Rodney Sigston

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Rodney Sigston
Born(1939-04-25)25 April 1939
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
Died2 August 1981(1981-08-02) (aged 42)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
OccupationPianist, music tutor

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Richard Rodney Sigston (1939 – 1981) was an Australian pianist and music teacher. In 1961 he won the Australian Broadcasting Commission's Young Performers Award for piano and in the following year he performed with the South Australian Symphony Orchestra in an open air concert at Elder Park in Adelaide, which was recorded and broadcast by the ABC. In July 1964 he performed a recital to obtain the first Master of Music degree ever awarded at the University of Melbourne.


Richard Rodney Sigston was born in Toowoomba, Queensland on 25 April 1939[1]. He died in Melbourne on 2 August 1981,[2] from medical complications resulting from alcohol abuse,[3] and is buried at the Emerald Cemetery.[4] His parents were Nelson Sydney Dudley Sigston (1916 – 1979) and Jean Lillias nee Moreton,[5] and he had an elder brother, Dudley John Sigston (1934 – 1991).[6]

On 12 February 1954 Sigston gave a recital at the Albert Hall in Toowoomba,[7] before moving to Melbourne to continue his studies.[8] Brisbane-based correspondent for The Courier-Mail opined, "other local pianists, not normally lavish in their praise of rivals or potential rivals, have called him one of the most promising pianists to come out of Queensland for many years."[8] He was awarded three years of tuition-free study at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music,[8] where his teachers included Nancy Weir. In 1958 he was awarded an Ormond Exhibition (a scholarship award),[9] and in 1960 graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree.[10] In 1961 he won the ABC Young Performers Award for piano,[11][12] and in July 1964 Sigston performed a recital[13] to obtain the first Master of Music degree ever awarded at that university.[12] He went on to become a piano tutor at the Melbourne Conservatorium,[14] where his students included Philip Czaplowski, who performed at his teacher's funeral ceremony.[3]

For a time Sigston was an accompanist to the National Boys Choir of Australia,[15] and was also the winner of the Lizette Bentwich scholarship, which allowed him to continue his studies in Vienna.[16] In 1962 Sigston performed with the South Australian Symphony Orchestra in an open air concert at Elder Park in Adelaide, which was recorded and broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission.[17]


  1. Richard Rodney Sigston 1939-1981 - Ancestry
  2. The Age from Melbourne, Victoria on August 4, 1981 · Page 34
  3. 3.0 3.1 recollections of Philip Czaplowski, 10 March 2018
  4. Richard Rodney “Rocky” Sigston - Find A Grave Memorial
  5. Nelson Dudley Sigston -
  6. Richard Sigston - Historical records and family trees - MyHeritage
  7. 12 Feb 1954 - Farewell to talent - Trove
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Farewell to Talent". The Courier-Mail. 12 February 1954. p. 2. Retrieved 16 March 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. "Scholarships, Exhibitions and Prizes Awarded, November 1958", Digitised Collections, University of Melbourne
  10. "Degrees and Diplomas Conferred", Digitised Collections, University of Melbourne, p. 20
  11. Winners & finalists - ABC Young Performers Awards
  12. 12.0 12.1 Nancy Weir entry in The Oxford Companion to Australian Music | Belinda McKay -
  13. 4 recitals for the degree of Master of Music : by John Lavender, Rodney Sigston, Joan Young, Philippa Harding : Melba Hall, at 8 p.m. 8th, 10th, 17th and 24th July / Universit...
  14. "The University of Melbourne, Members: Council, Boards and Faculties, Committees, Staff", Digitised Collections, University of Melbourne, p. 50
  15. "The Joy of Making Music Together", National Boys Choir of Australia, p. 8.
  16. ArchiveGrid : Rodney Sigston [winner of Lizette Bentwich sholarship to study in Vienna]
  17. Open air concert, Elder Park : [concert program], 1962, Elder Park, South Australian Symphony Orchestra [and the] Australian Broadcasting Commission. - Version details...

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