IT CAN’T exactly be described as a huge surprise, but it has now been made official by the Australian National University that Peter Tregear, head of the ANU School of Music, has officially resigned.
The announcement comes several months after a staffer at the University inadvertently placed an advertisement for his job, leading to denials of instability by senior academics at the ANU and confirmation that the Professor would be retained until 2017.
Professor Tregear would not be drawn on his future plans, telling “CityNews” this afternoon that he intended taking a much-needed break while adding, “I fully intend to be a vocal and persistent advocate for this school in this city.”
It is understood that will leave the school as early as the end of August, next week, take a planned trip overseas during August and September, then return to Canberra and see what the future holds.
Prof Tregear said, “I recall that when I took the job in 2012, people called it a poisoned chalice, but I maintained then and I maintain now that the ANU and the nation’s capital deserved to support a school of music of the highest order… I have tried to do this and to show what could be achieved.”
He said he had always maintained that the School could find “a new viability based on performance excellence.”
There is no doubt within Canberra’s music community that Professor Tregear, a well-known commentator nationally on music politics and broader issues related to the arts, has sought to involve himself in the local music community as a conductor, a producer, chorister and very recently a soloist in Coro Chamber Ensembles presentation of Handel’s “Messiah”.
But it is widely believed that the University has never expanded resources following the controversial departure of senior performance teachers from the School in 2012 and 2013.