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Papers of James Penberthy 1935-2003 [manuscript]
Bib ID 1002692
Format ManuscriptManuscript, OnlineOnline
Penberthy, James, 1917-1999
Online Versions
Related Online
Access Conditions Partly available for research and partly permission required for research until 2020 (Series 1/3-4, 9, 11 and Series 18/1-2). Not for loan. 
Description 1935-2003 
7.98 m. (19 boxes) + 24 folio boxes. 

The papers document aspects of Penberthy's career as a composer, including his musical compositions, his involvement with musical organisations and his association with other musicians. There are a large number of Penberthy's manuscript scores in a variety of genres, correspondence and drafts of his writings, including newspaper articles. The main correspondents are Gwen Harwood, Bernard Heinze, Rex Hobcroft and Patrick Thomas. Other correspondents include Don Banks, Frank Callaway, Max Cooke, George Dreyfus, Stephen Haag, Jeff Hanson, Vincent Plush, Ray Powell, Peter Sculthorpe, Jan Sedivka, Larry Sitsky, Jurek Shabelersky, Peggy van Praagh, Felix Werder, Thomas Wood and members of his family.


James Penberthy received his early music training from his father. After attending the universities of Western Australia and Melbourne he became a schoolmaster where he taught music. Penberthy travelled to Europe on a Victorian State Government Scholarship, studying composition with Nadia Boulanger and conducting with Sir John Barbirolli. With Kira Bousloff, Penberthy co-founded the West Australian Ballet and was its first Musical Director. In 1967, together with Guiseppe Bertinazzo, he co-founded the West Australian Opera Company. Penberthy was a member and one time President of the West Australian Branch of the Fellowship of Australian Composers, a founding member of the Composers Guild of Australia, and a founding board member of the Australian Music Centre.

Penberthy was Principal Lecturer and later Head of Music at the Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education, Lismore. He founded the School of the Arts Conservatorium Centre at the College. Penberty was awarded the degree of Doctor of Music from Melbourne University in 1975 and the Order of Australia in 1986.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 9748.

Also available online

Subjects Penberthy, James, 1917-1999 -- Archives.  |  Penberthy, James, 1917-1999 -- Correspondence.  |  Composers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Composers -- Australia -- Correspondence.  |  Musicians -- Australia -- Correspondence.  |  Musicians -- Australia -- Archives.
Time Coverage 1935-2003 
Occupation Composers  |  Musicians
Other authors/contributors West Australian Opera  |  Fellowship of Australian Composers  |  Composers' Guild of Australia  |  Australian Music Centre

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Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.