Going to Australia

I’ll be flying there on Thursday, arriving in Sydney Saturday, Australian time. On July 12 I’ll be speaking at a classical music summit, organized by the Music Council.of Australia. Not a public event, I’m sorry to say, though privacy is also a good idea, to focus discussion, and encourage people to speak simply and honestly.

Then I’ll be in Melbourne, on July 15, for at least one meeting organized by the Music Board of the Australia Council.

I’ll be staying in Sydney at the Four Seasons, and in Melbourne at the Travelodge Southbank. I’ve been in touch with so many Australians, here on the blog and on Facebook and Twitter. Some I know I’ll be seeing during my visit, but everyone else — feel free to get in touch! I’m thinking I may have some free time.

As usual, when I visit somewhere new to me, I expect to learn a lot. I’m flattered that some people I know in Australia think I have something useful to say to them, but I’ll offer one caveat, right now, before my visit: I can speak with some confidence about what’s going on with classical music in the US, but I don’t claim to know what’s happening in Australia, what problems they might (or might not) be having, and what solutions to their problems might be. I hope whatever distillation of US experience I can give them will be helpful.

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  1. says

    Hi Greg,

    My name is Julian Day. I’m a composer (Bang On A Can Summer Institute alumni and recent guest of the MATA Festival) as well as a radio broadcaster, hosting New Music Up Late on Australia’s classical station ABC Classic FM.

    I’ll be at the Summit in Sydney so I may see you there. If you have time I wonder if you would come into our studios for a brief interview? I know that your outlook is on classical music in general, however I wonder if you have angles that relate specifically to contemporary composers and the new music scene?

    Let me know if your schedule would allow for a half hour trip to our studio in Sydney’s CBD, perhaps next Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.

    Take care,


    Julian, for much of my career I’ve been a new music specialist. I’ll get back to you about this privately. Thanks for the invite!

    Julian Day

    ABC Classic FM


  2. says

    I should be at this (as a counsillor on the MCA), but can’t as I’m just en route from New York. I will be sending some thoughts – a collection of us are wondering about how to address the issue of funding.

    I spent 10 years as an orchestral bassist but now play in independent music (with a quintet and in other things) and am struck by the different return on investment with funding small organisations vs funding orchestras and opera.

    In Australia, those who might be termed “creative musicians” – improvisers, those playing adventurous new things, genre hoppers etc etc – struggle to get by, doing miracles on a shoestring. Saxophonist Sandy Evans has started an idea in her 2008 Peggy Glanville-Hicks address (http://www.newmusicnetwork.com.au/PGH/SE08.html) that I think would be good to have on the table at the MCA summit – finding ways to make careers viable for those playing new music.

    It’s important to keep asking why the funding for heritage musical arts from Europe (playing under 5% new and/or Australian music) is well over ten times the total pool available for other music in the Australia Council’s funding.

    I don’t want to frame this as a competition, or as an attack on classical music. But the issue of fostering creative music (for want of a better term) is bound up with furthering classical music – both issues need to be solved together.

  3. says

    I’d be very interested to learn if you have any plans to come to Europe in the near future :)

    Might be there the second week in October. Would be happy to speak, meet people, whatever.