First Thursdays – The life, times and music of Roy Agnew

First Thursdays – The life, times and music of Roy Agnew

Roy Agnew was a successful Australian musician. As a pianist he was a popular recitalist in Sydney, where he spent much of his life; his original works were well received by audiences and very often published; he was a much-loved teacher of piano (and composition) in schools and privately, joining the staff of the NSW Conservatorium not long before his untimely death, aged 53, in 1944. He was also a broadcaster on the then very young ABC where he introduced contemporary classical music to listeners.

In today’s First Thursday, Rita Crews will be discussing research on the life, times and music  uncovered in the new book “Breaking the Drought”, which she wrote in collaboration with Jeanell Carrigan. 

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With over 40 years experience teaching music at private and tertiary levels and an AMEB examiner since 1988, musicologist Dr Rita Crews OAM, is the Chief Examiner for AMEB Theory. She is a Patron of the MTA of NSW and former President as well as a former Deputy Chair of the AMEB [NSW] Board.

Rita's biography appears in Who’s Who in NSW and Who's Who of Australian Women. She is the author of A Centenary Celebration, the AMEB 1918-2018; and with Dr Jeanell Carrigan, co-author of A Musical Missionary: the Life and Music of Dulcie Holland and Breaking the Drought: Roy Agnew, Composer, Pianist Teacher as well as co-author with Julie Spithill of 100 Years - Music Teachers' Association of NSW 1912-2012.

In 2014 Rita was given the great honour of being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for "services to the Performing Arts as a music teacher, examiner and composer" and in 2015, the Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of New England.

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