Peter Roennfeldt | Historian

Peter Roennfeldt has contributed much to the wider understanding of Queensland’s cultural heritage. After more than four decades, he continues to research aspects of the state’s history and producing publications in a wide range of formats. Many of the topics are linked, and often one project is an offshoot of another, as shown by the five books Peter has published since 2012.

The stories of Mayne Hall and Albert Hall highlight the work of many local performers and organisations, while the Queensland Music Teachers’ Association is strongly connected to the career of Percy Brier and other leading musicians. Similarly, the histories of the Queensland Conservatorium and the Brisbane Chorale are closely intertwined, while the story of Madame Mallalieu and her legacy connects with the lived experience of many music students, through their hostel years spent in her former home in Toowong.

In addition to these extensive projects, various research themes have led to a long succession of smaller publications. Peter’s involvement as a chamber musician inspired an investigation into this genre of performance commencing with the debut in Brisbane of RT Jefferies in 1872, and which is documented in a series of articles in Queensland Review. A related offshoot is his edition and audio recording for Wirripang of a previously unpublished violin sonata, composed by Percy Brier in 1921.

Similarly, an edition of an organ solo by this same composer is related to a paper on Brisbane’s organ recital tradition in the late 1800s. Surveys of early Brisbane’s concert life and the music teaching profession are featured in recent book chapters, while several articles are included in the Australian Dictionary of Biography and various topics in the Oxford Companion to Australian Music. Another current series, featuring short vignettes from the 1850s to the 1950s and titled Musical Morsels from Queensland’s History, appears in 4MBS FM Radio’s monthly Program Guide.

Peter’s concerts are informed by historical research and some individual programs are explicitly heritage recreations. This knowledge has also been applied to special projects such as the curation of recordings of locally-composed songs and other pieces for the State Library of Queensland’s online Music Queensland project.

While academic rigour is evident in all of Peter’s publications and other research outcomes, his many readers and reviewers confirm that his writing style is accessible to a general audience.



A Hall For All celebrating Mayne Hall at The University of Queensland. Author Peter Roennfeldt
Celebrating our first hundred years: QMTA by Peter Roennfeldt published 2021
Brisbanes Albert Hall by Peter Roennfeldt published 2021
Madame Mallalieu book by Peter Roennfeldt published 2015
Brisbane Chorale Our Journey by Peter Roennfeldt
Northern Lyrebird Queensland Conservatorium by Peter Roennfeldt