The Syrens of Sydney: a bespoke donor experience

Published on Thursday 30 May 2024

On a perfect autumn afternoon in late May, donors were immersed in the musical world of the Wentworths and their contemporaries at The Syrens of Sydney concert held at Vaucluse House.

Museums of History NSW was proud to present this program in association with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects scheme. The concert not only showcased the incredible talent of Anna Fraser (soprano) and Neal Peres Da Costa (historical piano), but also highlighted the rich sheet music collections at the Caroline Simpson Library and Rouse Hill Estate.

The Syrens of Sydney featured new musical interpretations based on historical recordings of 19th-century singers and the musical markings by singers and teachers found on MHNSW scores. With a collection of over 3,000 domestic sheet music scores, mainly for voice and piano, MHNSW holds the key to some of Sydney’s earliest colonial domestic soundscapes. The owners of many of these pieces of music can be readily identified, and scores with performance markings hint at past inner lives and musical practice.

This unique musical event is just one of the ways in which we like to share our work in connecting our places and collections while exploring NSW’s history with donors.

If you wish to read more, you can view The Syrens of Sydney concert program.

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about our donor program, please contact Meagan Evans, Philanthropy Manager.

T: 02 8239 2273

E: donate@mhnsw.au

Couple enjoying the courtyard, Vaucluse House

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Museums of History NSW values the deep engagement our donors have with our work