'A coveted possession'; is the intriguing cultural history of the piano in Australia.
From the instruments that floated ashore at Sydney Cove in the late eighteenth century to the resurrection of derelict heirlooms in the streets of twenty-first-century Melbourne, it charts the piano’s fascinating adventures across Australia – on the goldfields, at the frontlines of war, in the manufacturing hubs of the Federation era, and in the hands of the makers, entrepreneurs, teachers and virtuosos of the twentieth history – to illuminate the many worlds in which the ivories were tinkled.
Before electricity brought us the gramophone, the radio and eventually the TV, the piano was central to family and community life. With its iron frame, polished surfaces and ivory keys, an upright piano in the home was a modern industrial machine, a musical instrument and a treasured member of the household, conveying powerful messages about class, education, leisure, national identity and intergenerational history.
Emeritus Professor Michael Atherton is a composer and performer across several instruments, and several genres and styles of music. His research has focused on Asia-Pacific musical instruments, Australian instrument makers and intercultural music practices. His performances and recordings include creative realisations of ancient Egyptian, medieval and renaissance music, as well as choral music and film scores.
The author talk is followed by question time and the opportunity for book signing.
There is seating for 100 people and standing room is available.
Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
If you have specific accessibility or seating requirements, please contact the library prior to the event.