There was uproar five months ago when the vice-chancellor announced an end of classical teaching in Canberra. The former head of faculty high-tailed it off to Hong Kong, there were protests in Parliament and the university appeared to back down.
It didn’t, and it hasn’t. ANU’s (why do I place the apostrophe with such care?) musical hatchet man, Professor Ian Young, has got his way.
Here’s an exclusive report sent to Slipped Disc from inside the (former) School of Music. It goes some way further than local media reports.
The “Purge” of classical staff from the school was complete yesterday with the dismissal of the last three remaining teachers: Tor Fromhyr, harp teacher Alice Giles and Head of Keyboard Arnan Wiesel.
Of the 23 music staff in mid 2012 only 4 remain: 1 jazz sax player, 1 Jazz keyboard, 1 Jazz percussion and one musicologist. The irony of this is the Jazz course had been totally removed from the program and a ‘new’ curriculum has yet to be written.
Enrolments are expected to be down by 80% and the community of the national capital of Australia and musicians and educators around Australia are outraged. Personally I am shocked, completely devastated and totally bewildered by the finality of this brutal and unjustified action by those who can now only be considered cultural criminals who have betrayed the students, staff and community in which they pretend to exist.