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Metal sleeve for flute, 1940 - 1950
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Object statement
Flute barrel sleeve, brass, used by Neville Amadio, made by Frank Dixon, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1940-1950.
This flute is one of several in the Powerhouse Museum's collection that belonged to and were played by one of Australia's greatest flautists, Neville Amadio. Internationally renowned as a soloist and chamber musician, Amadio held the position of Principal Flute in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for over 40 years from its establishment in the early 1930s until his retirement from the position in 1978.

Born in Sydney in 1913 Neville Amadio began learning the flute at the age of 8 initially getting lessons from one of his uncles, Adrian, the younger brother of flautist John Amadio. After further lessons at the NSW Conservatorium of Music with Albert Arlom he began his professional career in 1927 at age 15 playing in an ensemble formed by Sydney radio station 2FC. This group was enlarged to become the Australian Broadcasting Commission Studio Orchestra in 1932 and gradually grew further giving annual concert seasons in 1936 before officially becoming the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1946. Amadio was appointed principal flute in 1934.

During this period Amadio played under several conductors including Sir Hamilton Harty, Antal Dorati, Sir Thomas Beacham, Eugene Ormandy, Eugene Goossens and Willem van Otterloo amongst others.

Neville Amadio was also one of the founders of Musica Viva which has brought professional music to schools all over Australia for many years. He was a co-founder of the New Sydney Woodwind Quartet and also as an active teacher was professor of flute at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. He was awarded an MBE in 1969 and an AM in 1981 for his services to music.

The Powerhouse Museum's flute collection is the most significant and comprehensive in a public collection in Australia. It not only documents the development of the flute especially in England from the late 18th century but also includes instruments by many of Australia's finest flautists including John Amadio, Leslie Barklamb and David Cubbin. The collection also includes flutes by several Australian makers such as Jordan Wainwright and Clewin Harcourt.


Linda Vogt AM; Flute Players of Note in Australia (Linda Vogt, NSW, 2004).

Michael Lea
Curator, music & musical instruments
July 2007.
Made in very limited numbers on a needs basis.
Part of the instruments owned by Neville Amadio. These were thought to be made by Frank Dixon, a policeman from Rose Bay and friend to Neville Amadio, Colin Evans and Linda Vogt for them to use when playing in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It was used during the period where low B foot joints were not available in Australia. The sleeve was required for new works in which composers were specifying the low B to be played by the flutes. The sleeve however meant that a low C was not able to be played when it was attached to a standard concert flute.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Custom made cylindrical sleeve used as an extension to the barrel of the flute to play low B. The tube is made from brass tubing.
Production date
1940 - 1950
20 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Gift of Mrs Hilda Maude Amadio, 2007
+ Australian music
+ Classical music
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{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/362591 |title=Metal sleeve for flute |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=31 May 2016 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}

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Object viewed times. Parent IRN: 2101. Master IRN: 2101 Img: 191560 Flv: H:3840px W:5176px SMO:0 RIGHTS:.