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19 November 2008

Update on ANAM

Garrett announces funding for a new organisation

Update on ANAM

Update 11 December: see a more recent resonate news item on ANAM

Update 26 & 28 November: review and media links added
Update 30 November - latest development: news item in The Australian
Updates 2 December - news item 1 on ABC Online ; news item 2 on ABC Online

Arts Minister Peter Garrett has announced funding for an entirely new organisation dedicated to the training of classical musicians. Tuesday's announcement did not change the earlier decision to discontinue funding of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) beyond 2008, and the staff and the students of ANAM must now prepare for the closure of their institution as of 1 January 2009. According to the Minister's announcement, the new 'Australian Institute of Music Performance' will start operating in July 2009, in conjunction with the University of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts.

ANAM's campaign for continued funding intensified earlier this week in the form of an open letter to the Minister, signed by members of all nine of Australian's professional orchestras as well as well-known Australian and international artists, from Barry Humphries and Peter Carey to the Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee, American composer Elliott Carter and the British conductor Sir Simon Rattle. The Academy is also planning an 'Academy Celebration' concert for 28 November.

ANAM's artistic director Brett Dean has replied to the Minister's announcement publicly on the Academy's website, pointing out that the new plan is almost identical to ANAM's existing operations. What happens to ANAM's current and prospective students as well as the staff in early 2009 is, according to Dean, also far from resolved.

The South Melbourne-based Australian National Academy of Music was initiated in the early 1990s by the then prime minister, Paul Keating, to offer high-level training to young musicians aspiring to national and international careers. Federal funding of around $2.5 million per year has formed the bulk of the Academy's budget. The same amount of money is now allocated to the new institution.


Further links

Subjects discussed by this article:

As a national service organisation, the Australian Music Centre is dedicated to increasing the profile and sustainability of Australian composers and other creative artists. The AMC facilitates the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these artists through: composer and other creative artist representation and assistance; resonate – its online magazine; library and retail services; sheet music publishing; and the management, administration and publication of project-based initiatives. Its library collection holds over 30,000 items by more than 500 artists.


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