For over a century, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music has influenced the nation's musical landscape through music education and performances of international standard. This is our story.
From the top
1915 - Official opening
Conservatorium of Music officially opens under directorship of Belgian conductor and violinist Henri Verbrugghen, with the aim of ‘providing tuition of a standard at least equal to that of the leading European Conservatoriums’.
1916 - Conservatorium Orchestra is established
Henri Verbrugghen establishes the Conservatorium Orchestra, Australia’s first full-time orchestra made up of staff and students of the Conservatorium.
1918 - The Con High School opens
The Conservatorium High School is the secondary arm of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the State’s only specialist music high school.
1934 - Conservatorium Opera School is launched
Dr Edgar Bainton becomes the third Director of the Conservatorium and launches the Conservatorium Opera School.
1948/50 - Sir Eugene Goossens transforms the Con
In 1948, Sir Eugene Goossens begins as fourth Director of the Conservatorium producing major works such as Judith, starring a young Joan Sutherland. In 1950, famed conductor Dr Richard Bonynge, graduates from the Conservatorium stating that ‘Goossens turned the Conservatorium into a genuine world-class institution, lifting standards and exposing students to sophisticated twentieth century scores’.
1957 - Greenway Building is expanded by Sir Bernard Heinze
Sir Bernard Heinze begins as fifth Director and starts building expansion on the northern and eastern sides of the Greenway building.
1990 - Amalgamation with the University of Sydney
Conservatorium of Music amalgamates with the University of Sydney as part of the Dawkins higher education reforms, and renamed the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, led by Associate Professor Ronald Smart, tenth Director of the Conservatorium from 1992.
1997 - Major upgrade
NSW State Premier Bob Carr announces major upgrade of the Conservatorium.
2001 - The new Conservatorium opens
The new Conservatorium opens in 2001 with three new concert halls, major library facilities, sound-proofed studios, practice rooms and offices, while removing 1960s additions to allow the castellated Gothic style of Greenway’s building to be seen from a distance.
2012 - Association of Asia-Pacific Music Institutions is established
Dr Karl Kramer, thirteenth Dean of the Conservatorium, consolidates and expands the conducting program and founds the Association of Asia-Pacific Music Institutions.
2015 - Centenary celebration
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music celebrates 100 years.
2016 - Professor Anna Reid appointed as new Dean
Professor Anna Reid, an accomplished string musician and alumna of the Con, is appointed as the new Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.