Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Beechworth Philharmonic Society, 1863


'To Gipsyland ... Illustrated by J. Pennell', London, 1893.  Courtesy of the British Library Photostream.

A long-winded article in the Ovens and Murray Advertiser, evidently paid for by the word, didn't really tell us much about the concert, but that the Philharmonic Society was an amateur organisation which made enthusiastic attempts to play classical pieces.  They were supported by three professional musicians, Herr Schmidt on the violin, Mr Griffiths on the violin, and Mr Ruxton on the piano


"[N]o notice of the Concert would be complete without mention being made of Herr SCHMIDT's exquisite performance on the violin, and the manner in which he has instructed his pupils. Mr Griffiths and Mr Ruxton also deserves much praise for their masterly execution on the violin and  piano. We, unfortunately, were not present at the 'First Part,'- but MOZART's Twelfth Mass is decidedly the very best selection that could have been made by amateurs,-— the one in fact that is generally attempted by non professional associations. We hear it was admirably rendered, and to judge from the subsequent successes, we should think the applause which it called down was well  deserved. -We wish all prosperity to our Philharmonic Society, aud feel convinced that it will exert a powerful influence, both morally and socially, in Beechworth."
 The Ovens and Murray Advertiser. (1863, July 4). Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth, Vic. : 1857 - 1918), p. 2. Retrieved October 9, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112893938

Henri William Ruxton is described in Graeme Skinner's Austral Harmony as " late member of the Philharmonic Society, Liverpool". Ruxton is interesting because not only was he from the Liverpool area, but he gave Wilkie in Melbourne as a referee when he advertised in Melbourne as a music teacher in 1853.

Herr Schmidt may have been the viola player, active in Ballarat in 1859 according to Austral Harmony.


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