Madame Mallalieu by Peter Roennfeldt
The achievements of one remarkable person and many of those in her circle. Henrietta Madame Mallalieu née Percival, later Mrs Willmore migrated to Brisbane in the mid 19th Century. She gave countless musical performances of a complex, brilliant and expressive repertoire over a public career lasting more than 60 years. Her home in Toowong, Brisbane became a CWA Hostel for young girls, and her story is a vital part of the cultural heritage of this city.
In the absence of recordings, the best insights one can gain about a musicians persona and skills are to be found in the scores of the works they performed, and to a certain extent within the commentary documented by well-informed peers. In the case of Henrietta, there exists a huge amount of press coverage of her performances, all of which is uniformly laudatory. She did not shy away from the most technically demanding repertoire as an organist and pianist. She also appeared to delight in the challenges provided both by virtuoso showpieces and the more profound masterworks.
As she demonstrated repeatedly through her careful programming and preparation of printed background notes on the repertoire performed, Henrietta was also greatly concerned with audience development.