Principal’s message

The Conservatorium High School is secondary arm of the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, NSW, and this State’s only specialist music high school. It was established at the behest of Henri Verbrugghen, foundation director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music (1915-1922). The first eleven students were enrolled on 14 October 1918.

The school was never gazetted as a public school. From its inception, it was considered an integral part of the State’s Conservatorium of Music. First mention of its existence is found under ‘Scholastic Work’ in the Conservatorium’s 1919 Prospectus. Verbrugghen’s model for the Conservatorium High was a music school in his home city of Brussels that was allied with the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles. Serving as the Con High’s inaugural principal was Mr Alfred Steel, formerly of Sydney Boys’ High. He taught in both the secondary and tertiary programmes of the Conservatorium.

Verbrugghen firmly believed that ‘a good general education is as much a necessity to a musician as to a lawyer or a medical practitioner.’ From the outset, Conservatorium High students were considered the elite core of the State’s premiere music institution. This was Henri Verbrugghen’s vision. Not surprisingly, the school numbers amongst its alumni some of Australia’s most acclaimed performers, teachers and composers, musicians who have made their mark not only in all facets of the music profession and the arts, but also in the most diverse of artful callings including spying and oenology.

The School remains true to its founder’s vision: to provide the State’s brightest and most musically gifted teenagers with the very best musical training while ensuring they receive an excellent, broadly-based secondary education. Through its school-based programmes and its special relationships with various post-secondary institutions, notably the tertiary arm of the Conservatorium administered by the University of Sydney, the Conservatorium High School continues to provide its students with music-educational opportunities unsurpassed in this country. It is a public school. Entry is based on merit, and merit alone.

Principal: Robert Curry
DSCM(Hons), CertGiftedEd, GradDipEd
Staż, MMus, MA, PhD