Piccolo, Radcliff system, with cleaning rod and case, cocus wood / metal, made by Rudall Carte, London, England, 1913, owned and played by Richard Chugg.
This piccolo, 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.
Chugg retired from the sea at the age of 22, having been unable to gain an officer's ticket due to near blindness in one eye. After 18 months of intensive flute practice, he gave a series of flute recitals in 1924. He was then asked by Alberto Zelman to play first flute in the orchestra that, in 1932, became the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
In 1936 Chugg studied with Gordon Walker in London, Marcel Moyse in Paris, Albert Harzer in Berlin and Arno Brauling in Dresden. He 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 championed new works for flute. He also played chamber music and solo works and 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
This piccolo was made by Rudall Carte in London on 22 January 1913 by Whitman. It was sold on 25 February 1913 to SJ Collin of Melbourne.
Date of manufacture based on serial number listing given in Robert Bigio, Rudall, Rose & Carte: The Art of the Flute in Britain (Tony Bingham, London, 2011, p.268).
Part of a collection of flutes which belonged to Richard Chugg, principal flute of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.