23 October 2012
Michael Kieran Harvey calls for tax dollars exclusively for Australian content
Update 6 November - full transcript of the address is now available.
Pianist and composer Michael Kieran Harvey has used his Peggy Glanville-Hicks address to call for more Australian music to be performed by Australian orchestras, and more Australians to conduct these orchestras. He also demanded more emphasis on music education in schools and all other music-aligned bodies.
Harvey singled the Australian Music Centre out as an organisation that should receive direct federal funding in the same way as the National Film and Sound Archive, and the National Library of Australia. The level of public funding for orchestras and opera should, in his opinion, be made dependent on Australian content in season programs - the current percentage of stage time devoted to Australian works being about 7%.
Harvey was particularly passionate when speaking against competitiveness in music and went on to call for a boycott of all music competitions. 'They are an unnecessary evil', he said, and suggested a ban on Australian taxpayers' dollars being used to fund music and opera 'beloved of white supremacists', as well as a ban on Australian tax dollars being used to fund 'international artist management groups and their conservative artists'.
The yearly Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address was presented by Harvey at the Sydney Conservatorium on Monday 22 October - the event included a performance of an excerpt of Peggy Glanville-Hicks's opera Sappho by soprano Alison Morgan and Michael Kieran Harvey. The composer's centenary will be celebrated on 29 December, and a world premiere recording of Sappho will be released in November.
Harvey will repeat his address at Melbourne's BMW Edge concert hall (Federation Square) on Friday 2 November at 7:30pm. To enquire about free seats for the Melbourne address, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Australian Music Centre (2012) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.
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Clarification by MKHActually I specifically said Australians to be CONDUCTOR LAUREATES of our orchestras, as they are the ones who decide repertoire. I also said 50 percent repertoire of ALL orchestral concerts, opera seasons and taxpayer-funded artmusic broadcasting to be Australian. This is the only way to get a critical mass of quality works and to change audience perception and demographics. If audiences and these artmusic organizations don't like this idea I think as taxpayers we are within our rights to ask for a TOTAL WITHDRAWAL of taxpayer support in that case. The current system has had plenty of time to work - it hasn't and the situation is much worse for Australian composers since triennial funding. I also said to ban taxpayers funding for IMGs and their artists who pedal such inegalitarian musical philosophy i.e. outrageously expensive productions of music and opera beloved of white supremacists. By all means stage these productions in Australia, we encourage freedom of expression. Just don't use my taxes for it. BTW, thank you for providing at least one intelligent platform for genuine artmusic debate in this country, Resonate!
Thank youThanks for the comment & clarification - I did cut some corners there, also didn't want to go to a great deal of detail because the Melbourne Address is still to come. Good luck with that one, too. Anni
Space Time Concerto CompetionWhat are your views on what University Of Newcastle's Space Time Concerto and the technology being employed? I am a mature aged music student studying there and performing in the global linkup.
Thank god MKH exists.