatre focus, has opened another opportunity for Adelaide talent since 2015. Each Broadway Sessions show, on the last Sunday night of each month at the Norwood Hotel on The Parade, Norwood, includes invited performances from some of Adelaide’s favourite or rising performers, performances from musicals opening in Adelaide during the next month, an open mic section where anyone can register their interest in being selected to sing, and a theme based on a composer, type of song or an era. Peter Johns and Scott Reynolds are producers of Broadway Sessions. Johns is a producing and directing stalwart of Adelaide musicals. He's toured as an accompanist around Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the UK and the USA, and regularly accompanies soloists and choirs from around South Australia. He has played piano for cabaret shows in the Adelaide Fringe Festival and Adelaide Cabaret Fringe. Johns is also founder of his own Irregular Productions company. Featuring some of Adelaide’s best musical theatre talent, Irregular Productions presented its inaugural show, Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World, at the Opera Studio in 2011. In 2012, as one of the producers for the 24 Hour Show, Irregular Productions produced a variety concert, Not the 24 Hour Show, to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of South Australia. A musical theatre enthusiast and performer from his schooldays, Scott Reynolds is also involved with the sound, lighting and website for Broadway Sessions.


with the innovative Adelaide Wind Orchestra and youth enembles

Bravely promoting new works, Adelaide Wind Orchestra taking lead nationally since 2012

Adelaide Wind Orchestra, founded in 2012 by past and present students of Elder Conservatorium at Adelaide University with renowned clarinetist Peter Handsworth as director, has become one of Australia’s leading wind ensembles. Besides creating professional performance opportunities after tertiary study, the orchestra aimed for high quality and to reinvigorate the classical scene by developing contemporary art music in Australia like groups such as Netherlands Blazer Ensemble, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and Dallas Wind Symphony. Besides reviving love for wind ensembles, lost since the era of composer Percy Grainger (with Adelaide heritage), Adelaide Wind Orchestra pursued brave programming, with a raft of Australian and world premieres, including Alfred Uhl’s “Serenade for 12 Winds”; Scott McAllister, “Freebirds”; Michael Colgrass, “Urban Requiem”;  Ida Gotkovsky, “Symphonie”;  David Maslanka, “Symphony 4”; David John Lang, “3 Preludes”; Steven Bryant, Concerto for Wind Ensemble; John Mackey, “Unquiet Spirits”; Christian Lindberg, Concerto for Winds and Percussion; Jess Langston Turner, “You'll Come Matilda”; Julie Giroux, “A Symphony of Fables”; David Maslanka, Marimba Concerto; Cassie To, “Ostara’s Equinox”; Sam Young, “Glide Path”; Rachel Bruerville, “Double Concerto”; Anne Cawrse, “Skin Metal Wood”. Adelaide Wind Orchestra principal conductor in 2019, Bryan Griffiths, had five years with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra before honing his conducting at Sydney Conservatorium. He also was associate conductor with Adelaide Youth Orchestra.

The four Adelaide Youth Orchestras give chance of classical musical future for a talented 250

Adelaide Youth Orchestras give around 250 of South Australia’s most talented young musicians the chance to flourish in a vibrant musical environment. Picked from a wide demographic, based on musical talent, they perform the classics and new works for audiences across the city and regions. Adelaide Youth Orchestra include the Adelaide Youth Strings, Adelaide Youth Sinfonia, Adelaide Youth Wind Orchestra, and the flagship Adelaide Youth Orchestra with about 80 of the state’s most accomplished musicians, aged eight to 24. The 55-piece Adelaide Youth Strings is for primary school aged children (about eight to 13) who play violin, viola, cello or double bass. Adelaide Youth Sinfonia has more than 60 musicians, secondary and tertiary students aged 12 to 20, with the chance to develop and audition for Adelaide Youth Orchestra. The 30-piece Adelaide Youth Wind Orchestra, a mix of high school and tertiary students (including from Elder Conservatorium), develops woodwind, brass and percussion skills. Under artistic director  Keith Crellin since 2003, Adelaide Youth Orchestras also get guidance from other leader musical educators and professional musicians from Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Australian String Quartet, Elder Conservatorium of Music and South Australian Police Band. Each year the senior orchestra presents a three-concert maestro series of masterpieces, while Adelaide Youth Strings, Adelaide Youth Sinfonia and Adelaide Youth Wind Orchestra give community and schools performances. A highlight is Adelaide Youth Orchestras' gala goncert at Adelaide Town Hall. 

Keith Crellin brings a trove of knowledge and skills to his Adelaide Youth Orchestra role

Adelaide young classical musical talent has been the great 21st Century beneficiary of Keith Crellin’s knowledge and skill. Crellin headed the string department and was conductor in residence at Adelaide University’s Elder Conservatorium 2001-2016 before leaving to concentrate on his role since 2003 as artistic director of Adelaide Youth Orchestra. Crellin was the first violist to win the ABC Young Performers Award in 1972. He studied violin initially with Gretchen Schieblich and Ladislav Jasek at Queensland Conservatorium of Music and completed studies at Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music under noted pedagogue Jan Sedivka. Crellin was a founder of Rialannah String Quartet, performed with Petra String Quartet and played with the Australian Contemporary Music Ensemble. He lectured in viola and chamber music at Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and was chief conductor of Tasmanian Youth Orchestra before being a founder of the Australian String Quartet, based in Adelaide, in 1985. Between 16 years performing with the quartet globally and making many recordings, he was a lecturer in violin, viola and chamber music at South Australian College of Advanced Education and, from 1991, as a senior lecturer at Elder Conservatorium. He was awarded Adelaide University’s 2004 Stephen Cole prize for excellence in teaching and a 2008 Order of Australia Medal for services to classical music as a performer and educator. Crellin has conducted the Tasmanian and Adelaide orchestras and Australian Youth Orchestra’s young symphonists and been a tutor at national music camps.

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