The First Fleet Piano on display at the WA Maritime Museum

Mon 28 Nov 2016Thu 2 Feb 2017


WA Maritime Museum

The English square piano was invented in the 1760s, creating an international music phenomenon. It became an important feature of social life, with many people eagerly seeking to improve their musical repertoire.

Due to this popularity it is no great surprise that an English square piano was brought to Australia during the voyage of the First Fleet. The piano was the property of George Worgan, the surgeon on board the Sirius. Prior to Worgan returning to England in 1791, he gifted the piano to Elizabeth MacArthur. It eventually became a part of the Stewart Symonds Collection, which was donated to Edith Cowan University in 2016. Being the very first piano in Australia, this item is a treasure of the collection.

The First Fleet piano is kindly on loan to the WA Maritime Museum until the 2nd of February 2017.


Western Australian Academy of Performing Art and Edith Cowan University

The First Fleet in Botany Bay