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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

$500,000 boost to elite classical music training

media release
28 November 2008

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The Rudd Government will provide new funding of $500,000 for elite classical music training to assist the transition to a new performance and training organisation in partnership with the University of Melbourne.

Arts Minister Peter Garrett said the investment recognised the outstanding achievements of students, past and present, of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) and the need to ensure a smooth transition to the new training body.

"The Government is absolutely committed to ensuring the continued support of our most talented classical musicians in this country, however we also know that there is an overdue need for changes to the way that the Commonwealth's annual $2.5 million commitment to this training is governed and administered.

"Through the changes we've already announced the tradition of excellence in performance that has been a hallmark of ANAM will be enhanced, but will have the additional benefit of providing access to the music-rich resources of the new University of Melbourne School of Music.

"To ensure we achieve a world class training program, a Planning Advisory Board has been established, comprised of distinguished musicians and music educators including - Professor Peter Roennfeldt, Director of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music; Trevor Green, Managing Director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Richard Gill, Artistic Director of Opera Victoria; Dr Gretchen Amussen, Deputy Director of the Paris Conservatoire de Musique; and Dame Janet Ritterman, former Principal of the Royal College of Music.

"In discussion with the University of Melbourne and having heard the concerns of students of the Academy I am also pleased to announce today that the new performance and training centre will retain the name Australian National Academy of Music, with all of its connotations of excellence."

Mr Garrett said to ensure a smooth transition a transitional working group comprised of representatives from ANAM, the University of Melbourne and the Australian Government had also been established.

"Critically, during this transition period students will continue to have access to the South Melbourne Town Hall for the purposes of training and public performance as well as benefiting from access to the extensive facilities and teaching expertise of the new Melbourne School of Music and the Victorian College of the Arts. When fully established students will have access to the arts precinct at Southbank in Melbourne, with access to neighbouring recital venues, theatres and of course the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra."

The University of Melbourne is working actively with ANAM to develop the best training options for each student during the transition period. As of 27 November, twenty seven ANAM students had approached the University of Melbourne regarding their training options for 2009.

A transitional working group comprised of representatives from ANAM, the University of Melbourne and the Australian Government has been working to finalise the transitional arrangements. Agreed to date:

"The $500,000 transitional assistance funding we have announced today will ensure continuity of performance based training.

"This is an exciting development that will ensure that future students of ANAM will have the opportunity to realise their full potential while enhancing the intensity and quality of the unique performance experience that a refocused ANAM will provide," Mr Garrett said.

Commonwealth of Australia