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Source: Australian Variety Theatre Archive (
Owen Conduit Owen Conduit i(A109323 works by) (a.k.a. Owen Walter Conduit)
Born: Established: 1853 Hampshire,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
; Died: Ceased: 1936 Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
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Music director, composer, arranger, musician

Considered one of Australia's most successful music directors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Owen Conduit was engaged by some of the most influential and significant entrepreneurs and troupes operating during that period, including Harry Rickards, F. M. Clark, F. E. Hiscocks, Edwin Kelly and Francis Leon, James Brennan, and Harry Clay. Born in Hampshire, England, Conduit immigrated to Australia with his family in 1871 and was largely based in Melbourne up until 1894. His first professional engagement was with Rainford and Leon's Minstrels at the Victoria Theatre in 1872, aged 18. The following year he toured with Kelly and Leon and over the next eight years found regular employment as a concert pianist and with minstrel troupes (notably the U.S. Minstrels), and comic opera and burlesque companies.

During the early 1880s Conduit worked as music director for Hiscocks and Hayman's Mammoth Minstrels, Kelly and Leon's Minstrels, and Hiscocks Federal Minstrels, Hussey and Lawton's Minstrels and the Helen Vivian Dramatic Company before beginning a lengthy association with Frank Clark in 1886 (being music director for Silk Stockings, All-Star Novelty Combination, European Celebrities and Boston Ideal Co). Conduit then moved to Sydney where he spent ten years with Harry Rickards (1894-1904), before taking short term engagements with Edwin Geach (1905), Harry Clay (1906-1910) and James Brennan (1911) among others.

A prodigious composer and arranger, many of Owen Conduit's more popular original songs were published during his career. He is also credited with arrangement countless others. He died in Sydney in 1936, survived by his second wife.

[Source: Australian Variety Theatre Archive]

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Last amended 17 Jun 2014 11:30:48
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