Christine will be teaming up with the Australian Chamber Choir to give pre-concert talks about the Venetian Musical Orphanages to celebrate the performance of a newly-uncovered work by Agata della Pieta, performed for the first time outside Venice. Bookings:

Sunday 24 April 2022, 1.45pm, St John’s Church Flinders

Saturday 30 April 2022, 1.45pm, Church of the Resurrection, Macedon

Sunday 1 May 2022, 1.45pm, Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, Geelong

Saturday 7 May 2022, 1.45pm, The Scot’s Church, Melbourne

‘Christine Balint’s lyrical writing and depth of research into this fascinating, little-known period of history paints a vivid picture of convent life and the pressures faced by young women of the time.’ — Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, The Age.

‘Christine Balint writes about music with quiet authority. Water Music offers an intimate understanding of art’s power to uphold and direct a life.’ — Michelle de Kretser, winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction.

Water Music Book Trailer created using Adobe Spark

In eighteenth-century Venice, orphan Lucietta is raised by a fisherman’s family yet supported by a secret benefactor to study music. At 16, she takes up her position at the Derelitti Convent, one of the prestigious musical orphanages for girls, playing the violin in the ensemble and training the younger musicians. Confronted by her benefactor’s plans for her life, Lucietta uncovers the true legacy of the women who came before and her role in bridging the past.

Water Music is a work of literary historical fiction, examining the little-known system of patronage that existed in Venice between 1400 and 1797. Girls of any class or background could be given a full-time musical education leading to a career in music, if they passed an audition. In many cases, this allowed impoverished girls to earn income and establish a career or save for a dowry—enabling them to forge a fruitful life. Meticulously researched and evocatively drawn, Water Music will transport you to the final years of the Venetian Republic.

A winner of the 2021 Viva la Novella prize, Water Music is now available from independent Australian bookshops and online.

Christine is available to speak to book groups and school groups via Zoom. Please email for more information.