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The Centennial Orchestra
The Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition opened on
The Centennial Orchestra was led by Mr Frederick H. Cowen, a British Conductor who had accepted the 'very lucrative engagement' as Musical Director for the Centennial Exhibition (Ehrlich 1995, p. 149). Cowen was paid £5000 for the six month appointment (Colligan, p. 214). Cowen was contracted to bring about fifteen good instrumental musicians from
The Argus wrote of the percussion section: 'the drums deserve to be spoken of by themselves on account of the important position they hold in all great instrumental organisations. First stand the kettle drums, consisting of vellum heads stretched over closed metallic vessels?the big drum, the grosse-caisse, with its thunderous boom, has its own effective part to play: but it is the kettledrums, with their accurate intonations, which are prized by the musician when aiming at orchestral effect' (Argus, 1888).
The Argus. 1888. Exhibition Supplement,
Colligan, Mimi. 1996. 'More Musical Entertainments' in Victorian Icon: The
Ehrlich, Cyril. 1995. First Philharmonic: A History of the Royal Philharmonic Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
MacDonald, Anna. 2001. Seeing Melbourne: The Centennial International Exhibition and the Cyclorama of Early Melbourne. Masters Thesis, University of Melbourne.
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Oil painting depicting Herr Schoot (George Twentyman) standing in front of the Fincham Organ at the Exhibition Building. It was painted by Mr James in 1896 for the Albury Exhibition. Ge ...Images: 2