Lucy Benson

Lucy Charlotte Benson (18601943), musician, was born in Hobart. She studied singing and piano, and, aged ten, was the organist in three churches each Sunday. She sang in many concerts, and was considered to be 'one of the best teachers of voice production' in the colonies.

Lucy Benson managed, directed and conducted light operas, produced most of Gilbert and Sullivan, and was possibly the first Australian female conductor of opera. In 1905 her choir won the Commonwealth championship at the famous Ballarat competitions, returning to a civic welcome in Hobart. Benson's musical career flourished alongside her duties as a wife and mother to six children. Her close involvement in Tasmanian musical activities both religious and secular spanned fifty years. She was still organist at St Mark's, Bellerive at 83, just before her death.

Further reading: ADB 7.

Wendy Rimon