It All Happened at Brisbane's Albert Hall: A Story of This City's Central Venue 1901-1969

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Professor Emeritus Peter Roennfeldt, Mar 30, 2021 - Brisbane (Qld.) - 325 pages
Across seven decades, Brisbane's busiest medium-sized venue was Albert Hall. Built by the Albert Street Methodist Church as a resource for the entire community and officially opened in 1901 by Sir Samuel Griffith, it hosted a wide range of cultural activities and numerous civic, religious, political, wartime, social and educational events. As the city's main recital and drama auditorium until it was demolished in 1969, Albert Hall provided a platform for Brisbane's many fine performing artists. In addition, numerous visiting luminaries such as Percy Grainger, Dame Sybil Thorndike, Sir Douglas Mawson, Lord Louis Mountbatten and Dame Enid Lyons appeared on its stage.This book by noted cultural historian Peter Roennfeldt tells the story of this significant venue within its wider community context, and helps to further dispel the notion that in the early 20th century Brisbane was a cultural backwater. Albert Hall was indeed a special inner-city venue, shared by all and remembered fondly by many.

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About the author (2021)

Queensland's cultural heritage has been the primary focus of Peter Roennfeldt's research and interest for more than four decades. His specialist knowledge of this state's musical development has been widely disseminated in numerous books, articles, radio broadcasts and public lectures. The themes that feature most strongly in this research are the careers of musicians such as Henrietta Willmore (Madame Mallalieu - An inspiring musician), Robert Dalley-Scarlett and Percy Brier; performance traditions including that of choirs such as the Brisbane Chorale (Our journey), chamber ensembles (articles in Queensland Review), and organists; and organisations dedicated to musical education such as the Queensland Conservatorium (Northern Lyrebird) and the Queensland Music Teachers' Association (forthcoming). As an outgrowth of these research projects, the buildings in which the performing arts have flourished also figure prominently. Topics investigated in this context include the various campuses of the Queensland Conservatorium, the South Brisbane Municipal Chambers, and St Mary's Church Kangaroo Point. Peter Roennfeldt's fourth book, on Brisbane's Albert Hall, is a natural extension of his diverse research strands. It brings together many aspects of local musical practice and also examines a broad cross section of the community's artistic, intellectual, social and political life. Peter Roennfeldt holds degrees in music from the Universities of Queensland and Adelaide, and a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, USA. For more than three decades he was on the academic staff of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, including a seven-year tenure as Director. His involvement with the Conservatorium and its Research Centre continues in an honorary capacity, as Professor Emeritus. In addition, he was the holder of the 2018 Letty Katts Award at the State Library of Queensland. In addition to his published research and guest speaking on various historical topics for community organisations, he is an active performer as pianist in instrumental and vocal chamber music and as harpsichordist-conductor in baroque choral music and opera.

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