Australia defunds 20 music organisations

Australia defunds 20 music organisations


norman lebrecht

May 13, 2016

Music Australia, which tours music to schools across the vast continent, appears to be the main casualty of the government-ordered cull.

Successful music applicants for 4-year funding from the Australia Council are: the Australian Art Orchestra, the Australian Music Centre, the Australian String Quartet, CAAMA, Ensemble Offspring, Liquid Architecture, Queensland Music Network, the Song Company, Sound Alliance, Speak Percussion, Tura New Music and Victorian Opera.

Defunded organisiations include the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Gondwana Choirs, Music Council, Pro Musica (Canberra international Music Festival), Southern Cross Soloists, Synergy/Taikoz, Topology, Wangaratta Jazz Festival and WA Youth Jazz Orchestra.

sydney opera evacuated

Music Australia CEO Chris Bowen said:
“It is clear the budget decision made a year ago by the then Federal Arts Minister is a key factor in the results announced today. This will see over 20 music and performing arts companies defunded. This will reduce our creative output, jobs, and opportunities for Australian audiences.

“More Australians attend live music than sport, and the live music industry alone employs some 65,000 people. It is vital that we focus our energies on developing and growing the sector. That has been Music Australia’s mission since day one.

“That is a sign of an innovative nation, one that boosts, not cuts its creative sector.

“It is disappointing that this decision comes when the organisation is enjoying substantial uptake in services and engagement following a significant transformation. Over 650,000 Australians accessed Music Australia programs in all states and territories in 2015.”


  • Robin Bloxsidge says:

    Oh dear, how much more of this short-sighted philistinism are we going to see.

    • Sue says:

      I guess we’ll continue to see ‘philistinism’ as long as crash bang remains a dominant part of the high school music curriculum across Australian state schools.