“It’s my job and it matters”

by Nicole Canham. Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 19 Issue 3 (May 2013)

Nicole Canham. Photo by Chris Canham

My research is concerned with the career pathways of successful independent artists. Most of my study participants have had classical music training, but the ways in which they have harnessed their training reflect varying approaches, beliefs and values when it comes to making an independent career.

Eighteen months after my Platform Paper, Democracy versus Creativity in Australian Classical Music, Dick Letts asked me if I would be interested in reflecting upon the content of that paper and whether my thinking had changed in the intervening time. Little has changed with regard to the views I put forward about new ways of audience building. Much has changed, though, through my own reflection as part of my doctoral studies at the University of Queensland.

Autocentrism, Xenophobia And Multicultural Music In Australia

by John Varney. Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 19 Issue 2 (February 2013)

As a musician with no bureaucratic or academic affiliation, but who has worked continuously for over 24 years in Australia in CALD contexts and has spent 11 years in Italy (where I studied contrabasso in Italian from an Italian maestro) and Colombia as a CALD musician himself, I have seen so many extremely gifted musicians attempt, for many years, to have their artistic talents rewarded, or at least recognized, in Australia and then, finally, give up and do something else, return to their countries of origin or accept the humiliation of joining some stereotype-driven exploitative context where, at least, they can earn something reasonable.

Why is this?

Principally, in my view it is because, on the topic of multicultural music, Australians, in general, just don’t care, whether at administrative, educative or audience levels. Those who do care are such a microscopic minority that they’re unable to make any significant difference.

Why don’t we care?

Backstabbing and Bastardry

by Simon Tedeschi. Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 19 Issue 2 (February 2013). This article first appeared in Fine Music, the magazine of 2MBS FM radio station, Sydney, and is published in Music Forum with the kind permission of Simon Tedeschi and 2MBS.

I’m a nice guy. But not for want of trying. Twenty-five years in this business has the tendency to reduce a man to a beast. Please don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining. I am one of the lucky few who get to play the very greatest of music and I am blessed. But if only that was the sum total of it.

Measuring Cultural Value

by Julianne Schultz. Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 19 Issue 2 (February 2013)

An address to the 19th Music Council of Australia Assembly, September 2012

Good afternoon – it is my great pleasure to be invited to speak to you this afternoon at the end of your important conference. I am particularly humbled to do so in this beautiful building which has been so central to the history of music making, learning and performance in Australia since it was first converted from stables to music school in 1916.

I mention the place because when we talk about culture – place is very important – place informs imagination, it can foster creativity, and a dedicated, well designed place can provide the room for talent and skill to be nurtured.

But this place is particularly special, and given my interest in the discussions about a National Cultural Policy over the past few years it is emblematic of the rich layering of Australian experience and identity which now shapes and informs our culture – which is no longer, if it ever were, singular.

The Relevance of Subsidy, Creativity, Ideas and...Making Music

Published in Music Forum magazine, Vol 19 Issue 2 (February 2013)

Annual Address for the Music Council of Australia | Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director, Opera Australia


Ladies and gentlemen. distinguished guests, friends.

Could I begin by acknowledging that we gather here tonight on the traditional lands of Aboriginal people.

This evening, I would like to talk about the relevance of subsidy or more importantly its function, creativity, ideas and...making music.

I will also make reference to the inherited funding structures which are in place and which influence our cultural life to a surprising degree, and which in turn shape our societies and communities.

I have had approximately 40 years of day to day hands on arts experience in Australia and in many countries and cities across the globe. I think I have enough knowledge and experience to be brave enough to say what I would like to say tonight, and I hope that what I do say will have some sort of resonance.