Lampl opens up about shock resignation

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Prof Kenneth Lampl. Photo: Peter Hislop

PROF Ken Lampl’s move back to teaching and composition is entirely of his own volition, “CityNews” discovered this afternoon in an exclusive interview with the head of the School of Music, who will step down from his position on February 1

A little taken aback that news of his impending change in status had reached the university and wider community so quickly, he said his plan had been to tell staff members, many of whom were still on vacation, before they resumed classes for 2019.

Describing the position as a “rotating headship“ quite unlike the old model directorship, which was a more permanent position, Prof Lampl stressed that he had never been hired by the ANU as head, but took the job on in 2017 as part of his wish to see the institution become “a school of music for the 21st-century“.

He had, he said, set up a plan for that to happen, with a range of objectives that he believed his successor would be as keen as he was to implement it.

Arts / Why Lampl wasn’t pushed

A spokeswoman for the university present at the interview said a search would now commence for his replacement in the role.

“I was hired to teach film and video composition,” Lampl said.

Pointing to a photograph of his youthful self with celebrated film composer and his mentor John Williams, he said: “I am first and foremost a film composer. “

He pointed to the huge jump in student numbers at the school – 195 per cent increase in first year in enrolments and a 48 per cent increase in workload for staff – and said that a considerable portion of those enrolees had signed up specifically to study film and video composition with him.

“I was hired as an E level professor and the reason I became head of school is that I was academically the most senior person at the time,” he said.

Prof Lampl was keen to dispel any talk about having either jumped or been pushed, stressing that he merely wanted to return to his core occupation.

“We have succeeded much earlier and beyond our wildest dreams,” he said,

“Why I came to ANU was to build a film and video composition program… It is always what they wanted for me, always the plan.”

But it was time for him to get back to what he did best.

Lampl steps down as School of Music head

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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