Brand new day for the School of Music

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IT’S A SUNNY day for the ANU School of Music, with back-to-back announcements of impending support.

ANU School of Music
ANU School of Music

The University ANU has welcomed the announcement today by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr that a re-elected ACT Labor government will commit $250,000 each year for four years to help fund the advanced music program at ANU.

ACT Labor welcomes the University’s commitment today to continue offering music degrees and research through the school, but we understand the additional cost of a conservatorium-style advanced program to train the next generation of elite professional performers requires external support and cooperation between ANU, government, community and wider sponsors. “

Naturally enough, ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt has welcomed the funding commitment.

He noted that such ACT funding would go towards the $800,000 in community support identified by the Podger Review to support an advanced music program.

“The University is delighted the Chief Minister Barr has shown his support for the School of Music, which is a great national asset in the ACT,” Professor Schmidt said.

Mr Barr’s announcement follows news of the six-month community consultation and final report by Professor Andrew Podger.

The ANU today announced it would invest $12.5 million in strategic funds in the School of Music over the next five years to ensure a ‘bright future’ for music teaching and research at the university.

Professor Brian Schmidt said, “The community consultation has provided valuable feedback for the University about the approaches we can take to ensure that music has a bright future as part of this university…“I’m committed to ANU having a School of Music that provides high quality education to students, contributes to the University’s research and to the community as a centre of music.”

“We are very lucky to have Professor Malcolm Gillies AM, with his almost lifelong connection to the School and music in Canberra, to lead the School over the next six months,” he added, saying the selection of a permanent Head for the School was well advanced and the University expected to make an announcement in the near future.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor


  1. Well it’s great to hear that the ANU is trying to undo the critical damage done to the School of Music by the previous VC and his assistants. Sadly, it’s too late. The excellent musicians and teachers who made the School the finest in the country have gradually left Canberra, been appointed to other Institutions ( eg the Queensland Conservatorium), retired early, returned to performance or simply want nothing to do with the place that has treated them with such disdain. Can you blame them ? A valiant attempt….but the claim that the ANU is committed to providing a high level performance program is not borne out when we hear that this will need to be funded through community channels – what exactly will the $12 million plus be spent on? This ‘ announcement ‘ is yet another slap in the face, another insult added to the liturgy of injuries that preceded it!

  2. Congratulations to ANU for achieving their goal: having someone else fund the jewel in their crown. Just another step closer to their ultimate goal which is spend no dollars but reap in the profits. Shame so many were injured or pushed out in the pursuit of that small-minded goal.

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