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

The Music in Australia Knowledge Base has an enormously ambitious "Scenarios Project", describing possible futures for music in Australia. It has published eleven papers leading up to invention of the scenarios.

Also on the Knowledge Base recently: Australian musicians successful abroad; Australian chamber ensembles. Revealing analysis of NAPLAN. Another new project: important musical immigrants.

The 2016 Freedman Music Fellowships (Classical and Jazz) are underway. Nominators from all states are putting forward the best musicians they know. Finalists are being chosen and will perform in play-off concerts - for jazz, at The Studio of Sydney Opera House on August 1 and for classical music, at the Goossens Hall at ABC HQ in Sydney, in a collaboration with ABC Classic FM, in mid-September.


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. Adoption of the recommendations will depend upon the outcome of the July election.

This review, initiative by Senator George Brandis when he was Federal Minister for the Arts, in late September issued a discussion paper and invited comment. The Music Trust submitted a detailed paper making a number of revolutionary proposals. However, we have a new Minister and nothing has been heard from the review since the publication of the discussion paper. Whether or not the review reports, the Music Trust submission includes valuable proposals that could be taken up by a future government. It can be found under LIST OF PROJECTS.

Freedman Music Fellowships

Rajiv Jayaweera at Freedman Jazz 2013.
Photo by Keith Saunders

The 2016 Fellowships are underway, with the nominators already announced and the nominees to be announced shortly.

The winners of the Freedman Music Fellowships for 2015 were of course declared. The Classical Fellow is Aviva Endean, clarinettist from Melbourne. The Jazz Fellow is Tal Cohen, Perth pianist, now based in Miami. Details about the winners and the finalists can be found under the Freedman tab.

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

There is an addition to the annual prize for the Jazz Fellow: a studio recording by ABC Jazz in the super ABC studio. The winner will own the recording and can negotiate a commercial release.

Beginning in 2016, the Classical Fellow will be selected and announced at a public concert. The concert, along with a national broadcast, will be produced by ABC Classic FM at the Eugene Goossens Hall at ABC HQ in Sydney in mid-September.

Freedman New Jazz is a new concert series produced by the Sydney Improvised Music Association, presenting Freedman Fellows in special concerts. The 2016 series has not yet been announced.

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, 2016: preparing for the arts to make their case in the coming Federal election. Artist Natalie Thomas has her own opinions about how the world should go. Green Music wants plastic bottles banned in music festivals. There is ever more evidence of the wide benefits of music education. Following on March's celebration of women, we have a list of internationally successful female composer and conductors, and Triple j has looked into women's achievements in contemporary music. The reviews pages tell you about recordings 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: Hands Like Houses, Zulya and the Children of the Underground (see photo), Drowning Horse. JAZZ: Mike Nock/Roger Manins, Grey Wing Trio, Elly Hoyt, Australian Jazz Quintet, cool jazz of the 50s; Bungalow/Mike Rivett. CLASSICAL/NEW MUSIC: Nicole Car, Laura Chislett/Stephanie McCallum, Sideband, Lisa Moore. BOOKS: Creating Cities – Marcus Westbury. Click on REVIEWS on the menu bar.

Dick's Blog: a radical proposition for effective arts advocacy.

Music and Book Reviews

This is where you may find the only reviews of important Australian music and writing.



Dick's Blog

"[This is an old blog but still relevant.] 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?" 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 200+.

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

Copyright The Music Trust © 2016