Kay Dreyfus (née Lucas) 


NMC: 1963



I came to NMC as a pianist in 1963, the year I completed my BMus under Roy Shepherd at the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. Higher degree studies in musicology took me to the University of York (England) and City University and the Mannes School of Music in New York, but I completed my MMus and PhD—the first in music at the University of Melbourne, I am told–in Melbourne.

In 1974 I was offered a job at the Grainger Museum, an extraordinary building and collection that was just beginning to be valued. Over my fifteen years at the Museum, I prepared a number of catalogues, and edited The Farthest North of Humanness, Letters of Percy Grainger 1901–1914 (1985).My scholarly interests gradually turned away from the idea of ‘music’ as great (European) men writing immortal masterpieces to one of music as the lived experience of music-making by musicians and music lovers (including amateurs and women).

In 1988 I relocated to the School of Music-Conservatorium at Monash University where I stayed for a long time, first as a Research Fellow, then in various research roles, including academic editor. I write about everyday musical experience in Australia, especially that of women and immigrants. My publications include Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of Australia’s All-Girl Bands and Orchestras to the End of the Second World War (1999), and Bluebeard’s Bride: Alma Moodie, Violinist (forthcoming, Lyrebird Press, 2013). I completed a second doctorate at Monash, in history, and my thesis, Silences and Secrets: The Australian Experience of the Weintraubs Syncopators, was published in 2013.

I am presently an Adjunct Research Fellow in the School of Historical, Philosophical and International Studies (SOPHIS) at Monash University and a Research Associate in the School of Graduate Research at RMIT University.


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