The Percy Grainger Story

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Grainger Museum
Gate 13, Royal Parade

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Grainger Museum

T: 0383445270


Percy Grainger developed a highly eclectic collection, motivated by the desire to interpret and contextualise his creative achievements and cultural environment.

Born George Percy Grainger in Brighton, Victoria, on 8 July 1882, he made his concert debut in 1894 at age 12, departing for Europe soon after to study piano and composition at the Hoch Conservatorium in Frankfurt. He moved to London in 1901, and it was here that he began performing at major concert venues and festivals, as well as writing the first of his own very popular compositions. Grainger's fame continued to grow with his move to America in 1914 where he toured extensively and performed at the White House through three Presidencies.

The Grainger Museum presents the opportunity to engage not only with Grainger’s touring successes, but biographical histories, familial, romantic and musical relationships, as well as his philosophies and ethnographic research engaging with the nature of creative and artistic endeavour. The story of this musical icon of the 20th Century is told through objects selected from a remarkable archive of art, photographs, costumes, music scores and instruments, collected and preserved by Grainger himself.

Presenting a timeline of Grainger's family and early life, The Percy Grainger Story then takes the visitor on a thematic journey through the life and obsessions of one of Australia's most preeminent and eccentric musical figures. This exhibition presents his fascination with Nordic culture, ethnographic collections of folk music recordings, and commitment to self improvement through strict diet and exercise regimes, as well as highly personal insights into his deep and tragic bond with his mother, Rose and sado-mascochistic fascinations that coloured his romantic life.

For more information, please follow the link to the biography of Percy Grainger and see our visual timeline to explore Percy's life further.

The Percy Grainger Story is part of the ongoing display of our permanent collection, and is open Sunday to Friday, 12 – 4 PM. Entry is free.