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The earliest item in the Collection is the music program from the inaugural concert of Messiah in 1881 by Adelaide Philharmonic Society.

Credit: Jimmy Barnes, Cold Chisel, Thebarton Town Hall, Adelaide, 1980, photograph by and reproduced courtesy of Eric Algra, Performing Arts Collection, Adelaide Festival Centre

The 1881 program for the inaugural concert of Messiah by Adelaide Philharmonic Society is one of earliest items in the music Collection. Over a hundred and forty-two years later, thousands of programs have been acquired recording a myriad of music events from classical, rock ‘n’ roll and contemporary, performed at hundreds of different venues around South Australia.

In addition to capturing the international singers, musicians, bands and orchestras that have passed through the state, the Collection also holds material from South Australian artists such as Peter Dawson, Julie Anthony and William Cade. The Cade collection charts the early days of South Australia’s largest performing arts organisation the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

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