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Two of Australia’s leading chamber musicians, cellist Georg Pedersen and concert pianist Phillip Shovk, are returning to Central Coast Conservatorium of Music for a special Charmian & Friends concert to mark the reopening of the renovated Robert Knox Hall.

The fundraising event in Gosford on Sunday 2 April is the brainchild of Central Coast Conservatorium of Music patron, acclaimed Australian violinist Charmian Gadd OAM, and will be the first concert held in the new-look auditorium which has undergone a makeover as part of the Conservatorium’s recent upgrades.

Cello fans will be in for a treat with Phillip and Georg performing Beethoven’s Cello Sonata no 2 in G Minor, Chopin’s Cello Sonata in G Major and Brahms Cello Sonata no 2 in F Major.

Charmian said she is looking forward to making the Charmian and Friends concert series that have previously been held at Greenway Chapel in Green Point – a regular fixture in the newly-renovated hall.

“We are grateful for the good years of music making that enriched our years at Greenway, but as the Chapel is now no longer available for our weekend offerings, let’s start a new chapter in Robert Knox Hall,” she said.

“The Con is looking quite different – welcoming and warm in its retained stone and basic structure. Audience members would do well to leave a little extra time to arrive and have a look around.”

“Robert Knox was quite a complex and interesting figure, designing golf courses, playing and making violins. He was teaching in Gosford and looking for somewhere to start a music school when the old courthouse fell vacant. 

“According to his own tale he more or less simply occupied the building and persuaded the power- that-used-to-be in those days to turn it into a Conservatorium. Well done! It has gone from that point to where it is today with the help of a lot of great people to whom we owe such a lot!”

Light refreshments will also be served in the interval in the historic courtyard at the Con – a former police station and courthouse. 

Money from ticket sales will go towards the Conservatorium’s successful scholarship program.

About Robert Knox Hall

Formerly a courtroom in the old Gosford Courthouse and Police Station dating back to 1849, Robert Knox Hall is part of the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music campus at 45 Mann Street, Gosford – the oldest public building on the Central Coast.

Designed by colonial architect Mortimer Lewis  the building originally consisted of a courthouse, clerk’s room, magistrate’s room, two cells, a constable’s room and a yard.

Significant alterations, designed by architect James Barnet, were made to the building in the 1880s and included a new courtroom (now Robert Knox Hall).  The building was used as a courthouse and police station until the early 1980s.

In 1988 the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music moved into the building, repurposing  the courthouse as a performance and rehearsal space. Later, the hall was named after the Central Coast Conservatorium founder, the late Robert ‘Bob’ Knox.

In 2021, with the support of the NSW State Government the hall underwent an exciting refurbishment including the installation of fixed tiered seating, including disability seating, plus the installation of essential A/V and digital equipment .

Support the Conservatorium

The fundraising event will also see the launch of the Conservatorium of Music’s ‘Take a Seat’ campaign – giving supporters the opportunity to own a piece of Central Coast history.

The Con is inviting supporters to join them in celebrating 40 years of music education on the Coast, and be part of the region’s history, by dedicating one of the new fixed seats in our refurbished Robert Knox Hall.

Donors will have a special and limited opportunity to have their name on a plaque on one of the new 72 permanent seats.

In this way supporters and donors can be part of the audience in spirit for every concert, recital and performance and have their generosity appropriately acknowledged.

  • Charmian & Friends Presents Phillip Shovk and Georg Pedersen in concert
  • Sunday 2 April, 2.30pm | Robert Knox Hall,  Gosford
  • Tickets: $55,