Australia loses its classical magazine

Australia loses its classical magazine


norman lebrecht

February 08, 2018

The monthly magazine and website Limelight has gone into liquidation. The March issue has been cancelled and staff have been laid off.

Originally a broadcast magazine called ABC Radio 24 Hours, the publication was renamed Limelight in 2003, sold to Haymarket (then owners of Gramophone) in 2006 and rescued by a local independent in 2014.

Last year, it was transferred to a not-for-profit company called Arts Initiative Australia.

Sad to see an entire continent left without local classical coverage.

UPDATE: Back from the dead…


  • Olassus says:

    I like its banner logotype and positioning statement. The look is fresh, precise and distinct.

  • John says:

    The new editor of this magazine showed promise when she began the process of exposing Alondra de la Parra for the toxic person that she is. Along with her puppet David Pratt, who will stop at nothing to obey her every whim.

    2018 is the year that could see the collapse of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

    I am saddened that Limelight Magazine will not be there to expose Alondra de la Parra and David Pratt. There is only so much abuse that staff and sponsors can take before the dam wall breaks.

    Norman – we all want to see more females on the podium; we must not allow a few bad eggs to set us back decades.


  • Cubs Fan says:

    Like it or not (I sure don’t), print media is dying, and has been for a long time. For information nowadays people turn to the internet where there is more information than the magazines could provide, and, it’s usually up-to-date. Like the cd, magazines and newspapers are vanishing.

  • Marg says:

    As a long time reader who thoroughly enjoyed this magazine and bought CDs based on its reviews, I am very saddened. We have absolutely nothing here in Australia to replace it. But I’m not surprised – I did wonder myself why I was paying a sub when I could read virtually the entire magazine online for free, and usually as soon as I would get my copy in the mail.

  • Brian says:

    Limelight at its peak had some very solid coverage. Some of it could be a little fluffy at times but overall it was a nice counterweight to the stuffiness found in some other classical-focused magazines. I wonder how much Australia’s major newspapers still cover the local scene there.

  • Rob says:

    There is one main reason why Limelight closed, some time back they decided to drop the main feature that people bought the magazine for, and that was the ABC FM music listing. It used to have a comprehensive list of everything the ABC played on its classical music station.

    From there on they started to lose their customer base, me being one.

    Print magazine are not dying, they are stil thriving across the world. Limelight made a decision without consulting their readers and now they pay the price.

    • Marg says:

      With all due respect, I think your reason is anecdotal and simplistic.

      • Rob says:

        I clearly remember the backlash at the time they dropped it. Many subscribers complained about not having access to the playlist, and at the time it was not available on the web, so I don’t know how that gets to be anecdotal or simplistic. It was the beginning of the end.

  • Jo Litson says:

    Just to clarify Rob, Limelight did not make a decision to drop the ABC Classic FM music listings. We very much wanted to publish them but the ABC stopped programming far enough ahead and so was unable to give us a great deal of information. Any Classic FM programming information they have been able to supply, Limelight has been publishing.

  • Rob says:

    I didn’t know that Jo. If Limelight can get back on their legs, I’ll be supporting it as much as I can, because I have always loved the mag, and I’m a current subscriber. I feel that if a future Limelight happens and it can contain the playlist, that might help keep it buoyant.

    I know there is a fund of sorts to help maintain Limelight, but as someone who only works part time I have no money to contribute, but if Limelight gets back up, I’d be willing to offer my writing services for free. I currently write for CityNews in Canberra and do mainly classical and contemporary concert reviews.

    Here’s hoping it can get back up, we need it.

  • Graeme Withers says:

    Limelight is on sale in my local Melbourne newsagent. 8 May 2018