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At the heart of the music with Catherine Heggen

At the heart of the music with Catherine Heggen

A life-long friendship honoured: Marjorie and Mary

Catherine Heggen commemorates her mum and her good friend with seats side-by-side in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. 

Marjorie and Mary

Marjorie Heggen moved to Australia from England with her husband in the 1950s and began working as a librarian at Melbourne University in 1955.  She was just 26. Here she met fellow librarian Mary Lugton and a wonderful life-long friendship began.

Both women were adventurous travellers, independent souls, well-read and keenly interested in the performing and visual arts. They both loved the more traditional music genres but were also open to new musical experiences. To have a friend equally curious to explore and be challenged by the arts was rewarding and they quickly bonded over their shared interest.

A few years later, when Marjorie’s daughter Catherine was born, Mary was asked to be her godmother. Just as Marjorie had grown up exposed to music, Catherine and her two siblings were too.

Catherine remembers her mum’s story that while studying at Manchester University, she regularly attended performances of The Hallé Orchestra – a renowned English symphony orchestra based in Manchester under the baton of the great conductor Sir John Barbirolli. In the early 1970s when The Hallé toured overseas including a visit to Melbourne, Marjorie did not miss the opportunity to take her three children to hear them perform at Melbourne Town Hall.

Marjorie and Mary

Marjorie and Mary never had the opportunity to visit Melbourne Recital Centre together. Marjorie’s daughter Catherine believes they would have loved the Centre for its vibrant and diverse musical program. These two great friends are now ‘seated’ side by side in seats M21 and M22 in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall – commemorating their incredible life-long friendship and love of music in all its forms.

Catherine Heggen is one of Melbourne Recital Centre’s inaugural Name a Seat patrons. Naming a seat in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall is a unique way to honour a special person, commemorate a significant event, or simply celebrate a love of music.

To find out more about how you can Name a Seat in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, please contact Leonie Thompson, Philanthropy & Bequests Coordinator, on (03) 9207 2648 or

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