Finale Concert & Tickets

DATE: Our Finale Concert will be held on the evening of Saturday 12 January in the historic Albert Hall, Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla.  All members of the public are very warmly invited to attend.  Further details will be available on this page soon.

TICKETS: Information on purchasing tickets will be available on this page soon.

 

THE ALBERT HALL – A SIGNIFICANT PART OF CANBERRA’S HISTORY

The Albert Hall was built on the southern side of the Molonglo River, which was dammed in 1963 to form Lake Burley Griffin. It is enclosed within the Parliamentary Triangle, the ceremonial precinct of Canberra which contains some of Australia’s most significant cultural, legal and political buildings.
The Albert Hall, built in 1928, is an elegant example of the ‘Federal Capital’ style of architecture of the 1920s, also called Renaissance Revival or Classical Revival style.  The building, now ninety years old, is unique in that it retains most of its original exterior and interior elements and some features of the original landscape.  Designed by J Hunter Kirkpatrick, its notable features are the arch-headed windows, the Ionic pillars and the Roman tiled roof.  The Hall, which has excellent acoustics, seats 580 in the auditorium and 128 in the gallery.  It was called the Assembly Hall during construction, but was renamed the Albert Hall when Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce officially opened it on 10 March 1928.   This name change was to honour Albert, Duke of York, who opened Federal Parliament in 1927, and to highlight its similar role to that of the Royal Albert Hall in London as a centre of musical culture.  Up until the Canberra Theatre complex opened in 1965, it was Canberra’s main venue for music, theatre and social events, largely taking over this function from the 1913 Acton Hall and 1925 Causeway Hall.

The Albert Hall hosted Australia’s first citizenship ceremony, conducted by Prime Minister Ben Chifley in 1949.  The beginning of the Petrov Royal Commission in 1954 was also held here, and during the 1960s it was the National Tally Room for federal elections.  It continues to be used for a wide range of community and commercial events, cultural performances and exhibitions – including the FAME Festival’s Finale Concert in 2019!

The Albert Hall houses a Compton theatre organ.  This pipe organ was built in 1933-34 by John Compton Organ Company in London for the Odeon Theatre in Cheltenham, England and was imported to Australia in 1967-68.  In 1977 it was bought for the ACT Branch of the Theatre Organ Society of Australia, which installed the organ and restored it for its inaugural concert on 17 August 1986.

Original landscape elements include the two atlas cedars on its front facade (the Commonwealth Avenue side), three London plane trees and three pines along Kaye Street, the sundial, and some elements of the rose garden.

‘Bellona’, Canberra’s first public sculpture created by renowned Australian sculptor Sir Bertram Mackennal, a student of the French artist Auguste Rodin, twice graced the northeast corner of the Albert Hall site (1927-1954 and 1993-1998) before being moved to her permanent home at the Australian War Memorial in August 1999.  She can be seen in the photo below left.

The sundial pedestal was part of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, England.  In 1934, Mr JN Reeson acquired several pieces of decorative stonework that had been removed during refurbishment, and presented some of them to the Federal Government for use in Canberra.  A bronze sundial and a plaque were cast for the pedestal, and in 1936 the circular rose bed in front of the Albert Hall was slightly modified to take the new structure.

(From: https://www.library.act.gov.au/find/history/frequentlyaskedquestions/Place_Stories/alberthall)

 

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