This flute, which forms part of a collection of flutes and piccolos belonging to Richard Chugg, is of major significance to the collection and to Australian flute playing due to its association with Richard Chugg. Born in 1902 in Melbourne, Chugg became one of Australia's greatest flautists after an adventurous seafaring career that included surviving a shipwreck.
After retiring from the sea at the age of 22, being unable to gain an officer's ticket due to near blindness in one eye due to a childhood accident, Chugg began intensive flute practice giving a series of flute recitals after only 18 months in 1924. It was after this that he was asked to play first flute by Alberto Zelman in an orchestra, which later became the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1932. In 1936 he studied in Europe with Gordon Walker in London, Marcel Moyse in Paris, Albert Harzer in Berlin and Arno Brauling in Dresden.
Returning to Australia, Chugg is acknowledged as having brought the French style and tone of flute playing to Australia and particularly the use of vibrato. Playing in several Melbourne orchestras and under several conductors Chugg also championed new works for flute. He also played chamber music and solo works as well as taught flute until his death in 1963.
Karen Chugg; "Clarence Richard "Dick" Chugg" in Flute Australia, (Autumn/Winter, 1997, pp.6-10).
Linda Vogt AM; Flute Players of Note in Australia (Linda Vogt, NSW, 2004).
Curator, music & musical instruments