Northern Lyrebird: The Contribution to Queensland's Music by its Conservatorium 1957-2007

Professor Peter Roennfeldt

Griffith University

Northern Lyrebird is the definitive and long-overdue history of one of Australia's finest music schools, painstakingly compiled from extensive written and oral memoirs, state archives, regional libraries, and promotional and media artefacts from concert programs and press cuttings to photographs and recordings.
The Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University began its journey through history as one of Queensland's major cultural institutions in 1957. This book by one of its former directors, Peter Roennfeldt, elegantly and comprehensively weaves the intertwining narratives of people and events to produce a tapestry that captures the highlights, as well as the distinctive character of a diverse community of musicians spanning more than half a century.
Key events during the long campaign towards the establishment of the Conservatorium and its growth towards maturity under the guidance of its first six directors is chronicled in substantial detail. The body of the book focuses on various specialist areas of the institution and can be perused selectively, or at random, depending on the reader's interest.
This telling of the story of "the Con" and its many supporters and partner organisations is an essential reference for all alumni as well as past, current and future musicians and music lovers, and a significant contribution to Australia's cultural history.

About the Author

Professor Peter Roennfeldt is passionate about Queensland's musical heritage. His research into aspects of this vast topic commenced while studying at the University of Queensland in the late 1970s, and during the past decade he has published and lectured widely on the subject. Since the mid-1980s, Peter Roennfeldt's major professional focus has been the Queensland Conservatorium. He is well known as a lecturer, keyboard performer and choral conductor, both within this institution and the wider community. A highlight of his seven year tenure as Conservatorium Director was its 50th anniversary in 2007, which also provided the impetus for this publication.

Table of Contents

  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of Illustrations
  • Glossary of abbreviations
  • Foreword by Leneen Forde AC, Griffith University Chancellor
  • Prelude - Why a History?
  • PART 1 The Queensland Conservatorium's First Half Century
  • Chapter 1 Before the Opening in 1957
  • Chapter 2 The Early Decades: 1957-1975
  • Chapter 3 The Middle Decades: 1975-1996
  • Chapter 4 Into the New Millennium: 1996-2007
  • PART 2 The Inner Life of the Queensland Conservatorium
  • Chapter 5 The Classical Continuum: Keyboard, Voice, Orchestral and Other Instruments
  • Chapter 6 The Contemporary Counterpart: New Music, Technology, Jazz
  • Chapter 7 Beyond Performance: Academic Studies, Music Education, Research
  • Chapter 8 Larger Ensembles: Orchestras, Choirs, Opera
  • Chapter 9 Smaller Ensembles: Chamber Music, Early Music, World Music
  • Chapter 10 Regional Campuses: Mackay, Gold Coast
  • PART 3 The Queensland Conservatorium within the Community
  • Chapter 11 More than a Higher Education Campus: Non-tertiary Studies, Performances, Tours
  • Chapter 12 Friends and Advocates: Support Organisations, Benefactors, Media Commentary
  • Postlude - Beyond the First Half-century
  • Bibliography