Music crisis: ‘Step back’ says CSO

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Canberra Symphony Orchestra CEO Henry Laska.
IN a letter to the editor written to “CityNews”, Canberra Symphony Orchestra CEO Henry Laska has called on Canberra’s cultural circles to “take a step back” and work towards a considered solution to the current crisis between the ANU and the School of Music.

“These are critical times with significant long-term implications; solutions should not be shaped by the heat of the moment,” he said.

“Some may look on these as dark days for music in Canberra, but the CSO is here to stay. We are looking beyond the current gloom to open new, enhanced opportunities for inspiring music in the city we love and serve.”

Passions have been running high and various sectors in the music community have been rallying to secure their specific cause since it was announced that all academic and general staff positions at the school would fall vacant at the ANU School of Music.

Laska said the CSO is the largest source of employment for professional musicians and the largest of the ACT key arts organisations in the region.

“We believe it is our responsibility and our role to be directly involved in securing the future of music in Canberra,” he said.

“We are part of a creative community and, as such, we share the long-held axiom that change fuels creativity. We are committed to working towards sustainable solutions that will achieve music tuition and performance excellence for our community.

“This must be a collaborative process and solutions will take time to develop. We are currently discussing ideas with a number of different key stakeholders so that we can continue to position Canberra and Canberra musicians as national leaders in their fields.

“We understand that in the current climate, rumours fill the gap where facts are not positioned and we are working intensively to reach the point where we can offer creative, positive solutions that are grounded in reality.”

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