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Sunday, July 14, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

No elitism in new ANU orchestra

THE Australian National University has today (Monday September 3) launched plans for a new orchestra.

Kim Cunio, head, ANU School of Music. Photo: Peter Damo

Newish head of the ANU School of Music, Kim Cunio, says the “inclusive” orchestra will be open to all students, alumni of the university and gifted school-age musicians and through it, he hopes to unearth new talent and train contemporary classical musicians.

“For many people an orchestra is aloof and elitist and we are trying to say that it is not the case — we want to reimagine what an orchestra is,” Cunio says.

“We want to make orchestras contemporary and accessible.”

He says the new orchestra will be available to any ANU student, so long as they can play well. The idea is to identify people who have talent and to train a different kind of musician with a larger social awareness and conscience.

Any current ANU student or recent ANU graduate who is a good musician can join. Indigenous, intercultural and technological elements will be included alongside the traditional classical repertoire training.

Lessons at the ANU School of Music. Photo: Lannon Harley, ANU

“Sometimes the best musicians are lost to music,” Cunio says.

“For instance, we have students doing medicine and law or studying in many other faculties who have the talent to play in an orchestra… We want to welcome them to play alongside our School of Music students.”

The new ANU orchestra will work closely with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, whose players will mentor and perform alongside newer ANU musicians, with a performance season planned for next year.

“This orchestra will be break some of the boundaries of what high art is for people,” he says.

Auditions for the training orchestra, led by Canberra conductor Max McBride, will begin in November with the announcement of details to come.

 

 

 

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Helen Musa

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