Sydney Festival Director joins our Classical Futures Panel!
Lieven Bertels, Sydney Festival Director since 2013, joins a talented panel for our Music Talks seminar on Fri 6 June.  You can read our interview with Lieven Bertels below. Part of Vivid Ideas, we’re presenting this seminar to explore future trends and directions for classical and art music. Book now for this lively session at Erskineville Town Hall.

As always, share your news, and for more, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in music news from out there
Chris Bowen CEO
Music Australia





Remarkable story of an orchestra in a school in a housing estate

Eight years ago, the city orchestra in Bremen Germany moved their rehearsal rooms into a local comprehensive school. This has led to a remarkable transformation for students from an area known for poverty and crime. Full Story



Digital music equals physical in annual global sales

The annual Global Digital Music Report shows that global recorded music revenues may be stabilising, the inexorable rise of streaming continues, and Australian artists appear in the top ten lists. Full Story





Perth Venue Action Launches Its First Survey

Perth Venue Action, a new group dedicated to improving the city’s live performance scene, is asking musicians, promoters and music lovers to complete its first survey. Full Story

Research into Mental Health Issues in the Entertainment Industry

Entertainment Assist is asking entertainment professionals to participate in a confidential, digital survey, as part of a world-first research project into mental health and the Australian entertainment industry. Full Story

James Power Becomes Live Booking Director for the Melbourne Pub Group

After six years at the Hi-Fi trio of venues, James Power has announced his move to the Melbourne Pub Group, whose portfolio includes the Prince Bandroom, Cellar Bar and the Prince of Wales Public Bar. Full Story

Smith’s Alternative to Re-Open Under New Owner

After going into liquidation last month, Canberra’s Smith’s Alternative has found a new owner, enabling the long running venue to continue. Full Story

Australia's copyright industries now 4th biggest in economy 

The Australian Copyright Council’s latest report on how Australia’s Copyright Industries contribute to the economy shows they employ over 1 million people and deliver economic value over 100 billion per annum. Full Story



Composer Jon Rose hits out at Gallipoli centenary flag-waving

Experimental violinist composer Jon Rose has stood out against much of the flag waving that has accompanied this year’s centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, and has written a provocative new work that marks the so-called Battle of Broken Hill. Full Story

Opera is no place for experimentation

Martin Buzacott has written that the opera stage is “no place for experimentalists”, and warns that the National Opera Review might end up only reviving “the perennial ‘buy Australian’ campaign in opera-politics”.  Full Story

Lieven Bertels: reflections on festivals, opera and orchestras

Lieven Bertels, artistic director of the Sydney Festival, shares his insights into festival programming and offers observations on opera and on Australia’s orchestras who he feels should specialise and tour across Australia more. Full Story

Sydney Symphony partners with Shanghai SO and Academy

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has entered an agreement with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Shanghai Orchestra Academy that will see it provide mentoring and performance opportunities to Chinese students in Shanghai and Sydney. Full Story

Toby Thatcher named Sydney Symphony’s newest assistant conductor

Toby Thatcher is the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s newly appointed Assistant Conductor. The 26 year-old, who studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, will be mentored by SSO Chief Conductor David Robertson and the orchestra’s visiting conductors.  Full Story





Sydney Conservatorium of Music loses its head

Just days away from celebrating its centenary, Sydney Conservatorium of Music has been given notice that its head, Professor Karl Kramer, intends to quit his position as Dean and Principal. He cites “personal and family reasons”. Full Story


Powerful new manifesto may hold key to better music education

Creative Schools, a new book by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica, advocates a radical rethink of how children are taught in UK schools. Its ideas might hold the key to developing better ways of teaching music. Full Story




The Boite Invites Vocalists to Join a Georgian Mixed Choir

The Boite is rehearsing a Georgian mixed choir, directed by Nino Tsitsishvilli and Joseph Jordania, for a performance in Carlton in June. Full Story


Community Music Victoria & Urban Lyrebirds Join Forces 

Community Music Victoria and Urban Lyrebirds have partnered to establish a professional development program for EAL teachers, promoting the use of singing in the teaching of English. Full Story




Competitions, Workshops


International Songwriting Competition

ISC is an annual song contest whose mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena. Details here


CHASS Australia Distinctive Work Prize

For a performance, exhibition, project or policy development in any Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) field. A $3,500 cash prize is awarded to the recipient, sponsored by Routledge. Guidelines on the CHASS website.


Musical Futures FREE Songwriting workshops for teachers 

Music Australia in partnership with Musical Futures Australia is offering a FREE nationwide program of Songwriting for Teachers in 2015. Details here

ASME – Music & the Brain: Using research to advocate for music education

13 Jun
This workshop is a must for music teachers in all contexts – primary, secondary, school instrumental and studio teachers.  Details here

Film music masterclass with Guy Gross

13-20 Jun
A unique opportunity to work with one of Australia’s leading film composers, Guy Gross. Held over two sessions, Guy will explore different aspects of writing music for film, and provide an opportunity for participants to score their own film segment, with valuable feedback provided. Details here

WotOpera Masterpiece workshops for young people

22-26 Jun
WotOpera  and Sydney-based opera company Pinchgut Opera offer an introductory workshop with WotOpera  followed by attending Pinchgut Opera’s dress rehearsal to see firsthand how a professional company works. Details here


Conferences, Seminars, Events


Australian Copyright Council – National Seminars

May-Sep nationwide
Practical and informative seminars to assist people dealing with content in the digital age. Information and bookings here



Australia Council – Marketing Summit 2015

1-2 Jun

Marketing Summit 2015 – Audiences: Yours, Mine, Ours will be held in Cairns at the Tanks Arts Centre. Over the two days the Summit will explore audiences through a number of different lenses, as well as provide a range of networking and professional development opportunities. Registrations close 22 May.

Maryborough Music Conference

9-12 Jul
The largest and most highly regarded music education conference in Australia is expected to attract more than 900 primary, secondary and instrumental music teachers to Maryborough this year. Program and registration information is available here.


Little BIGSOUND - Music Industry Conference For Young People

27 Jul
Now in its 5th Year Little BIGSOUND will take place at The Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane. An offshoot of BIGSOUND this one-day forum for young people aged 15 - 25 is the ultimate grounding for those looking to break into the music industry. Registrations are now open to attend.

Essentially Ellington Teachers Conference 2015

8-9 Aug
Presented by the Jazz at Lincoln Centre in partnership with the Jazz Music Institute (JMI).  Led by members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, teachers will get first-hand knowledge from the masters of jazz performance and education. Register here


Big Sound 2015

Artist applications are now open for BIGSOUND Live 2015. Australian and international artists have the rare chance to perform in front of some of the most influential figures in the international music industry by showcasing at BIGSOUND. Closing Date 15th May. Apply here.


Intune Darwin 2015

26-27 Jun
Intune is the premier music conference for musicians and music industry in the Northern Territory. Registrations are now open.


Kodaly VIC Autumn Seminar 2015: Melbourne

15 - 16 May
This professional development seminar for music educators offers excellent practitioners and innovative resources for Australian classrooms.   A range of workshops can enrich your teaching and increase your skills in musicianship; aural training; teaching materials; choral repertoire and Kodaly pedagogy.  Registration and information here

12th Australasian Pedagogy Piano Conference 2015

6-10 Jul
The APPC conference brings together pianists, teachers, students, scholars, piano enthusiasts and composers from all over Australia and beyond. Register here.

 7th Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition 2015

11-19 Jul
A prestigious event held every four years, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition is a launching pad for piano trios and string quartets to a performing career on the world stage.   Book your tickets here to see the finalists in concert.

Sounds Great 2015 – Victorian Music Education Biennial Conference

15 -18 Jul
Music educators in all stages of their careers will benefit from attending this conference with streamed sessions for primary and secondary teachers in classroom and instrumental settings, directors of music, ensemble directors, and music technology novices and experts. More information here



TUTTI 2016: 18th National Conference of Orff Schulwerk

Jan 2016
This is a conference for music educators working in schools, colleges, child care, tertiary education or music therapy. Registration information here.        



ASME National Conference: Adelaide

30 Sep – 2 Oct
Conference theme - Music: Educating for Life
ASME 2015 highlights the value of music learning in formal and non-formal contexts. Includes keynote speakers (Richard Gill OAM, Katie Wardrobe and Professor Graham Welch), workshops from leading educators, performances, and a young composers component. Call for Papers deadline 31 March 2015.  Registrations and information here





AMP’s Tomorrow Fund

AMP’s Tomorrow Fund supports Australians with a desire to make a difference, passionate about creating something special, inspiring others, solving community problems or lifting spirits with their music, art or words.  Grants of $10,000 and $100,000 help with costs such as travel, living expenses and research – or whatever it takes to achieve your dream. Applications close on 14 May.  

National Library of Australia – Creative Arts Fellowships

The National Library offers three Fellowships to support practising writers and artists to develop new work creatively using or inspired by the Library’s collections. Applications close July 30, 2015.

APRA AMCOS  - Music Grants Program

APRA AMCOS music grants program invest in projects, events and organisations that support, develop and invest in our members’ music. Applications are open now and close on 31 May.

Australia Council for the Arts – 2015 Grants

Australia Council has developed a new grants model which will support a diverse range of artists, artistic practice, organisations and arts activity. Details here     

DFAT - Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program

DFAT’s cultural diplomacy strategy aims to engage overseas audiences through the delivery of high-quality and innovative arts and cultural promotions. Details here


Australia Council of the Arts - Peggy Glanville Hicks Residency

Applications are now open for the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Residency in 2016. Details here


Murray Arts – Funding Information Sessions

Murray Arts will present two Funding Information Sessions in partnership with Regional Arts NSW and Regional Arts Victoria, to clearly outline the funding opportunities available across both States. Details here




Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia – General Manager

The Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia (SIPCA) is seeking a General Manager to be based in Sydney. Details here

Musica Viva – Digital Content Assistant

Musica Viva Australia, the world’s largest chamber music entrepreneur, seeks a versatile Digital Content Assistant. Details here

Sydney Opera House - Digital Coordinator – Talks & Ideas

This role is responsible for the creation of great digital content with a focus on video and for the implementation of digital and social media initiatives.  Details here

International School of Western Australia – Head of Music

The International School of Western Australia "ISWA" is currently seeking to employ a Head of Music to create and manage the school's Music offering. Email your Expressions of interest, with brief overview here.

Queensland University of Technology - Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in Music and Sound - The School of Media.

Entertainment and Creative Arts seeks an energetic senior scholar to join its ranks at the Senior Lecturer or Associate Professor level within the Music and Sound discipline. Details here

Sistema Aotearoa – Music Director

Sistema Aotearoa is seeking an inspirational and visionary Music Director to lead the musical development of New Zealand’s foremost El Sistema programme. More information

ANAM – Artistic Director

The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) wishes to appoint an Artistic Director who can provide exceptional leadership to Australia’s pre-eminent music performance training institution. Details here

Arts on Tour – Touring Coordinator

AOT are looking for an amazing person to come join their team and make our touring world go ‘round! Contact AOT for a job pack.




Our favourite upcoming events and performances from our community.

Journey through Folk, Jazz and Romance

Journey through a varied program including gypsy folk inspired music, piano virtuosity with both Jazz and Classical inspiration and finally the famous theme and variations from Elgar. Ticket information 

Internationally renowned Australian piano virtuoso – Zubin Kanga

9 May, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Zubin play the piano with the assistance of various multimedia platforms (electronics, computer interaction and film), and will explode any preconceptions of what is possible in a ‘solo’ piano recital. More Information 

Four Winds Presents:  Tony Backhouse A Cappella Workshops 

21-24 May 2015 - Windsong Pavilion, Bermagui, NSW
Black gospel and related styles for the beginner and experienced singer. Bookings and Information here

Second beatbox concert announced in QSOCurrent program

16 May – Brisbane Powerhouse, QLD
Due to high demand for tickets, a second QSO & Tom Thum concert has been announced as a part of the breakthrough QSOCurrent program in May. More information  

'Schizy Week Jam'

17-18 May - Northcote Social Club, Victoria
2 day multimedia and live music event in Northcote (Vic) to help raise awareness for schizophrenia. More information

Melbourne International Singers Festival

5-8 Jun
Now in its 6th year, the Melbourne International Singers Festival presents a range of artist guests, choirs and individual singers. Register interest here.

Australian Festival of Chamber Music, QLD

31 Jul-8 Aug
The Australian Festival of Chamber Music will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with an extraordinary nine day program. More information

Share your events here for consideration in Our Picks.


Key Supporters 

· Australia Council for the Arts
· The Australian Government through the Dept of Education & Training
· City of Sydney
· Clipper Property Group
· Thomson Geer Lawyers
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