Our writers Graham Strahle and Jasmine Crittenden return in this issue and have filed loads of stories for your enjoyment. And our two new staff Andy Sarkozy and Clare Kenny now have their feet under the desks in our Erskineville office - you can meet them here.

Music Australia enews provides for your fortnightly music info fix.  Share your news and views, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in music from everywhere.

Chris Bowen






Data Drives the Music Business – but is it good for Music?

This story in The Atlantic charts data’s growth in music, its directions, and what it all means. Since start-up Shazam identified music digitally in 2002, music industry data use has increased exponentially. To the point that apps and services like this now “amounts to a real-time seismograph of the world’s most popular new music”. New York analytics company Next Big Sound has a program called Find that searches the digital world, for a fee, to identify artists with popular potential. But the risks can be repetitiveness, blandness and comforting familiarity.

Women Tired of Not Getting Creative Credit

Slate’s culture blog writes about how many women in music continue to face an uphill battle to receive fair recognition for their work in the industry. Artists including Björk, M.I.A., Taylor Swift and Solange Knowles recount all too familiar stories about assumptions, presumptions and prejudice. Says Björk, “Everything that a guy says once, you have to say five times.” Read the full story here.

UK Live Music Venue Challenges

Complete Music Update reports that some UK venues are facing significant challenges including difficulty attracting audiences, increased competition from pubs, and high royalties. Ironically some of the pressures are seen as resulting from The Live Music Act, designed to reduce barriers and foster live music, but according to some reports has resulted in greater competition from multiple small venues. The Music Venue Trust has documented some of these challenges in a recently published interim report available hereRead full CMU report here.




Crowd funding helps save Danish Orchestra

The Guardian tells the story of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra who didn’t take the cut of their government funding lying down. Their owner the Danish Broadcasting Corporation announced they were ceasing funding and closing the orchestra down due to budget cuts. However a successful crowd funding and fundraising campaign has been sufficient to keep the doors of the 75 year old orchestra open. Read the full story here.

Sandow shares excitement of Orchestra in a Club

US classical blogger Greg Sandow recently wrote of his experience witnessing the excitement of an audience seeing classical music in a Washington club. As he walked around during the eclectic performance by the National Symphony he noticed people shouting with excitement. He comments: “And so here’s a challenge — a next frontier — for our normal classical performances. Can we make people shout like that?”  Read full blog here and his follow-up reflections and ideas here.

In Praise of New Music – A 14 Point Guide

New York’s Curt Barnes shares how he appreciates contemporary art music, gleaned through his own work as a practising visual artist. “As a professional artist I’ve had a longstanding interest in music but no expertise in the subject whatever; I can’t read it or play any sort of instrument, just love listening. It occurred to me that my own involvement in the art world has helped me find connections with music…”  Read full post In Prufrock’s Dilemma here.






Music Australia Councillor Awarded and Arrested

Music Australia Councillor and leading country singer-songwriter Luke O’Shea was arrested on 27 January, following his participation in a protest at the Whitehaven Coal Maules Creek mine. Luke was charged with hindering machinery, and he and his father, 71-year-old Rick O’Shea, were charged with entering and remaining on enclosed land. During the protest, Luke locked himself to the controversial pump that has access to 85% of the High Security water (3 billion litres) drawn from the Namoi River, used to wash coal. 

The site of the pump is upon land once owned by the O’Shea family and Luke says “The action was taken to raise the awareness of the insane amount of freshwater used and wasted by coal and gas mining particularly in our key agricultural areas; as well as a shout out of support to the many struggling farmers and rural communities desperately calling out for our help!” Luke continues, "I'm a father of three, I'm a musician and I'm a school teacher, but I have to walk my talk,” he said, as quoted on the ABC website. “I have to look my kids in the eye and say I did what I could for Australia's future."
The weekend before, Luke blitzed the Country Music Awards, winning three Golden Guitars.Both he and Rick have been granted bail and will appear before Narrabri Local Court on Tuesday 24 February.
Image supplied by Frontline Action on Coal

FBi Radio Teams up with Jack Daniel’s on Live Performance Space

FBi Radio is set to expand its Redfern studio to include a live music space, thanks to sponsorship from the Jack Daniel’s Future Legends Initiative. For the first time in its twelve-year history, the station will be able to facilitate live-to-air performances. “Our listeners will be able to enjoy more exclusive content and will have the chance to get to know the station and the artists we feature, a little more intimately,” FBi Music Director Stephen Goodhew told  The Music. There are also plans to host events, featuring both local and international artists.

The Music Takes a Peek Inside The Basement’s Renovations

On 29 January, The Music published exclusive images of The Basement, where extensive renovations are in progress. When the venue officially re-launches later this month, it will feature a bigger stage, a new green room, a custom-designed sound system, improved acoustics and revamped seating. “Our goal from the outset wasn’t to reinvent the wheel but rather bring the production, facilities, decor and functionality of the room up to the world class standard that The Basement deserves,” booker Nathan Farrell told The Music.

Australian Musicians Hold Vigil For Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

On Thursday 29 January, a group of Australian musicians, including Megan Washington, Josh Pyke, Steve Kilbey (The Church), Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil), Glenn Richards (Augie March) and Julian Hamilton (The Presets) performed at the Music for Mercy vigil, held in Martin Place. Hosted by David Wenham, the event was a show of support for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who face death sentences for their involvement in the 2005 ‘Bali Nine’ heroin trafficking attempt.

Federal Arts Minister Reviews Visa Rules for Entertainers

The Government has released a Discussion Paper into visa rules for visiting entertainers as part of its red tap reduction agenda. These rules regulate how international artists perform in Australia. They seek to ensure that opportunities for Australian artists are not jeopardised. Options are proposed to make the process less complex. MEAA (Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance) are advocating vigorously against changes which they see as detrimental to Australian employment opportunities. Read Sydney Morning Herald report here. Submissions can be lodged here by 23 February. Let us know your view.




New opera faces lack of interest

Lyndon Terracini, Opera Australia’s artistic director, believes a lack of audience interest is killing new opera. In The Age he says: “With a number of contemporary composers, quite frankly, the public isn't interested in what they've got to say,” and he blames a lack of support from both the public and sponsors as reasons why Australian companies find it “extremely difficult” to present new works. OA’s $2 million production of The Rabbits, newly composed by Kate Miller-Heidke, opens in Perth on February 13.

ACO joins up with Spotify

The Australian Chamber Orchestra has announced it is partnering with music streaming service Spotify. The deal, which is the first time the platform has signed up an orchestra, will allow 20 years of archived performances to be accessible to users. Derek Gilchrist, ACO’s marketing manager, says streaming “is the way people are consuming music. It’s more accessible than downloading these days.” Spotify, which launched in Australia in 2012, claimed last year to have captured 70 percent of the local market.  

Full Melbourne season for Australian Brandenburg Orchestrae

This year, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for the first time presents a full season of six concerts in both Melbourne and Sydney. It represents a new stage in the 26-year-old company, founded in Sydney by artistic director Paul Dyer. Also on ABO’s horizon is establishing a National Centre for Baroque Excellence, but both Dyer and managing director Bruce Applebaum have indicated that finding a permanent home for the orchestra, with adequate rehearsal and administrative space, is critical to its future.

Classical music benefits from online meet-up groups

Classical music is a beneficiary of a growing trend towards social groups formed via the internet. Networking portal, for example, has dozens of music groups in multiple genres, including a claimed membership of 475 in its Sydney Classical, Opera and Jazz – Young Friends group, and 447 in the Melbourne Classical Music Appreciation Group. Brisbane Musical Theatre & Opera Lovers group boasts 80 members, and Perth Classical Music Lovers 58. Members usually organise group bookings or meet for meet for social chats.

Practice makes passionate

UK pianist Stephen Hough has written a passionate blog in The Telegraph entitled ‘Classical music: difficult, dangerous, disturbing. Young people stay away!’ In it he observes that whereas electric guitars and keyboards yield quick results for children, acoustic instruments require devoted practice. But he argues that this is a positive: “it seems to me that most young people relish a challenge … so why do we think that pretending classical music is 'easy' will gain us more youthful listeners or performers?”




Teaching music is stressful – but help is at hand

Not enough teacher training is directed towards the particular demands of teaching school music. This was observed from recent studies at the University of New South Wales that found “music is the subject that causes teachers the most stress in their teaching and is frequently neglected in NSW primary schools”. Kim Waldock, music educationist at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and Chair of Music Australia’s Education Advisory Group says the SSO’s TunED Up program is designed to address this and help boost teacher skills and confidence.

University of Melbourne Receives Grant for Music Therapy

A group of researchers at the University of Melbourne has received a grant to study the impact of song writing on the reconstruction of meaningful integrated identity for those with acquired spinal or brain injuries. The funding, worth $370,000 is for just over three years. The project is led by Associate Professor Felicity Baker RMT, Associate Professor Nikki Rickard, Professor Jennie Ponsford, Dr Jeanette Tamplin RMT and Professor Raymond MacDonald.

Ardoch Youth Foundation: Bringing Music to Corio

Ardoch Youth Foundation provides education support for children and young people experiencing disadvantage. Ardoch is involved in a new music education program in Corio (Geelong); using music to encourage learning and creativity and promoting the enjoyment of music.  Experienced volunteers are sought, to work with small groups of primary school students for 1 – 2 hours each week. Volunteers should have a passion for music and working with young people.




Nordoff Robbins Launches Into the New Year

Nordoff Robbins has launched into the New Year with an array of developments. 12 March will see the 17th annual Nordoff Robbins Music Quiz, to be held at Luna Park from 6pm. Tickets can be booked online. Next up, on 30 March, will be the Creative Connection Workshop, at Blaxland Community Centre. It’s an opportunity for community and health sector workers, as well as volunteers and carers, to learn about connecting with older adults through music. Finally, a new key-word sign choir has been launched. Rehearsals happen every Thursday between 4:15pm and 5:15pm at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.

New Study Shows Singing May Benefit Those with Parkinson’s Disease

An Iowa State University study by Assistant Professor in Kinesiology Elizabeth Stegemöller has demonstrated that singing can have an efficacious impact on those with Parkinson’s Disease. Results after regular weekly singing for two months indicated major improvements in pitch duration, volume and swallow control. “With people who have Parkinson’s disease, what you’re hoping for is maintaining these skills — because it’s a progressive disease,” Stegemöller said, on the University website. “If we can improve the voice, then maybe there’s hope to maintain that function a little bit longer.”

EOIs Wanted For New Music Therapy Course

The Melbourne Children's Applied Music and Neuroscience in Paediatrics (AMNIP) Group and the RCH Music Therapy Program have announced their intention to host the first Australian-based training program for the Music Therapy Assessment Tool for Awareness in Disorders of Consciousness (MATADOC) in May 2015. Before the course can go ahead, however, sufficient Expressions of Interest are needed. More information can be found here.

Bonnie Doon Music and Busker Festival 2015

The second Bonnie Doon Music and Busker Festival will be held 20-22 February at the Bonnie Doon Recreation Reserve. The programme features both professional artists and community musicians. Headliners include Geoff Achison, Lloyd Spiegel and Brothers3. Tickets, which are available online, vary in price from $20 for Friday evening to $70 for the weekend.




Competitions, Awards, Auditions



Expressions of Interest 2015

Art & About would love to hear from visual artists, curators, performers, collectives, filmmakers, musicians, writers, composers, theatre companies, producers, choreographers for their 2015 program. For  a copy of the brief and submission form visit  artandabout


2015 Hilltop Hoods Initiative

The HTH Initiative is a $10,000 cash incentive funded by Hilltop Hoods and APRA AMCOS to help emerging Australian Hip Hop and Soul artists to manufacture, market, and release an album.  Applications open Tuesday 20 January 2015, with entries closing Thursday 3 March 2015. 



Young Composers

An opportunity for composers under 30, all nationalities, to compose for symphony orchestra. Up to full double wind orchestra with brass and strings. 5 - 10 mins. Entry fee: AUS$ 70 each submission. Send score and parts by pdf, or by mail. This is an annual call for scores, so no deadline - a work will be selected by end of June each year for performance with the Sydney Youth Orchestra.


2015 Julian Cochran Piano Competition

The Julian Cochran Piano Competition is an international online event now open for registrations. It’s organised entirely online and welcomes all pianists from around the globe. The winner of the Competition will be invited to Warsaw for CD recording sessions at The Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio which is among the highest rated recording halls in Europe.


Jazz Bell Awards

Nominations for the Jazz Bell Awards, the only jazz-specific awards in Australia to acknowledge excellence in performance, creativity and presentation are now open.  Nominations close 11th February 2015




APRA Music Grant Funding

Every year APRA allocate a percentage of their revenue to fund hundreds of initiatives across the Australian and New Zealand music industry with their Music Grants program. The program invests in projects, events and organisations that support, develop and invest in their members’ music. Applications for the 2014/2015 funding round are now open. Visit the APRA AMCOS website for more info.



Queensland Community Foundation

The General Fund Grant Program 2015 is now open closing on 25 Feb 2015 for grants up to $30,000. A key objective is to assist organisations improve their capacity to provide community service initiatives. This funding round is to support organisations impacted by federal and state government funding reforms. Organisations in Queensland are invited to submit an Expression of Interest for initiatives that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of services in being more responsive to client needs and contend with contestability. 


Conferences & Seminars


MusicNSW Presents: Please 'Like' Me -  a Self-Promotion Seminar

10 February
MusicNSW are hosting a free seminar teaching musicians how to self-promote their creative projects. Held at 107 Projects in Redfern, a panel of Australia’s most accomplished music industry professionals – all under 25yo – will share their tips and tricks for how to promote yourself, your project and your career, plus what type of resources they used to generate their own projects, to carve a successful career from the ground up.

Melbourne Guitar Show Announced

8 - 9 August
The Australian Music Association in conjunction with Australian Musician is proud to present the Melbourne Guitar Show at Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse. Open to wholesalers, retailers, guitar makers and music organisations, the Australian Music Association is looking to grow the guitar community, educate and entertain. The Melbourne Guitar Show will feature the latest guitar related gear (which you’ll be able to purchase), performances by some of our finest guitarists and lots of informative demos and seminars.

Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing Conference

24 - 27 September
The 2015 ANATS National Conference, titled: "Singing Futures: Pedagogies, Practices and the Digital Age" will be held in Hobart, Tasmania this year. The conference title “Singing Futures” represents a range of topics following the themes of motivating singing teachers and singers,  one-to-one singing lessons and teaching in the private studio,  the realities of teaching group singing across styles,  research in voice and singing-related studies and incorporating technology in your teaching and business practice.





Adelaide Youth Wind Orchestra & Adelaide Youth Sinfoniae - Instrumental

ADYO have vacancies in the Adelaide Youth Wind Orchestra and Adelaide Youth Sinfonia for various instruments. For more information head to the ADYO website




Festival of Voices -
Operations Manager

Australia's premier Festival of the Voice in all its forms is looking for an Operations Manager to join their team. The Festival offers a world class program of workshops, concerts and events for people of all ages and abilities, presented by internationally renowned guest artists and vocal conductors.




Musical Creatures -
Music Teacher

Musical Creatures are the creators of a fresh, alternative music class for kids. We are looking for teachers to join our team nationwide, teach our songs and have fun at work! If you like to sing and have a good rapport with kids then this is the job for you!




102.5FM Fine Music -
Foundations & Grants Manager

Created by Music Lovers for Music Lovers - Fine Music 102.5 celebrates its 40th year as a community broadcaster and is the radio station that over 200,000 Sydney-siders and a world-wide audience tune in to every week for a vibrant mix of classical, jazz and contemporary music. For more info head to their website.




AEC (European Association of Conservatoires) -



The new CEO will build upon the prominent profile that AEC has established in Europe, acting as an advocate not only for the Association but for Higher Music Education (HME) as a whole.  Check their website for further info.



Queensland Music Festival - Marketing Coordinator

Queensland Music Festival is looking for a Marketing Coordinator to join their team. For more information contact QMF.



Opera Australia -
Operations Coordinator – Touring Outreach

Music for Opera Australia, Australia's largest performing arts company seek an Operations Coordinator for the Touring & Outreach department.



Black Arm Band -

Indigenous Associate Producer

The Indigenous Associate Producer (community programs and partnerships) plays a vital role in the delivery of a diverse program of new work, touring and artist development and community engagement.




Australian Youth Orchestra -

Patrons Program Manager

AYO is currently seeking an experienced Patrons Program Manager to join its committed Development team in Sydney. This part time role is ideal for a passionate relationship manager with an eye for detail and flair for events.

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