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Papers of James Murdoch, 1930-2008 [manuscript]
Bib ID 956305
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Murdoch, James, 1930-2010
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1930-2008] 
21.45 m. (138 boxes) + 1 carton + 1 fol. box. 

MS 8372 comprises correspondence, diaries, personal documents, financial papers, manuscripts, notes, reference files, newspaper cuttings, photographs, posters, programs, scores, publications and tape recordings documenting James Murdoch's activities in the period 1960-1990. Among the organisations with which Murdoch was associated were James Murdoch Management Pty Ltd, Lusillo and his Spanish Dance Theatre, World Record Club, Music Rostrum, Australian Music Centre, International Society for Contemporary Music, the Australia Council, Sydney Opera House Trust, Musica Viva and Chiron College. The correspondents include Margaret Sutherland, Roger Woodward, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Donald Peart, Frank Callaway, Ian Farr, Nadine Amadio, Miriam Hyde, Peter Sculthorpe, Helen Gifford and Graeme Koehne (114 boxes, 1 fol. box).

The Acc10.032 instalment largely comprises material assembled by Murdoch on composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks, including biographical notes by Murdoch, scores and sketches of compositions, research files for compositions, original and copies of correspondence, bibliographies, transcripts of interviews, personal documents, material relating to performances and broadcasts of works, photographs, poetry, articles and other writings, and address books and calling cards. Murdoch’s own papers include correspondence, photographs, a report by Murdoch on Orchestra of Australia for the Australia Council, research notes and files on numerous people and subjects, music scores by different composers, and ephemera including programmes (24 boxes, 1 carton).


Musician, arts administrator, author and consultant. James Murdoch was born in Sydney in 1930 and educated at Canterbury Boys High School and the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music. He was a pianist and musical director before moving to London in 1968 as director of James Murdoch Management Pty Ltd, managing musicians, composers, singers, dancers and choreographers. Murdoch returned to Australia in 1972 and was music consultant to the Music Board of the Australia Council. In 1975 he became founding director of the Australian Music Centre, based in Sydney.

After he left the Australian Music Centre in 1981 he formed the company James Murdoch & Associates in 1984, undertaking research projects and providing consultancy services for the Australia Council, Sydney Opera House Trust and other bodies. In 1988 he was artistic director of New Directions, a festival sponsored by the Australian Bicentennial Authority and Musica Viva. Murdoch was the author of Australia's contemporary composers (1972), A handbook of Australian music (1983), and Peggy Glanville-Hicks: a transposed life (2002). He also recorded interviews with leading composers, writers and artists. In 1990 Murdoch settled in Bali where he died in 2010.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 8372, MS Acc10.032.

Related Material James Murdoch interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection; Located at; National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 1/705-706.  Interview with James Murdoch; Located at; National Library of Australia Oral History collection ORAL TRC 5025.  Associated posters relating to Australia's Bicentennial are located in the poster collection and available through the Special Collections Reading Room. 
Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available online. 
Subjects Murdoch, James, 1930-2010 -- Archives.  |  Glanville-Hicks, Peggy, 1912-1990.  |  Musicians -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Composers -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Arts administrators -- Australia -- Archives.  |  Composers -- Biography.  |  Music -- 20th century.  |  Music -- Australia -- 20th century.
Time Coverage 1930-2008 
Occupation Musicians.  |  Composers.  |  Musical directors.  |  Arts administrators.  |  Authors.  |  Oral history interviewers.
Terms of Use Copying of James Murdoch's copyright material permitted for research purposes. 


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    Details Collect From
    MS 8372 Special Collections Reading Room
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    PIC Poster Drawer 28 Special Collections Reading Room
    MS Acc10.032 Special Collections Reading Room - Prior notice required
    Unprocessed instalment
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