Alice Ellen Charbonnet: a French musician in nineteenth-century Australia
AuthorBong, Jin Guan
AffiliationFaculty of Music
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
CitationsBong, J. G. (2006). Alice Ellen Charbonnet: a French musician in nineteenth-century Australia. Masters Research thesis, Faculty of Music, The University of Melbourne.
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© 2006 Jin Guan Bong
Alice Ellen Charbonnet (1860-1914) was one of the key French émigré artists of late nineteenth-century Australia. She was highly respected and sought after as a performer, teacher and composer. As little is known about her life and achievements, this thesis firstly provides an extended biographical outline of her life. It also studies the musical, social and cultural context of late nineteenth-century Australia with a focus on the French influence and presence. Charbonnet's role as a virtuoso performer is evaluated through her concert performances and reception. Her wide and varied solo piano and chamber music repertoire provides evidence of her outstanding technique. The programming of her concert series, recitals as well as her contributions at numerous charitable functions provides insight into the musical taste of nineteenth-century Australia. An investigation of her compositions sheds light on her writing style as well as the domestic consumption of music-making prevalent at the time. Charbonnet's contribution to music pedagogy is assessed through a close look at her French-inspired Conservatoire de Musique as well her Australian Musical Association examination board. The appendices include the complete programmes of her Sydney and Melbourne concert series in 1878-1881 and a comprehensive listing of her compositions. Charbonnet is arguably one of the foremost women musicians in late nineteenth-century Australia. Through an assessment of her life and accomplishments, this thesis recognises her important influence on Australian musical life.
KeywordsAlice Charbonnet-Kellerman; women musicians; Australia; composers
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