Some diversity reflections this week - from research into sustaining traditional communities to diversity on concert stages, to this short video with PM Justin Trudeau on  diversity in Canadian schools. There’s much to do to promote cultural, gender and all forms of diversity. What has always struck me in music, is if our practice and audiences fully reflect our country’s diversity, we optimise our artistic and cultural potential. Makes sense doesn’t it?

As always, share your news, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter so we can give you the latest music news from out there.
Chris Bowen
Music Australia




Culture Minister calls for more diversity in British Orchestras

UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has called for orchestras to more fully reflect the diversity of the British community. He told the Association of British Orchestras conference that a lot more can be done. Full story


Classical music is “more popular than ever”, claims US composer

Classical music is as strong in the public mind as it has ever been, thinks young US composer Trevor Kowalski. He argues that it has migrated away from the concert hall into film, television and video games.  Full story





Classical music attendances down by 13 percent in 2014

Australian classical music attendances dropped by thirteen percent in 2014. Despite this decline, Australian companies are relatively stable. Meanwhile there is increasing evidence of ageing and declining global audiences. Full story



Classical Reflections – what do trends mean for the future?

Recent data showing a sharp drop in Australia classical attendances gave us cause to stop and think. Is there a problem, and if so would we benefit from a national conversation – and plan? Full story



Robert Stigwood remembered through South Australian Fellowship

Tributes poured in last month for expatriate Australian music entrepreneur Robert Stigwood who died on 5 January. His memory lives on through the innovative Robert Stigwood Fellowship, supporting artists from his home State of South Australia. Full story

Call out for Artist Managers and Self-Managed Artists

The Association of Artist Managers (AAM) is researching the backgrounds and needs of Australians managing bands and artists, and encourages all Australian managers and artists to get behind it. Responses are anonymous and open to band/DJ/artist managers across all genres, as well as artists managing their own careers. “This is the first ever comprehensive study of Australian managers, and the results will be used to provide a much needed understanding of the management sector”, says AAM Co-Chair, Rick Chazan. The survey is open until FRI 12 FEB.
Complete the survey

I LOVE LIVE MUSIC 60 second film competition

I LOVE LIVE MUSIC 60 second film competition shines the spotlight on Australian contemporary live music, bringing filmmakers and local musicians together. Full story


Amy Dickson named Young Australian Achiever of the Year

Sydney saxophonist Amy Dickson has been awarded Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK. It comes after the release earlier in January of her sixth album, Island Songs, with works by Sculthorpe, Dean and Edwards. Full story


Competition for new guitar work doubles its prize money 

Initiated in 2014, the Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition is now offering over $3,000 in prize money. Entries close in June, and Withers will perform the winning entry at the National Arboretum Canberra in November. Full story




Help Write the Biggest Song of 2016!

How many people get to have their song sung by 560,000 people across the entire country – at the same time!? The Music: Count Us In National Songwriting Competition is open and Music Australia is welcoming entries from all Australian school students.  Full story

U2 commits $7.6M to Ireland’s national music education program

U2 has donated the takings from its Innocence + Experience concerts in Dublin in November towards Ireland’s Music Generation music education program. The program offers singing and instrumental tuition to young people in a broad range of musical styles.  Full story

Fundraising ideas for local community music schools

A community music school in Pennsylvania has held its sixth annual Soup Cook Off to generate funds. Trophies were awarded for the best soups prepared by local restaurants. Other fundraising ideas include spaghetti dinners, spelling bees and blind auctions. Full story




Saving endangered musical cultures – the remarkable Sustainable Futures project

How can diverse and rich musical cultures be sustained in times of global change with multiple traditions under threat?  A group of Australian led international researchers have come up with some answers, and a website with rich resources. Full story




Competitions & Awards


Unsigned Only Competition

Unsigned Only is open to solo artists, bands, and singers not signed to a major label record company. All songs entered from Feb 1-15, 2016 will be eligible for the Win Some Love special promotion and a share in almost $7,000 in prizes (these are separate to the overall competition prizes). The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $20,000.

I LOVE LIVE MUSIC 60 second film competition

The Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN) has joined the Live Music Office and the St Kilda Film Festival to present a national awareness campaign about the importance of contemporary live music to the lives of everyday Australians.  Applications close 1 April.


BluesFest Busking Competition

The Competition is about giving an opportunity to artists to deliver their music to an otherwise unattainable audience from an international Bluesfest following. Applications close 29 February.

Airlie Beach Music Festival – International Songwriting Competition

Songwriters are invited to write a love song about the Whitsundays. The competition will run from now until 7 May 2016 to find the best song and we are offering $5000 prize money to the winning song-writer!

Fanfare Competition – Call for submissions

8 young artists + 8 compositions = Sydney Opera House 
Open to young people aged 12-21 years to write a short 30 second composition to assist calling people to their seats at the Sydney Opera House. Complete the submission form online before 23 May 2016.

Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition 2016

The second Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition with the support of a leading Australian Composer as well as over $1500 worth of cash and prizes on offer.

Forte 2016 - International Inter-School Music Competition

A unique international music school competition bringing together students 12yrs & above across the world. Fabulous prizes to winning performances.

London International A Cappella Choral Competition

25 Jun - 1 Jul 2017
The third London International A Cappella Choral Competition, in association with Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars is now welcoming applications.

Basel Composition Competition(BCC)

16-19 Feb 2017
The BCC is open to composers of all ages and nationalities and welcomes new, non-premiered orchestral works. Ten of which shall be shortlisted by jury. Applications close 31 March 2016. 


Folk Alliance Australia: Young Artist of the Year Award

Designed to promote the profile of young performers (25 & under) and introduce, support and encourage them to the next level of their development. The winner will receive 12 months of development support and the opportunity to perform at national festivals. Applications close 8 Feb. 

Melbourne Prize for Music 2016 & Awards - Registrations of interest now open

With over $120,000 in prizes and awards available, all music genres will be eligible.  An exciting new category will be added for 2016. Open to Victorian residents only, further information will be available early in the New Year.  


Programs, Workshops & Masterclasses


Grant Writing Workshop, South Australia

4 Feb
Access2Arts is bringing together Project Officers from three funding organisations and three artists who have had funding success will join us for a series of focused group discussions that unpack how successfully apply for grants.

St Kilda Festival - Live N Local Artist Development Program

7-13 Feb
St Kilda Festival hosts a free Artist Development Program including panel talks, workshops and networking events to support emerging Australian artists break into the music scene. RSVPs are essential.

2016 Sydney Eisteddfod - Call for entries

Entries close 14 Mar
Performance opportunities and scholarships for aspiring and emerging performing artists in the categories of Classical Singing, Contemporary Singing, Choirs, Piano, Instrumental Solos, Instrumental Groups, Speech & Drama and Dance.

Jazz by Jazz Musicians Workshop

19 Mar
This workshop will demonstrate how high school music teachers can use the eBook to develop improvisation skills in the classroom, and will help teachers to develop lesson plans and engaging activities for jazz ensemble work. Accredited by BOSTES.

Australian Copyright Council Seminar Program

9 May – 6 Sep
Australian Copyright Council seminars are presented by experts in the field of copyright law who are up-to-date with the latest policies, laws and applications of copyright.


Conferences, Events, Seminars


Notable Values - 21C Music Careers

21st Century  Music Careers: A seminar for parents of music students interested in undertaking tertiary education.  For more information, email Susan de Weger

Music SA Forum – Get Your Kit Together

23 Feb
Music SA and APRA AMCOS present “Get Your Kit Together” which is part of a series of professional development forums aimed at tooling up South Australian musicians and industry practitioners

Audiocraft, Sydney

5 Mar
Audiocraft is a one day conference for radio producers, podcasters and documentary storytellers to come together and talk, listen, and learn about making great stories with sound.

Culture Business: The Art of Fundraising Conference Sydney

22-23 Mar
Culture Business conference, held in Australia for the first time. Organised by Paris based arts agency Agenda Communication.

ITAC3 Conference – Call for Proposals due 22 February

3-5 Aug
ITAC3 Conference brings together artists, organisations, funders and researchers from all over the world to explore key issues relating to participatory arts practice through an inspiring mix of curated conversations, practical workshops, keynote speeches, seminars and round-table discussions. More information on submitting a proposal here.

Australian Performing Arts Market 2016

22-26 Feb
APAM is the leading biennial industry event for contemporary performing arts from Australia and New Zealand.

International Live Music Conference (ILMC)– London

3-6 Mar
ILMC is the leading annual gathering of professionals involved in the global touring, festival and live entertainment industries.

Four Winds Festival

22-27 Mar
Exquisite Music. Exhilarating Place. Four Winds 2016 Easter Festival, Bermagui
With 80 artists, 21 events and 33 performances the Four Winds 2016 Easter Festival will bring six days of exquisite music to this beautiful part of the world. There is something for everyone a for music enthusiasts of all ages.

Brighton Music Conference

14-15 Apr
The UK's leading electronic dance music conference, for the industry by the industry. Tickets on sale now for Brighton Music Conference 2016.

Music Cities Convention - Brighton, UK

May 18
The Music Cities Convention is the world's most extensive conference series exploring new ideas and strategies between music and music industry development and issues surrounding city planning, diversity, employment, education, transportation, regulation and urban quality of life.

Classical: Next – Rotterdam, Netherlands

25 – 28 May
The Global meeting of art music innovators. Australian stand and presence with Sounds Australia, and special discounts for Australian delegates. Contact us at Music Australia for more information

Melbourne International Singers Festival 2016

Jun 9-13
Email us now to register your interest to workshop with Kirby Shaw, sing in any of our fabulous Festival events or feature your choir at Melbourne International Singers Festival 2016!

32nd ISME World Conference – Glasgow

An array of concerts featuring some of the world’s most exciting music from across the globe. Keynote speakers, researchers and practitioners will stimulate ways of thinking that are sure to impact your own practice and research. 

ISME  - Pre Conference: "IMAGINE THE FUTURE: Everyone Plays Music"

23-23 Jul
Commission on Special Music Education and Music Therapy 

ISME – Community Music Activity (CMA) International Seminar

Theme: Innovation and Change in Community Music. The seminar will bring together community music practitioners and scholars to celebrate and explore the music-making practices, pedagogies, and cultural politics that are currently shaping community music throughout the world.


SXSW Music 2016 

SXSW, the world’s biggest music market and conference, can - if right for you - be the place to reach the next rung of the ladder. 2,000 acts from numerous countries, and a plethora of genres perform each year. 

Australia Council for the Arts Marketing Summit 2016 - Save the Date

9-10 Jun

Australian Songwriters conference

10-13 Jun
The ASC focuses on the craft and business of songwriting and attracts writers from across Australia and internationally. Registrations are now open




Art & About – City of Sydney

The City of Sydney seeks Expressions of Interest for the Art & About Sydney 2016/17 program. Ideas and proposals are welcome from all art disciplines. EOI’s close 3 March

Australia Council for the Arts February Funding Round

Applications close on 2 February for the following funding programs:

Music Works Grants - Creative Victoria

Designed to support opportunities for Victoria’s contemporary music industry through three key areas: Creating Content, Building Capacity and Connecting to Markets. There are two major funding rounds per year, offering funding from $2,500 up to $75,000. The next round will open 11 January and close 10 February. 


Performers' Trust Foundation

The PPCA Performers' Trust Foundation provides grants to promote and encourage music and the performing arts. The grants provided are non-recurring and can be used to cover tuition fees, travel costs, accommodation and venue hire/ PA hire. 

Twenty-Three Days at Sea: A Travelling Artist Residency – Open Call

Access Gallery, in partnership with Burrard Arts Foundation, invites submissions for the second year of its Travelling Artist Residency Program, Twenty-Three Days at Sea. Twenty-Three Days at Sea grants selected emergent visual artists passage aboard cargo ships sailing from Vancouver, Canada to Shanghai.  Deadline 15 February.

James Morrison Jazz Scholarship

The “James Morrison Jazz Scholarship” is open to solo instrumentalists to further the jazz career of the successful entrant. The winner will receive $10,000 to assist in the development of their career. Applicants must be not older than 19 years as at 1st January 2016. Applications close 4 March.

Josh Pyke Partnership

APRA AMCOS, in conjunction with Josh Pyke, is bringing back the Josh Pyke Partnership for 2016, awarding a lucky Australian musician with a $7500 grant to kick-start their music career! Entries Close 31 March. 




Australian Brandenburg Orchestra – Assistant Box Office Manager

The main purpose of this role is to assist the Box Office manager in managing day-to-day operations of the Brandenburg Box Office and Ticketing services, staff supervision, and data management. Applications close 10 February.

Opera Australia

Has three positons currently vacant. Applications close 12 February.

University of Queensland - Lecturer in Music Psychology

The University of Queensland is seeking to appoint a Lecturer in Music Psychology to join the The School of Music.

The Australia Council for the Arts – Marketing Coordinator

The Australia Council for the Arts is seeking to appoint a Marketing Coordinator to support the delivery of high quality integrated marketing and communications. Applications close 10 February


City Recital Hall – Concert and Event Managers

City Recital Hall Sydney is seeking to appoint two concert and event managers. Applications close 11 February. 

ICE- Producer, Multicultural Women’s Hub

Applications close 11 February
Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) is seeking an experienced Co-ordinator / Producer to guide the development and implementation of a multi-venue, cross-regional Multicultural Women’s Hub Program.

Mandurah Performing Arts Centre- Development Manager

Applications close 5 February
Mandurah Performing Arts Centre is seeking to appoint a dynamic person with a strong commitment to business development and fundraising to enable the Centre to gather the resources to develop our new vision of becoming a leading Centre for the Arts in Australia.

AMPA - Senior Lecturer in Music

The Academy of Music and Performing Arts (AMPA) has an opportunity for a Senior Lecturer with expertise in, at minimum, one of the following areas: Music History, Harmony and/or Musicianship.




Opera in the Park - WA

6 Feb
Join West Australian Opera for evening of with Puccini’s comic opera Gianni Schicchi.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust And the Spiders from Mars, Brisbane Powerhouse, QLD

6 – 9 Feb
Originally conceived to celebrate this incredible album and David Bowie’s beautiful music, now also a loving tribute

Andrew Bukenya Presents: Strictly Soul 2016 Mardi Gras Edition - NSW

13 Feb
From Serious soul, fierce Funk filled anthems n'delicious disco, to hip hop, soulful house and beyond..the ONLY one stop party shop for all things RnB related during Mardi Gras.; Come Down to Get Down with your returning spin doctors, all of whom have contributed to the musical ethos of STRICTLY since it's inception.

St Kilda Festival, VIC

14 Feb
With swag of artists including Hayden James, The Grates, Client Liaison, Gurrumul, Felix Riebl, The Harpoons and The Bombay Royale, the St Kilda foreshore is once again set to be jam packed with more than 400,000 festival-goers.


White Night Melbourne - VIC

20 February

Australian Blues Music Festival- Goulburn,  NSW

11-14 February


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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