Arts / Changes at the top for Musica Viva


Mary Jo Capps and Carl Vine

AFTER almost two decades at the helm of Musica Viva, Mary Jo Capps and Carl Vine will step down from the company’s leadership in a gradual process. 

Chair of the 73-year-old chamber music performing arts organisation, Charles Graham, said that Capps, the CEO, would depart at the end of 2018 while director Vine will remain until later in 2019 to program his final season to coincide with Musica Viva’s 75th anniversary in 2020.

In making the announcement, Graham pointed to the growth of Musica Viva under the stewardship of the duo, and said: “Musica Viva has gone from strength to strength, thanks in no small part to the inspired leadership of Mary Jo and Carl. Indeed, they have played a pivotal role not only in our company’s ongoing success but also in shaping a strong and vibrant international arts sector.”

Graham went on to highlight the commissioning program through which the pair had placed new Australian music in the global spotlight, noting in particular the flagship programs such as the Hildegard Project dedicated to female composers and the Ken Tribe Fund for Australian Composers. He also praised Musica Viva’s international concert season and coffee concert programs.

Each year, he said, almost 300,000 children all over the country benefited from its digital resources, professional development and contact with Australian musicians, such as Indigenous cultural groups.

As well, Capps and Vine he said had played a major role in developing the quality and reach of chamber music in Australia, financially supported by the establishment of the Amadeus Society donor groups in Sydney and Melbourne. The biennial Musica Viva Festival was created under their leadership, as was the artistic and operational direction of the Huntington Estate Music Festival.

They had founded the “FutureMakers” program and assumed responsibility for the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in partnership with ANAM and the Melbourne Recital Centre, also stabilising the financial position of the organisation, doubling revenues since 1999 and creating reserves equal to 90 per cent of annual turnover, Graham said.

The search for a CEO as successor to Capps will begin shortly with an announcement expected in the second half of 2018. The next Musica Viva artistic director will then be identified with the involvement of the new CEO, the Board and a firm of domestic as well as internationally-focussed HR consultants.



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