The David Cubbin Memorial Fund was established in 1997 to honour the distinguished Australian flautist, Prof. David Cubbin (1934-1997).


Grants are available to assist young Australian flautists attend a Flute Festival or Flute Event during 2014.  Please send a letter requesting financial assistance to David Cubbin Memorial Fund, C/- Robert Brown, PO Box 3228, Norwood, SA 5067 by Monday, May 5, 2014.  Please include your contact information - postal address, telephone number, e-mail address.  Applicants are required to provide a supporting letter from their teacher.

. Applicants are required to provide a supporting letter from their teacher.


David Cubbin was born in Melbourne in March 1934 and began his musical career in a fife and drum band when he was 8 years old under Stanley Baines.  At the age of 13 he won a heat of the Australian Amateur Hour and at 16 was flute soloist with the Peters Junior Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne.  David Cubbin won a scholarship to study flute at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music with Leslie Barklamb, and after graduation joined the National Opera Company Orchestra as Principal Flute.

  He joined the South Australian Symphony Orchestra in 1954 and became Principal Flute in 1955.  He was also a part-time flute teacher at the Elder Conservatorium.  He appeared as a soloist for the A.B.C. Subscription and Youth Concerts and in recitals on radio and television.

  David Cubbin was appointed a full-time lecturer of flute at the Elder Conservatorium in 1964 and became a foundation member of the University of Adelaide Wind Quintet, the first full-time salaried chamber music ensemble in Australia.  The University of Adelaide Wind Quintet gave concerts in all Australian capital cities and in many country centres.  It was the first Australian chamber group to perform overseas, touring in 1969 and 1973.  They recorded for the W. & G. label.  David Cubbin collaborated with Alison Rosser to prepare the two A.M.E.B. scale books, Scales and Arpeggios for Flute (1973) and Flute Technical Work Book (1989).

  In 1971 he obtained his Master of Arts Degree in Musicology from the Flinders University, writing his thesis on The Flute in the Eighteenth Century.  As part of his recital performance for the Degree, he included three short pieces by Vivaldi played on an 18th century wooden flute made by Goulding, Wood & Co.

  David Cubbin founded the Flute Society of South Australia in 1972.  He was one of three international soloists invited to perform at the 1974 Convention of the National Flute Association in Pittsburgh and gave masterclasses at music institutions in the U.S.A. and Europe.  David Cubbin directed the 2nd Australian Flute Convention in Adelaide (1976) and the 4th Australian Flute Convention in Canberra (1980).  He was President of the Australian Flute Association Ltd. from 1988 to 1995 and was made a Patron of the Australian Flute Association Ltd. in 1995.

  After successive appointments at the Canberra School of Music (1975), Queensland Conservatorium of Music (1979) and then Director, School of Arts, Northern Rivers C.A.E., Lismore (1981), David Cubbin was appointed Professor of Music at the Tasmanian Conservatorium in 1985, the first Australian flautist to obtain professorial rank.  In 1990 Professor Cubbin was appointed Head of the Higher Education Office in the NSW Ministry of Education in Sydney.  In 1996 he accepted the position of Executive Chair of the Academic Board of the Australian Institute of Music, and was appointed Principal in October 1996.  He died in Sydney on May 12th, 1997, aged 63 years.


David Cubbin was a magnificent flautist and an inspiring teacher.  In the 1960s and 1970s he gave memorable performances at the University of Adelaide; and many of his pupils have achieved professional distinction.  As a foundation member of the University Wind Quintet he pioneered their tours to Europe and USA in 1969 and 1973, the first by an Australian chamber group.  His willing assistance lent distinction to many performances.  I shall always remember his beautiful and stylish playing – on an 18th century wooden flute – of the great solo in Gluck’s opera ‘Orpheus and Euridice’ at the University in 1967.

The late David Galliver, AM,

Elder Professor of Music, University of Adelaide, 1966-1983.

The establishment of the ‘David Cubbin Memorial Fund’ will be wholeheartedly endorsed by the flute fraternity of Australia.  David Cubbin’s life spanned the whole spectrum of music in Australia.  In particular he became one of Australia’s noted illustrious flute players.  I remember him as a bright, happy, aspiring flautist in his early career as orchestral player in Opera productions. From that time I have followed with great interest the development of his versatility not only in performance, but in the role of Educator and Administrator.

  As performer he excelled as flute soloist, chamber player and skilled orchestral player, performing throughout Australia.  However, his great interest in teaching was always an ongoing occupation.  His innumerable students testify to his great interest in imparting knowledge.  David’s versatility found him involved in many countries – New Zealand, the United States and Europe, where he performed and lectured, giving many Master Classes.

  Administration became a dominant skill as he progressed through his career, with appointments to many institutions, too many to innumerate here, as examples; Director, Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, Acting Assistant Director of the Canberra School of Music, Director School of the Arts, Northern Rivers CAE, Lismore, NSW.  He eventually moved to Sydney, where he was Head of the Higher Education Office in the Ministry of Education until his retirement in 1995.

  The Australian flute fraternity is greatly indebted to David.  His willingness to support the National Flute Convention movement in its early formative years by presenting the Second Convention in Adelaide 1976 and the Fourth Convention in Canberra 1980 as Artistic Director, began his long association with the movement.  He was President of the Australian Flute Association 1988-95, giving us the benefit of his well-known administrative expertise.

  To have known and worked with David has been an enormous pleasure.  His sense of humour was delightful, a smile from him uplifting and beautiful to see.   Just as his teacher the late Leslie Barklamb was a great communicator, so David carried on the same tradition of warm friendship, and encouragement to all who had the good fortune to have known him.

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David Cubbin Prof. David Cubbin

The David Cubbin Memorial Fund