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

Earlier this year, the long-time editor of the Knowledge Base, Hans Hoegh-Guldberg, died. Hans contributed a vast amount to the Knowledge Base as editor, writer and generally the moving force.

At last, we are starting to regroup, firstly by publishing a number of articles that were on Hans's queue already.

We are forming an editorial committee to generate and manage further development of the Knowledge Base and will shortly announce the initial members. If you are already familiar with the Knowledge Base and would like to have input, please write to

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

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.

Also on the Knowledge Base recently: Australian musicians successful abroad; Australian chamber ensembles. Revealing analysis of NAPLAN.


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.

This inquiry was called by the Opposition parties following cuts over the last two budgets of about 50% in Australia Council funds available to support individual artists and small to medium organisations. The Music Trust made a detailed submission which can be found under PROJECTS > LIST OF PROJECTS. The Inquiry has made its report, with a dissenting opinion from government members. We have just added the report, somewhat belatedly, to the Knowledge Base.

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. Whether or not the review adopts them, the Music Trust submission includes valuable proposals that could be taken up by a future government. It can be found under LIST OF PROJECTS. Rumour has it (early October 2016) that the Review is about to report.

Freedman Music Fellowships

Rajiv Jayaweera at Freedman Jazz 2013.
Photo by Keith Saunders

The Freedman Music Fellowships for 2016 have been 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.

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 OCTOBER, 2016:
Freedman Classical Fellowship winner writes about how she will spend the $20,000 prize. Autobiographic profiles from Riley Lee, shakuhachi master, composer/pianist Ian Munro, manager of Victorian Opera Andrew Snell. Education: eye-glazed students and their phones; musical taste fits with personality; music is better than maths; El Sistema. Australian Screen Music Awards, Aussies win big in US Unsigned awards. Arts Front mobilises to resume advocacy to Canberra. Music news, gossip. Reviews of great Australian musicians you might never have the chance to see in person. Read Loudmouth at

The best CD review page in Australia. CONTEMPORARY: Robert Forster’s Go-Between biography; Storm the Sky. CLASSICAL: Australian World Orchestra’s Beethoven 9th. NEW MUSIC: Andrew Schultz piano works/Antony Gray; Mark Isaacs/Melissa Doecke flute and piano. JAZZ: Jeremy Rose/Earshift Orchestra/Fatal Shore; Matthew Sheens; Sensaround/Alister Spence. WORLD: Sam Evans, Debasis Chakroborty, Steve Magnusson.

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

After the Heist. The Inquiry, Brandis's possible retaliation, our expectations of Labor, opportunity for the arts to become a political player

The Brandis Heist.

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: A Senate Boys' Club.

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

An Audience with the Minister for the Audience

Z for the Arts. Pyne's review of the Australian Curriculum: The Arts

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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