The Music Trust works with energy, imagination and authority for music in Australia

Welcome to The Music Trust

The Music Trust was founded in October 2013. Its mission is stated in the banner. Key information can be found under ABOUT on the menu bar.

Check out the menu bar. MUSIC IN AUSTRALIA is a deep information source. EDUCATION is primarily about advocacy for school music and includes important research about its benefits. FREEDMAN is for the prestigious Freedman Music Fellowships. PROJECTS is a changing list of special activities.

Trust the music!

Jose Carbo’s CD, My Latin Heart

Watch Out for This!

What The Music Trust is doing

Following the death of the long-time editor of the Knowledge Base, Hans Hoegh-Guldberg, the Music Trust has been assembling an Editorial Board to plan the strategies and operations. Progress is not visible yet but there is vigorous underwater paddling.

The information is being restructured to allow easier navigation and it is planned to redesign the home page with an interactive 'knowledge tree' structure to make it more inviting and useable. By next month, we should be able to announce the membership of the Editorial Board.

Hans's last big project was the formulation of a set of scenarios for the future of music in
Australia and the world. Papers on the Knowledge Base take the reader through the process to its conclusions. Go to BROWSING > CATEGORIES > SCENARIOS FOR THE FUTURE.

New papers on the Knowledge Base are announced in the centre column of


The Advisory Council has agreed to cause nominations for Australian Honours. Not enough high level awards go to music people. TMT will not be able to announce nominations and probably it won’t publicise its part in achieving any awards. Nominations have been made twice a year beginning in 2014.

STATE OF MUSIC EDUCATION IN TRAINING PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS The Music Trust sought funding from Catalyst to upgrade and expand the 2009 study which showed that on average teachers received only 17 hours of mandatory music education as preparation for teaching music for 7 years. We believe things have got worse. The Trust is leading this initiative on behalf of the National Advocates for Arts Education. Unfortunately we were not successful in gaining Catalyst funding and Catalyst has now been disbanded. (Punishment? Probably not.) The Trust is searching for other sources.

In April, this project was announced through Loudmouth. The intention is to engage famous contemporary music songwriters and performers to write and market songs that engage the public, corporations and governments in issues around climate change and, to be blunt, the survival of the species. Loudmouth will be the best place to keep up with the activities.

This review, initiative by Senator George Brandis when he was Federal Minister for the Arts, in late September 2015 issued a discussion paper and invited comment. The Music Trust submitted a detailed paper making a number of revolutionary proposals. The review has now reported. The Trust has commented in the November and December editions of Loudmouth (see right hand column). The Trust's initial submission can be found under LIST OF PROJECTS, see menu bar.

Freedman Music Fellowships

Rajiv Jayaweera at Freedman Jazz 2013.
Photo by Keith Saunders

The Freedman Music Fellowships for 2016 were decided. The winner of the Jazz Fellowship is Melbourne drummer James McLean, and the Classical Fellowship has gone to violist Stefanie Farrands, principal of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

The jazz decision was made at the annual Freedman Jazz concert at the Studio of Sydney Opera House on August 1. ABC Jazz collaborated generously by recording, videoing, broadcasting and uploading the performances. It also offers as part of the prize a studio recording. The other two finalists were pianists Joseph O'Connor and Luke Sweeting.

For the first time, the classical Fellow was also finally decided at a concert - hosted y Classic FM at the ABC's Eugene Goossens Hall at ABC HQ in Sydney on September 17 and broadcast nationally. The finalists, in addition to Stefanie, were percussionist Kaylie Melville and pianist Alex Raineri. Most of the works performed were of our time and one was a world premiere!

Thanks as always to funding from the Freedman Foundation, without which the Fellowships are not possible.

Preparations are underway for the 2017 awards. The Freedman Classical finalists' concert will be produced by Classic FM and held on September 9 at the Eugene Goossens Hall at the Sydney HQ. Freedman Jazz will be held, as always, at The Studio of the Sydney Opera House, with collaboration from ABC Jazz.

Freedman New Jazz is a very special concert series featuring Freedman Jazz Fellows, and produced by SIMA. Two concerts have been held already in 2017. The first presented no fewer that four Fellows: the Phil Slater Quintet, which includes Fellows Slater, Matt Keegan and Matt McMahon, plus a solo drum performance from James McLean. The second concert offered Matt Keegan's Three Seas band, featuring three Indian musicians from his Fellowship project. Spectacular - full house, standing ovation.

The winners’ lists since inception in 2001 read like a Who’s Who of younger jazz and classical musicians.

Freedman Music Fellowship information

Music in Australia Knowledge Base

The only knowledge base in the world that deals systematically with the music of an entire country. Facts in words and numbers about music in Australia – and discussions of key issues facing various areas of musical activity. See more.

Primary School Music Education

There is a lot of thought and research behind school music education advocacy.

ARGUMENT FOR SPECIALIST MUSIC TEACHERS. Primary school music education in many states is in crisis. Teachers are not educated to teach music and in the majority of schools in most states, there is not a classroom music program. After decades of neglect, The Music Trust believes that the only – and best – solution is the introduction into every classroom of a specialist music teacher. Read the reasoning here.
There is a new reassessment of the advocacy arguments. Look under EDUCATION > ADVOCACY ARGUMENTS.

RESEARCH SUMMARY. There is abundant research in music education showing that its benefits extend well beyond learning music skills to improvements in IQ, academic outcomes,confidence, empathy, social skills and more. Read a quick summary of these research outcomes here.

Sign Up to Loudmouth - Music Trust Ezine

Music Trust Alert!

In the Loudmouth e-zine for APRIL 2017:
The Music Trust announces the Climate Songs Project, a strategy to involve some of Australia's most famous contemporary musicians to write songs about climate change. Indigenous musician Jessie Lloyd writes about her musical world and Mandy Stefanakis about hers. Catalyst carks it. Henry Vyhnal rebels against NAPLAN, Graham Sattler reports on the regional conservatoriums, we hear about educational disadvantage and Symphony for Life. Rumour, gossip, reviews, stories from around the planet. It's an entire world.
Read Loudmouth at

The best CD REVIEWS page in Australia. CLASSICAL Two Pinchgut Opera productions: Bajazet by Vivaldi, and The Jealous Lover by Grétry. Winsome Evans harpsicord transcriptions and Daniel Herscovitch four centuries of piano. NEW MUSIC Claire Edwardes’ Kammerbox with a lot of Australian compositions, and Midnight Songs from a fine Melbourne trio, Three. ELECTRONIC Lawrence English’s Cruel Optimism. Norman Westberg’s Jasper Sits Out. JAZZ Brilliant debut from Olivia Chindamo. MULTICULTURAL Virtuoso gypsy violin from Daniel Weltlinger.
BOOK REVIEWS. Singer Holly Throsby has written a great novel about country town life. One of the most important projects for sustaining traditional music is described in a book by Huib Schippers and Cathy Grant. And in “Music, Evolution and the Harmony of Souls”, WA scientist Alan Harvey describes music’s place in human life and evolution.
Go to

Music and Book Reviews

Here are all the reviews of Australian musicians, composers and books ever published by The Music Trust - over 400, searchable by artist, genres, author, and reviewer, added to each month. Go to:


Dick's Blog

"[Dick for now has transferred his blog-writing to Loudmouth ezine. However, for now, these older blogs are left here in case they may be if interest.]
Slow strangulation for the Australia Council? At budget time, the Arts Minister henceforth will have to split funds between the Council over which he has limited control and his own Ministry, where he has total control. Which will he favour? [Turns out Brandis was sacked and the new bloke hasn't really made up his mind.]" Continue reading...

How we will rule the world #2: Take principles upon which most artists agree. How do they fit the hot issues of the day? Enter the fray.

How we will rule the world #1: a strategy for arts advocacy. There has never been a more urgent need. Some new concepts

Singing for the Germans: Australian classical musicians succeeding abroad. Links with a list of 350+ (revised number).

Radio for the 1890s: a reconception of the purpose and program of ABC Classic FM

To be good or to be famous? Thoughts on "A Culturally Ambitious Nation", the new Australia Council Strategic Plan.

Rhythm Is It!
Art teaches ordinary German teenagers some deep truths about life

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