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Australian Composers Orchestral Forum (ACOF)

By giving emerging composers the opportunity to develop a piece with a professional orchestra, a sympathetic conductor, ACOF played a significant role in the development of Australia's orchestral repertoire.

ACOF ran between 1980-2005 and leaves a significant legacy, with more than 100 composers having benefited from the experience of being a participant, resulting in the development of countless new works, and helping to launch the careers of orchestral composers.

Many of these composers are now amongst Australia's best known. In fact, the list of previous participants and tutors, that includes Carl Vine, Elena Kats-Chernin, Graeme Koehne, and Andrew Schultz, reads like a Who's Who of Australian Composition.

Originally called the Young Composers' Summer School, the project began in 1980 as a joint venture between the Australian Music Centre, the Music Board of the Australia Council, and the ABC.

At the time, the project provided the only opportunity for emerging composers to work with a professional orchestra. Over the last twenty-five years, almost all the professional orchestras in Australia have hosted ACOF at some stage. Many of these orchestras have now established their own composer development programs (such as the Melbourne Symphony's Cybec and the Tasmanian Symphony's Composers' School), and there is a much wider range of opportunities for emerging composers to hone their orchestral compositional craft.

The Australian Music Centre is grateful to the Music Board of the Australia Council for its support for ACOF over the years. The Centre is also particularly grateful to Symphony Australia for their involvement in and commitment to ACOF. We will continue to be involved in providing advice and assistance in support of Symphony Australia's Artist Development Programs, and to any organisation involved in composer development projects.

We hope to add archival documentation of recent ACOF projects to this website in the near future.