The Duet Club of Hamilton

The Hamilton Duet Club is the oldest women's musical club in Canada, having been founded by Ellen Ambrose in 1889. Her students played piano duets when too shy to perform solos at Kingsthorpe School where she taught. Duet Club meetings have been held through the years in the Carey Piano Warerooms, the Hamilton Conservatory of Music, Dalewood School, Hamilton Place, and currently are in Hamilton’s Melrose United Church, where its Steinway grand piano, that Vladimir Horowitz selected for us, travelling from New York City to be its first performer, resides.

In early years, meetings for study of specific composers were prepared by members themselves, with musical illustrations, including live performances. After a glorious past of presenting such eminent musicians as Gladys Swarthout, Gerald Moore, Jan Rubes, Herman Geiger Torel, and the Canadian Opera Company, the Duet Club now provides 9 piano, vocal and instrumental scholarships for first class Conservatory students. Each deserving student has the opportunity to perform for a knowledgeable and talented audience: the Duet Club members.

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