The Canberra Symphony Orchestra is mightily displeased with Canberra’s dead tree daily:
On Friday 18 May 2012, an article appeared in The Canberra Times (“Music School thrown a life-line”, p1) that implied the CSO is seeking to be part of a consortium with the ANU and the Chamber of Commerce to support the ANU’s deficient new music curriculum and maintain the ANU’s management of the School of Music. The Board wishes to go on record in saying that this is patently untrue. Whilst the CSO values the support it receives from the ACT Government through ArtsACT, and the Commonwealth through the Australia Council, the CSO has not engaged in “on-going discussions regarding future funding” with the office of Federal Arts Minister The Hon Simon Crean MP.
The CSO Board has observed with concern the erosion of the School of Music funding and support from the ANU over the past decade. The Board’s unanimous opinion is that the latest plans for the School, announced by Vice-Chancellor Ian Young on 3 May, will accelerate the decline and, ultimately, result in the demise of high quality music performance training in Canberra. The ANU’s plan to substantially reduce the number of staff specialists in music performance, and outsource performance tuition without any governance or quality management is an irresponsible educational model which will confer degrees but not ensure that students graduating from such a program will have the talent to support high quality music performance now or in the future.
The CSO Board is seeking to find a long-term solution for the renewal and regeneration of superior music performance education in Canberra. The Board is not confident that this can be achieved through the ANU, an institution that cannot reconcile the unique and particular requirements of basic music performance tuition with its over-arching model of education management.
This would accord with our earlier analysis that ANU’s graduate outcomes audits by the Government are problematic for teaching musical performance.