Anthology of Australian Music on Disc

The Anthology of Australian Music on Disc has developed as a prestigious reference collection of sound recordings of Australia’s solo instrumental, chamber and electroacoustic music, written by many of Australia’s foremost composers from the 1930s to the present and performed by Australia’s leading musicians. The release in June 1999 of Series IV of the collection, containing 6 new discs, will bring the number of discs in the collection to 36.

Series IV of the Anthology has been developed by a partnership between the Canberra School of Music at The Australian National University, the Australian Music Centre and the National Film and Sound Archive, with the additional co-operation of the ABC and Film Australia. Since the first launch of 15 discs by the Canberra School of Music in 1989, the Anthology has developed as a standard reference collection of Australian music, representing established and emerging Australian composers, diverse musical genres, leading professional performing groups, the influence of different geographical centres and including new works and re-mastered heritage material. It has been widely acknowledged critically and through national awards as a unique contribution to the preservation and dissemination of Australian culture, as well as a prime source of materials on composers, works and performers for the general public and for music broadcasters, researchers, teachers and students.

The new series features some of the foremost performers of new Australian music, for whom may of the works were originally written, including music for the Seymour group, music for violin and piano and semi-theatrical works for voice and chamber ensemble. The significance of the ABC in promoting new music is recognised in two volumes of electroacoustic music, celebrating ten years of radiophonics on ëThe Listening Roomí and acknowledging most recent computer music award winners. Margaret Sutherland’s 1960s opera ëThe Young Kabbarlií, on a text by Maie Casey, is re-released on disc for the first time, and film scores on Aboriginal themes by some of Australia’s most valued earlier composers are re-mastered from the Film Australia collection. The 6 discs are produced in a limited edition boxed set packaged to complement and enhance the boxed sets of the first three series. Each disc contains comprehensive notes on the composers, performers and musical works. Discs may also be purchased singly from retail outlets around the country.

The Anthology is an ongoing project of national importance, which has received seed funding through various Commonwealth funding agencies, including Bicentennial funding and the National Priority Reserve Fund: Cultural Development Initiative. As Federation draws near, the Anthology serves to remind us of the significance of music to Australia’s cultural heritage and contemporary culture.

Robyn Holmes
Chair, Anthology of Australian Music on Disc,
Canberra School of Music, Australian National University

John Davis,
General Manager, Australian Music Centre

Track listing of Anthology of Australian Music on Disc CDs (Series I to IV)


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