Auckland Libraries: My Devoted Piano

My Devoted Piano: the music

Thursday 7 November 12.10pm to 1pm Free

In this concert, Dr Polly Sussex (piano), gives us a glimpse of recreational music in pioneering life in early Auckland, using examples from the musical scrapbooks of the family of early missionary - Henry Williams.


​Now held at Auckland Libraries, these scrapbooks of hand-copied music contain fine examples of the sort of music played. 

When Sarah Mathew, wife of the surveyor Felton Mathew, arrived at the Waitemata Harbour in 1840, it was to assist her husband to select a site for the capital of Aotearoa, New Zealand. The couple soon moved into a tent in the area we now call Britomart. In a box beside the tent was what Sarah refers to in her diary as, 'my devoted piano'. 

Once their house was finished, the piano moved in with her and it became indispensable as an entertainment in the home. Playing the piano well was considered an essential accomplishment for a young woman in society. 

Not many families had grand pianos at that time, so the practical second-best was the square pianoforte on which Dr. Sussex will perform to conclude our Spring series for 2019.

About Heritage Concerts

We invite you to join us for a year of breath-taking performances - a special series of concerts where together with the musicians we uncover the enduring power behind the music held in the library’s collections. 

Join us for a season of discovery, FREE in the centre of Auckland, a UNESCO City of Music.

When: Fortnightly until Thursday 7 November, 12noon - 1pm.
Where: Whare Wānanga, Level 2 Central City Library, Lorne St, Auckland.



Other events at Central City Library

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