C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

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Annual Report

  • Year: 
  • Please describe your organization’s activities over the past year, including concerts, commissions, collaborations, publications: 

    The AMC’s 2014-2016 Business Plan describes the organisation as “a constantly evolving testament to the richness, diversity and vitality of Australian art music, both within Australia, and around the world. It advocates for creators, and provides a single hub of information and resources about composers and artists, new Australian art music, performances of Australian art music, as well as the rich history of art music created by Australians”.

    The AMC maintains the largest, most comprehensive single collection of materials and information relating to Australian art music creators and performers, covering the spectrum of contemporary classical music, improvised jazz, experimental music and sound art.

    The AMC aims to increase the profile and sustainability of the sector, and to facilitate the creation, performance, and awareness of Australian art music.

    Our services include:
    - Publishing services for composers and other content providers;
    - Distribution and retail services for artists, music publishers, and record labels;
    - Education services for Australian teachers and students;
    - Project management: of artist development projects, promotion projects (such as the Art Music Awards), and production projects (education resources, books, and recordings); and,
    - Promotion and advocacy, for artists and their work, and for the sector.

    2016 presented another busy year for the AMC, with a diverse range of activities undertaken alongside the ongoing business activities on our online presence, serving our diverse audiences.

    Key achievements in 2016 include:

    • Securing four-year organisation funding from the Australia Council covering activities in 2017-2020;

    • Undertaking a busy schedule of promotion and artist development projects, including the delivery of another successful Art Music Awards in partnership with APRA AMCOS, administering the Paul Lowin Prizes on behalf of Perpetual, and implementing 3 editions of our AMPlify artist development projects;

    • In collaboration with Sounds Australia, we also hosted 30 Australian delegates at Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam, and secured a place on their international jury for the 2017 edition;

    • Achieving healthy increases in sales and membership income.

    Details of these, and all AMC activities in 2016, are outlined below.


    In 2016 the AMC’s operations continued to divide across 4 sectors: Documentation, including the library collection, and education services; Transactions, including wholesale and retail services, facsimile score production, and membership services; Marketing, including communications, and marketing and promotional activities; and Finance and Administration, including governance, and technology systems. Various project activities occur across these sectors.

    The details below show comparative figures from previous years which have been included to show trends.

    2.1.1 Overview

    The AMC collection includes: scores, recordings, biographical materials and books, in hardcopy and digital formats.

    In addition to the extensive information and content presented on the AMC website, the AMC continues to provide its various services such as the information / reference service available via toll-free telephone, emails, and online. This provides access for students, teachers, researchers, broadcasters, composers and performers, other libraries and the general public. AMC Members borrow library materials for perusal or study through the library loans service, either physical loans of recordings and published materials via mail, or onsite collection; or increasingly, via digital library loan (see below).
    Usage statistics are outlined in the table below:

    2015-2016 COMPARISON (YTD) Previous five years
    2015 2016 % change 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
    Total enquiries answered 2600 3,191 23 N/A N/A 2532 2051 2600

    Physical Loans
    Books & other materials 20 20 0 51 41 48 25 20
    Recordings 293 293 0 867 738 634 382 293
    Scores 289 261 -10 1230 943 627 369 289
    TOTAL 602 574 -5 2148 1722 1309 776 602

    Digital Loans 1867 2359 26 1149 1307 1938 1773 1867
    Items produced for sale 3839 3177 -17 2485 2950 2830 2870 3839
    New Items Catalogued 956 1156 21 922 871 758 990 956
    Hire of Parts 24 20 -17 29 29 20 17 24

    • The trend in recent years of a reduction in information requests as a result of increasingly more information being made available on the AMC website (see website stats under Section 2.3.4 below) was reversed in 2015 and increased further in 2016. In general, since the launch of the new system in 2009, information requests of a more specialised nature, not provided by the online content, are more common.
    The 2016 figures include:
    141 requests from secondary students (111 in 2015; 124 in 2014; 187 in 2013),
    88 from tertiary students (90 in 2015; 97 in 2014; 85 in 2013),
    721 from secondary teachers (506 in 2015; 501 in 2014; 238 in 2013),
    242 from studio teachers (180 in 2015; 180 in 2014; 84 in 2013)
    124 from academics (93 in 2015; 57 in 2014; 69 in 2013),
    258 from professional performers (223 in 2015; 199 in 2014; 94 in 2013),
    160 from composers (128 in 2015; 89 in 2014; 73 in 2013),
    186 from arts organisations (216 in 2015; 169 in 2014; 88 in 2013),
    31 from media (25 in 2015; 52 in 2014; 33 in 2013),
    592 from the general public (430 in 2015; 252 in 2014; 81 in 2013), and
    414 from overseas (385 in 2015; 210 in 2014; 127 in 2013).
    234 from suppliers (213 in 2015; 117 in 2013)
    • Note that the reduction in score production figures are due to a data error. These include the production of scores for individual sales orders, in addition to those produced for sales orders from National, State, and tertiary libraries.

    The AMC offers an online service, the Digital Score Library, through which AMC members can download scores for study and perusal purposes. Unlike the loan of physical scores, the Digital Score Library can be accessed by AMC members who are resident overseas.

    Each score borrowed is watermarked on every page with the name of the member and the expiry date of the loan, and the files become invisible on the loan expiry date. Whilst performers, teachers and students may print out loan scores to try out, we highlight the obligation that they must purchase or hire materials for any performance. The AMC has also been working with examining bodies such as the AMEB to ensure that reproduced copies such as these are not used in exams, ensuring that the rights of composers and creators is being protected.

    The table below shows usage over the period since the service was launched in 2011.

    2016 %
    incr. 2015 % incr. 2014 %incr 2013 %incr 2012 %incr 2011
    Digi scores available 9,969 3% 9,677 4% 9,269 14% 8,099 7% 7,594 5% 7,236
    Digi scores borrowed 2,359 26% 1,867 5% 1,773 -9% 1,938 48% 1,307 14% 1,149
    Unique users 453 -6% 478 64% 291 21% 240 -28% 334
    Loans of physical materials 574 -5% 602 -22 776 -41% 1,309 -24% 1,722 -20% 2,148

    Other factors that have an impact on these figures over the period shown include the increase in online samples available on the AMC website, and the extensive curated lists of works suitable for High School performance, which enable users to go directly to purchase the work, rather than undertake perusal of a range of repertoire via loans.

    2.1.2 The AMC Collection and Artist Representation The AMC Collection
    The scope of the AMC collection is primarily “art musics” as articulated in both the AMC’s Business Plan and Representation Policy, and covering notated composition; electroacoustic music and electronica; improvised music, including contemporary jazz; sound art and installation sound; multimedia, web and film sound and music; and related genres and techniques.

    This scope is complemented by the many other genres represented in the collection of products (CDs, publications) available for sale through the AMC’s retail activities.

    As part of AMC’s relocation from The Rocks to Ultimo in 2013, the physical collection has been in storage at Paul Davies Heritage Architects in Balmain, who has generously offered space under arrangements affordable for AMC. The logistics of regularly accessing materials from Balmain remain complicated, however the completion of the digitisation project in early 2015 means more materials are available for digital library loan. AMC Representation Policy
    The AMC’s Representation policy requires applicants to fulfil a range of criteria before admission, rather than admission based on the outcome of a peer review process. The criteria includes the number of professional performances, broadcasts, independent commissions, publications, commercial CD releases and the like, and has been compiled to further embrace artists actively involved in a diverse range of contemporary artistic practice, and those whose works have achieved an appropriate level of utility in various contexts. A category of Pedagogical Representation is also provided for, with differing criteria, recognising those composers working primarily in the field of education.

    A significant feature of the policy relates to the embracing of the terms “creative artist” and “improviser”, in addition to the term “composer”, which reflects much of what occurs in contemporary practice, and how artists define themselves. In addition to this, the policy provides for Affiliate Representation, to be granted at the invitation of the Board, enabling those who have contributed to commissioning, or promoting, or performing Australian repertoire over a significant period of time to be included in the AMC’s collection.

    AMC offers 2 rounds of applications for Representation each year.

    2016 Representation
    In 2016 two rounds (2 rounds in 2015) of applications were processed. 62 artists who had expressed interest in applying were invited to apply in these 2 rounds (55 artists in 2015; 53 artists in 2014), and of these, 25 applications were received (17 in 2015; 24 in 2014). 24 artists have been offered Representation following an assessment of their applications (16 in 2015; 22 in 2014).

    The successful applicants in 2016 are:
    Notated composition Jeremy Alsop (VIC), Andrew Aronowicz (Vic), Jakob Bragg (Vic), Paul Clift (OS/Vic), Connor d’Netto (Qld), Andrew Howes (NSW), Ashley Hribar (SA), Lisa Illean (NSW/OS), Bradley Kunda (NSW), David John Lang (SA), May Lyon (Vic), Christian O’Brien (VIC), Harry Sdarulig (Vic)
    Experimental/non-notated composition Vicki Hallett (Vic), Carlos Lopez (Vic), Amanda Stuart (NSW)
    Jazz and Screen Quentin Angus (OS/SA), Jonathan Dimond (VIC), Mace Francis (WA), Martyn Love (Qld), Chris McNulty (VIC), Matthew Sheens (OS/SA))
    Pedagogical Rod Christian (WA), Paul Marshall (NSW)

    The success rates indicate that composers are only lodging an application when they are confident that their application will meet the eligibility criteria. The lower rate of applications received from those invited is largely due to some composers finding that they have difficulty in meeting the criteria, and deferring applying until further career development or success is achieved.

    2.1.3 Catalogue
    At 31 December 2016 there were 39,354 items in the AMC catalogue (38,198 in 2015; 37,242 in 2014; 36,252 in 2013; 35,494 in 2012), an increase of 1,156 (956 in 2015; 990 in 2014; 758 in 2013; 871 in 2012).

    In general, there has been a significant increase in these figures in recent years, a direct result of the utility of our online system, and the capacity for artists to upload works to the AMC database through the Represented Artist interface, the Contribute website.

    The AMC takes great pride in the quality and depth of the data recorded in the catalogue, which has developed into a major asset, providing users with highly detailed search functionality. The AMC’s catalogue data is highly regarded by the National Library’s national bibliographic database, Libraries Australia, which provides access to AMC’s data by libraries around the country.

    Since 2001 the AMC has been registered as a publisher with the National Library to assign ISMNs to music works. The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) is a unique number used to identify music publications. It is used to identify a particular piece of music or item, such as an instrumental or vocal part, whenever information about music publications needs to be recorded or communicated. An ISMN is for print, electronic, microform or braille formats of music publications, whether available for sale, hire, gratis, or for copyright purposes only.

    The ISMN Agency has sole responsibility for assigning publisher identifiers and an ISMN for all music titles published in Australia, on behalf of the International ISMN Agency located in Berlin. Details of all publishers registered with the Australian ISMN Agency are sent to the International Agency for publication in the printed Music Publishers' International ISMN Directory. The Australian Agency supports on-line searching of Australian publishers.

    In 2016, the AMC assigned 454 ISMNs to scores (390 in 2015; 438 in 2014; 305 in 2013; 336 in 2012). To December 2015, ISMNs assigned by the AMC totaled 5,661 (5,271 at end 2014; 4,833 at end 2013; 4,528 at end 2012).

    These activities of catalogue sharing and ISMN assigning are important tools in promoting Australian artists and their works.
    2.1.4 Education Services

    The AMC has played an important role in the development of education resources pertaining to Australian music for over 2 decades, enabling teachers and students to increase their knowledge and understanding of Australian music, and its creation and presentation.

    In 2016 there were 2 new education resource kits published: Compassion, prepared by Phillip Cooney and featuring the collaborative work of Nigel Westlake and Lior; and Maiden Voyage, prepared by Julie Montague, featuring the work of Lorraine Milne.

    The AMC will continue to develop education resource materials as human and financial resources permit, and will only continue to do so if outcomes are at least cost neutral to the AMC.

    2.2 TRANSACTIONS – Sales and Membership

    The AMC’s Transaction activities through sales and membership are primary income streams for the organisation, with sales income providing royalty returns to artists and copyright holders.
    2.2.1 Facsimile Scores
    The AMC in 2016 continued to make available for sale and hire unpublished works from the library collection, enabling access for performers, encouraging performance of this repertoire, and providing composers with royalty income from sales (15% for scores produced from a hard copy master and 25% for those produced from a digital master), and hire fees for orchestral performance materials (65%). Formal licence arrangements with certain publishers (Boosey & Hawkes, Ricordi London, and Faber Music) enable copyright controlled works to be commercially available in this way (within Australia and New Zealand Territories) through the AMC (exclusively), with royalties returned to the publisher.

    During 2016, 3,177 facsimile scores were produced (3,839 in 2015, 2,870 in 2014; 2,830 in 2013). See under Retail / Wholesale activities below for details of published and unpublished score sales.

    During 2016 performance materials for 20 existing works were hired from the AMC for performance (24 in 2015; 17 in 2014; 20 in 2013) - several of these transactions were with overseas orchestras and ensembles. These transactions vary greatly from year to year, dependent on programming policies of programmers and presenters, and the number of performances of published works, or of newly commissioned works, which are usually not managed by the AMC.
    2.2.2 Retail / Wholesale Activities
    The AMC continues to be active in providing access to a broad range of Australian music products. In addition to facsimile scores, materials available through the AMC’s retail activities include recordings, published scores, books, educational resources, and other materials, representing the largest collection of Australian music products available anywhere.

    2016 2015 2014 2013
    Products available 26,912 26,864 25,127 24,828
    AMC inventory value $7,929 $9,008 $10,253 $13,062
    Total sales $114,796 $108,830 $98,772 $97,708

    • Products available as at 31 December each year
    • Inventory values significantly reduced from ~$150k over last decade
    • 80% of all sales are for AMC produced product; 17% from 3rd party suppliers under drop-ship arrangements; and 3% from existing physical inventory.
    • 67% of all sales transactions take place online (65% in 2015; 65% in 2014; 67% in 2013)
    • 2016 sales made up of 2,321 customer orders from 1,883 unique customers (2,233 orders from 1,812 customers in 2015; 2,098 orders from 1,629 unique customers in 2014)

    Since 2010, content from 3rd party suppliers (publishers and record labels) is only sold under drop-ship arrangements, where the suppliers deliver directly to the customer in response to orders lodged on the AMC website.

    Suppliers with formal dropship arrangements with the AMC include Tall Poppies, Move Records, Rufus records, Wirripang Publications, Rimshot Music, and Alfred Publishing, amongst others.
    The AMC continues to work with significant suppliers such as ABC Classics and Jazz to make products available for sale, who are bound by restricted or exclusive arrangements with distributors.

    Total sales for 2016 were $114,796 ($108,830 in 2015; $98,772 in 2014; $97,708 in 2013). 80% of these sales are of AMC produced products (providing a royalty flow to creators), 17% are from 3rd party suppliers, and the remainder from inventory holdings. And 65% of the total sales income is from online sales on the AMC website.

    Internally produced products continue to perform well, particularly facsimile scores, which reflects the usefulness of the “repertoire navigator” functionality on the AMC website to performers, teachers and students seeking repertoire to purchase. AMC will be expanding sales of digital facsimile scores over time, which will add further revenue opportunities in our most lucrative product segment.

    Selected 2016 sales figures are detailed in the table below.

    2016 Sales $ 2015 Sales $ 2014 Sales 2013 Sales $
    External CDs (from other suppliers) 8,279 8,662 8,753 9,228
    Internal CDs (AMC labels) 620 452 764 958
    MP3 downloads 718 606 808 921
    External Scores (published) 13,188 10,861 9,984 9,228
    Internal Scores (AMC facsimiles hard copies) 74,414 77,779 68,343 67,406
    External Books (from other suppliers) 2,281 699 476 740
    Internal Books (AMC produced) 453 435 517 491
    External ebooks 157 n/a n/a n/a
    Internal ebooks 140 n/a n/a n/a
    Internal Education Kits (AMC produced) 11,670 8,258 8,459 9,452
    Digital Score downloads (sales) 2,802 1,643 503 384
    DVD (from other suppliers) 105 95 53 129
    2.2.3 Membership
    In 2016 there were 1,155 financial members across individual, institution, and secondary school student members (1,024 in 2015; 1,223 in 2014; 1,268 in 2013). Of these, around 71% live in metropolitan areas, 24% in regional areas, and 5% are overseas.

    A larger community of some 2,465 non-financial members (3,045 in 2015; 3,473 in 2014; 2,977 in 2013) continues to interact with the AMC at various levels. Non-financial members are defined as those having held membership at some stage over the past 5 years, and who are still engaged with the AMC in other ways. Membership income in 2016 realised $101,601 ($90,233 in 2015; $91,284 in 2014; $90,155 in 2013) representing a 12.5% increase on 2015 figures.

    These income figures do fluctuate from year to year according to the mix of institution / individual members. Membership renewal rates remain consistently around 73% - with the majority of lapsed members being students no longer requiring AMC services.

    Membership Services
    During 2016 the AMC continued to publish through the online Resonate Magazine, news and blog items, feature articles, and interviews, recognising the important contribution that this publication makes in the documentation and discourse of the Australian music scene.

    This content is highlighted through the monthly AMC eNews , which for AMC members also includes the Composer and Performer Opportunities Listing, compiled from a range of sources including our IAMIC colleagues around the world. AMC eNews reaches a larger audience beyond AMC members, a population that is steadily growing – it was sent to 4,652 recipients in December 2015 (4,275 in Dec 2015; 4,001 in Dec 2014; 3,696 In Dec 2013), a 8.8% increase on the previous year.

    The Australian Music Calendar provides a vital promotional tool for composers, performers, and presenters, and a useful reference tool for audiences. Statistics from the Australian Music Calendar listings are provided in the table below.

    2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
    No. of event listings 1,059 1,132 1,105 1,140 1,179 1,687
    No. of works performed 2,541 2,841 2,787 2105 1,770 3,257
    World premieres 535 479 530 666 399 366
    Australian premieres 7 n/a 12 22 15 12

    Events are lodged in the AMC database via an online form, submitted by composers, performers or presenters. AMC staff also log significant performance events not submitted, particularly international performances. Direct links from performance data to “work” pages (including audio/score samples) and “artist” pages are a feature of the website, enabling audiences to preview works being performed. (This also applies in reverse – “work” pages and “artist” pages feature links to performances).

    2.3.1 Overview
    AMC approaches its communications activities in a strategic way, co-ordinating general website content, Resonate magazine content, emails to members, and social media postings, to ensure maximum reach and impact.
    2.3.2 Communications
    In 2016 particular highlights of AMC communications activities covering promotion, advocacy, and news included:

    • AMC’s advocacy activity in 2016 included ongoing involvement in ArtsPeak, the alliance of national peak bodies in the arts, and its partnership with Artsfront, working on National Cultural Policy development.

    • As part of our 2016 membership campaign (which realised an increase of 13% in member numbers), communications targeting schools, including a teachers pack highlighting AMC resources covering Education Kits and performance repertoire; and AMC member services such as digital library loans.

    • As usual, AMC’s Resonate Magazine included feature articles celebrating significant birthdays of senior artists (also celebrated on AMC social media channels), other milestones and anniversaries, and specific feature articles as part of Resonate’s Insight series, exploring the creative processes of featured artists. These activities inevitably attract much web traffic, and generate positive feedback.

    2.3.3 Marketing and Promotions
    The AMC’s marketing activities play a vital role in maintaining our relationships with our diverse constituency, and beyond. Many clients are recognising the richness and specialist nature of our constituency base, and approach us for advertising or cross-promotional opportunities, and we have ongoing relationships with various networks that provide a diverse range of avenues for promotional activity.

    Examples of some of these in 2016 include:

    • Exchange relationships, including with RealTime, and AMEB;
    • Advertising relationships, including with performing organisations such as ACO, MVA; competitions and prizes including The Trust, and Michael Kieran Harvey Travelling Scholarship; the Melbourne Music Prize;
    • Content sharing arrangements, including with Limelight Magazine, and Artshub;
    • Promotional materials tailored to meet specific interests at conferences and in-service training courses, in the education sector and beyond.
    • Attendance, presentations, or representation on panels at conferences and other events, and presentations also made to students at tertiary institutions around the country.
    • Access through various networks, and mailouts to their members, including those such as state Music Teachers Associations; AMEB and ASME; the major symphony orchestras’ education programs; and the Regional Conservatoria in NSW.

    Through its relationship with APRA - AMCOS, AMC enjoys access to their various communication channels, which in addition to the APRA AMCOS website, include APRAP, and Chalkboard, a newsletter specifically aimed at the primary and secondary education sectors.
    2.3.4 AMC Web Page
    Webpage statistics can be summarised as follows:
    AMC public website
    2013 %Change 2014 %Change 2015 %Change 2016 Per day
    Visits (Sessions) 329,481 -9.05% 299,661 2.04% 305,787 3.16% 315,446 864
    Unique users 222,188 -7.21% 206,168 2.11% 210,508 -0.1% 210,300 576
    Pageviews 1,190,364 -11.39% 1,054,775 3.21% 1,088,592 -0.24% 1,085,977 2,975
    Local / international
    Countries 69%/31%

    208 71%/29%

    211 71%/29%

    215 73%/27%

    Search engines
    Referring sites




    New visits 64.88% 1.66% 65.96% 0.46% 66.27% 64.77%

    AMC’s website continues to rank very highly in search results in Google and other search engines – composer name searches generally result in AMC listings appearing in the top 3, whilst unique work title or product title searches generally placing AMC as number 1 in search results.

    Content in the AMC database contributed by AMC Represented Artists continued to expand in 2016, as demonstrated in the table below. The ongoing addition of new works by Represented Artists, submitted through the online artist interface Contribute provides users with continually updated data, and enables composers to manage their catalogue in AMC’s database, and in 2016 97% of collection submissions were lodged in this way (97% in 2015; 96% in 2014; 90% in 2013; 73% in 2012).

    Contribute website
    2013 Change 2014 Change 2015 Change 2016
    unique users 556 28.42% 714 34.59% 961 27.58% 1,226
    pages/visit 7.14 1.46% 7.25 -8.91% 6.60 -9.17% 6.00
    Average time 0:07:23 28.76% 0:09:31 -24.19% 0:07:13 -13.50% 0:06:14
    % new visits 19.71% 3.46% 20.4% 77.91% 36.29% 14.65% 41.60%
    Total visits/sessions 2,379 29.63% 3,084 -20.91% 2,439 14.23% 2,786
    • Pages per visit and Average time decreases show that users are becoming more efficient at using the Contribute system - expending less effort to add to the collection- it is also an impact of FAQs and other tools developed to ease Contribute usage.
    2.3.5 Social Media
    During 2016 the AMC continued to develop its engagement with audiences on social media, reinforcing its presence with regular postings on facebook and twitter, strategically managed in regards to content and regularity. The tables below summarise our activity.

    2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
    No. likes 1,139 1,342 1,589 2,002 2,508
    No. visits/impressions 39,420 218,131 297,396 328,765 352,186
    Referrals to AMC site 6,66 6,983 8,490 8,969 9,014

    AMC Twitter followers represent a small but well-targeted, engaged audience, including new music practitioners, educators, and key arts organisations including from other artforms.

    2015 2016
    Followers 2,347* 2,817
    Impressions 193,489 203,755
    Engagement average 1.63% 1.7%
    Clicks 1,022 (2.8 per day) 916 (2.50 per day)
    Retweets 599 (1.64 per day) 487 (1.33 per day)
    Likes 497 (1.36 per day) 657 (1.8 per day)
    Gender of followers 49%f / 51%m 55%f/45%m
    * 1,864 in 2014; 1,489 in 2013; 977 in 2012

    71% of followers are from Australia; 8% from the UK; 8% from the USA; 2% Germany; and 1% NZ and Canada, each.

    2.4.1 Governance Overview
    In 2014 the Board developed and adopted a new Board Charter, and Corporate Governance Statement, taking into account the organisation’s new structure, new Board structure, and refined the relationship with APRA AMCOS in providing accounting services.
    No further policy revisions took place in 2016, and the current Board structure adopted in 2015 continued (see below). Board Meetings and Membership in 2016
    In 2016 there were 4 Board meetings (5 in 2015; 5 in 2014; 4 in 2013; 4 in 2012; 4 in 2011).

    At the September 2015 Board meeting, the Board unanimously elected Genevieve Lacey as Chair Designate, to take effect from February 2016 when Nigel Westlake’s 6-year term (as required in the constitution) expired. Director Chris Gardoll’s 6-year term also expired, however he continues as AMC’s Company Secretary, and continues as advisor to the Board on financial and governance matters.

    Membership of the Board during 2016 was:

    Prof. Margaret Barrett
    Head of Music, UQ; President, International Society for Music Education.
    Director since December 2013

    Sally Howland
    Former Head APRA AMCOS Member Services
    Director since December 2013

    Benjamin Northey
    Associate Conductor, MSO
    Director since December 2013

    Chris Gardoll
    Finance Consultant, APRA AMCOS
    Director to February 2016

    CHAIR: Genevieve Lacey
    Freelance musician/artistic director
    Director since December 2013

    Nigel Westlake
    Composer / Director, APRA AMCOS Board
    Director to February 2010

    David Francis
    Executive Director, Four Winds Festival
    Director since December 2015 Prof. Cat Hope
    Head of Music, Monash University
    Director since December 2015 AMC Advisory Committee / Horizon Group
    The AMC constitution provides for an Advisory Committee convened by the AMC Board, and from 2010 to 2015 this committee was comprised of people representing 3 key stakeholder groups of the AMC’s membership base, covering: creators; performers and presenters; and the education sector.

    In late 2015 and early 2016, with the expansion of the Board, the Board reviewed the role of the Advisory Committee, and concluded that with the higher representation of AMC constituents serving as Directors of the company (including former members of the Advisory Committee), the role and function of the Advisory Committee should change.

    This transition continued to evolve in 2016, with the convening of the Horizon Group, a group of advisors with specialist digital and media expertise to advise the AMC on its plans for the rebuild of its IT infrastructure – the Horizon Project. The Board currently feels that this process provides a more direct and effective aid to assist with specific strategies that are expressed in AMC’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.
    2.4.2 Organisation Change Management and Staffing
    2016 represented the first full year of operations under the new organisational structure implemented in 2013 following the relocation from The Rocks. The digitisation project during 2014 and early 2015 provided additional infrastructure support in relating to staffing, and so accurately assessing core organisational capacity has not been possible until 2016.

    During 2016, the core structure included 2 staff members full-time, and a range of part-time and casual staff, some working remotely, totalling 4.9 f/t equivalent. Whilst this enables the organisation to maintain a level of business activity, and a range of reactive services, our capacities to be constantly proactive are limited.

    As a result of the new business model, and as a result of the staff reduction, there is a need for some AMC staff to be working across several roles with more generalist skills, rather than specific roles with specialist skills. Managing these matters continues to be a priority for the AMC, and they are monitored to ensure that AMC’s operations are efficient and effective.

    AMC staff do outstanding work, and show outstanding loyalty to each other, to the organisation and its ideals, and to AMC constituents.

    2.4.3 Finance
    The 2016 financial results are available in other documentation provided. The Company generated a surplus of $64,681 (surplus of $47,711 in 2015; surplus of $52,708 in 2014; surplus of $106,975 in 2013; surplus of $18,357 in 2012).

    With this 2016 result the AMC has built further on its reserves, which at the close of the reporting period total $170,104. This represents 26.4% of 2016 expenses, meeting our forecast of achieving the accumulated reserves benchmark (mandated by the Australia Council as 20% of annual expenses) by end 2016.
    2.5 PROJECTS
    2.5.1 ARC Research Project - MARS

    The AMC is an industry partner with APRA, Western Sydney University, and Waikato University in NZ, in a three year ARC Linkage Grant (2015-2017) project, of $645,000 over 3 years, which will develop MARS – the Music Affect Recommender System. Led by Prof Roger Dean at the MARCS Institute, this project will support users in discovering music based on their own individual preferences. Importantly, this aspect of AMC’s IT infrastructure development is designed to foster ‘cultural omnivores’ – providing recommendations to users which encourage the discovery of new works, artists and genres. This system will be integrated into AMC’s IT infrastructure, and provide a significant leap forward in engaging audiences with Australian Art Music.
    2.5.2 AMPlify: Art Music Plus - Artist and Repertoire Development
    The AMC has historically been involved not only in initiating and presenting composer development projects, but also in providing advice and encouragement to other organisations and institutions who express an interest in investing in this area. 2014 saw the initial implementation of AMPlify, AMC’s new artist development framework that emphasises cross-genre and/or cross-artform elements in each incarnation, the development of new repertoire, and engagement with new audiences as essential elements.

    In 2015 AMC entered into a partnership with APRA AMCOS’s Song Hubs initiative for AMPlify TRANCE, pairing art music composer Piotr Nowotnik with Trance artist MaRLo to create new repertoire, and provide a range of other outcomes. The project was realised in 2016 achieving significant outcomes, with the new work created being performed on a national tour to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Sydney and Melbourne performances were delivered to audiences of over 5,000 at each venue. The work was also performed at the Electric Daisy festival in New York, and released on the Dutch label Armada.

    Continuing the partnership, in late 2016 AMC called for expressions of interest for an Australian artist to work with German jazz pianist Julia Kadel, and composer/sound artist Julian Day was select to participate. AMPlify Germany will unfold during 2017.

    In 2016 under the AMPlify umbrella, the Indigenous Composer Initiative, a partnership between Moogahlin Performing Arts, Eora College, Australian National University, Ensemble Offspring, and AMC, was successful in securing funding from APRA’s Cultural Grants Program. The project sees 5 Indigenous composers (Troy Russell, Phyan Clapham, Tim Gray, Brenda Gifford, and Elizabeth Sheppard) preparing works for performance and recording in 2017. This is a significant initiative, and we greatly look forward to the outcomes.
    2.5.4 AMC Publishing
    AMC publishes from time to time CDs, books and education resources. In 2016 AMC released two Education Kits (see 2.1.4 above), one on Nigel Westlake and Lior’s Compassion, prepared by Phillip Cooney; the other on Lorraine Milne’s song cycle Maiden Voyage, prepared by Julie Montague.

    Other publication projects are underway for release in 2017.
    2.5.5 The Art Music Awards, and Paul Lowin Prizes Art Music Awards
    The 2016 Art Music Awards returned to Melbourne after being held there for the first time in in 2014.

    The awards attracted 205 nominations across the categories (191 in 2015; 197 in 2014), and national and state panels were convened to assess them, selecting a shortlist of finalists and identifying the winners. The event, held at Sydney Recital Centre in August, was again highly successful, and stimulated much positive feedback.

    The winners of the National and State/Territory awards represent a diverse range of music creation, presentation, and promotion, of the highest quality:

    2016 Art Music Awards – winners
    Distinguished Services to Australian Music
    Helen Gifford OAM
    Vocal / Choral Work of the Year: Le Molière Imaginaire by Andrew Schultz, with text by Timothy Timothy Knapman, after the final scene of Molière's 'Le Malade Imaginaire, performed by I Fagiolini
    Jazz Work of the Year: Nyilipidgi, by Paul Grabowsky and the Young Wägilak Group, performed by Paul Grabowsky, the Young Wagilak Group, and the Monash Art Ensemble.
    Instrumental Work of the Year: Semaphore by Kate Neal, performed by Semaphore Band and dancers
    Orchestral Work of the Year: Earth Plays, by Catherine Milliken, performed by the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, soloist Fiona Campbell, and conducted by Peter Rundel
    Performance of the Year: Semaphore band and dancers for their performance of Kate Neal’s Semaphore
    Award for Excellence by an Organisation: Ensemble Offspring for 2015 activities and sustained services to Australian music for 20 years
    Award for Excellence by an Individual: Claire Edwardes for performance, advocacy and artistic leadership
    Award for Excellence in Music Education: Artology for the Fanfare Competition
    Award for Excellence in a Regional Area: Moorambilla Voices for the Moorambilla Voices 2015 Tenth Anniversary Season
    Award for Excellence in Experimental Music: Speak Percussion for 2015 Music Program
    Award for Excellence in Jazz: Australian Jazz Real Book
    State Winners
    AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY AWARD, in the category of Instrumental Work of the Year, Natalie Williams for Saudade
    NEW SOUTH WALES STATE AWARD, in the category of Performance of the Year, Sydney Chamber Opera for Fly Away Peter by Elliott Gyger
    NORTHERN TERRITORY STATE AWARD, in the category of Orchestral Work of the Year, Darwin Symphony Orchestra for Tracy, by Ross Edwards, Iain Grandage, Lachlan Skipworth and Kat Mcguffie
    QUEENSLAND STATE AWARD, in the category of Excellence in Jazz, Berardi/Foran/Karlen for Hope in my Pocket
    SOUTH AUSTRALIAN STATE AWARD, in the category of Excellence by an Organisation, Zephyr Quartet for Sustained Contribution for over 16 years
    TASMANIAN STATE AWARD, in the category of Instrumental Work of the Year, Michael Kieran Harvey for Patañjali
    VICTORIAN STATE AWARD, in the category of Orchestral Work of the Year, Elliott Gyger for From Joyous Leaves
    WESTERN AUSTRALIA STATE AWARD, in the category of Performance of the Year, Louise Devenish for Electroacoustic Music For One Percussionist, with composers Warren Burt, James Hullick, Stuart James, Andrián Pertout and Lindsay Vickery. Paul Lowin Prizes
    The AMC manages the Paul Lowin Prizes on behalf of Perpetual, and they are awarded every 2 or 3 years, depending on interest earnings on the trust’s capital investment. The prizes include $25,000 for an orchestral composition, and $15,000 for a “song cycle”. A song cycle as defined in the prize rules includes works for single or multiple voices, and also works that may be considered music theatre works.

    At an event in Sydney in October 2016 the winners of the prizes were announced:

    2016 Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize
    WINNER: Lachlan Skipworth: Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
    OTHER FINALISTS: James Ledger Golden Years; Cathy Milliken Earth Plays I-V
    2016 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize
    WINNER: Brett Dean: String Quartet No.2 And once I played Ophelia, for soprano and string quartet
    OTHER FINALISTS: Andrew Ford: Last words; Andrew Schultz:Paradise

    The AMC will continue to work with Perpetual to ensure appropriate outcomes in future editions of the prizes.

    2.5.6 International Promotions and Market Development Classical: Next and Jazzahead
    Following roundtable discussions in November 2014 convened by the Australia Council, AMC entered into a partnership with Sounds Australia to develop the Australian presence at 2 important industry showcases: Jazzahead in Bremen, held each April; and Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam, held each May.

    In 2016 Sounds Australia took out a display stand at Jazzahead and at Classical:NEXT, providing support to the Australian delegates. A diverse delegation of some 30 Australian delegates attended, with support provided by the Australia Council for registration costs. The delegation hosted other delegates at a reception at the Sounds Australia stand, and certainly made an impact. Discussions with the organisers following the event focussed on furthering Australia’s relationship there, resulting in AMC V Chair Genevieve Lacey being appointed to the jury for the 2017 edition.

    Australia’s involvement with this event continues to develop, and provides a platform for Australia’s artists to engage in a larger marketplace, and expand their networks.

    AMC’s international promotions and advocacy more broadly will continue to be a priority, and the ongoing relationships with Sounds Australia, APRA AMCOS, the Australia Council, and other key stakeholders, are vital in achieving appropriate international outcomes for art music repertoire and practitioners. International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC) and the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM)
    In 2016 the AMC continued to enhance its relationships through IAMIC and ISCM, and actively participate in the further development of these networks. Through these relationships, opportunities are created for Australian artists, through collaborations and exchanges, and by the sharing of information relating to the international music landscape.

    As a prominent member of IAMIC, AMC is invited to attend the annual conference each year, and the IAMIC Spring meeting held alongside Classical: NEXT.

    This network is an important one for the AMC, setting benchmarks for AMC to measure itself against, and benefiting from the sharing of information and experiences on the functioning of a music centre. AMC leads this network in regards to digitisation and online activity, and achieves the highest level of earned income of any MIC, at above 49%, well ahead of Canada (22%) and Slovakia (20%). Most MICs (including New Zealand) only manage to achieve 5% or less of earned income against their subsidies from government or performing right society sources.

    As the Australian National Section for ISCM, AMC submits 6 works each year to be considered for inclusion in the annual ISCM World Music Days Festival, the largest international festival of contemporary music.

    At the 2016 ISCM Festival in Korea the Australian submission included works by Amanda Cole, Melody Eotvos, Annie Hsieh, Matthias Schnack-Arnott, Matthew Shlomowitz, and Paul Stanhope. There were 2 Australian works performed (1 in 2015 in Slovenia; 1 in 2014 in Wroclaw; 1 in 2013 in Vienna, 3 in 2012 in Belgium), by Paul Stanhope and Annie Hsieh, both of whom also represented Australia as the First Delegate at the ISCM General Assembly.

    The record that Australia has in works being regularly selected for the festival each year is particularly commendable, as many other countries struggle to have a single work selected in each festival. These results are a direct reflection on Australia’s pro-active representation in ISCM.

    3. SUMMARY

    In 2016 the AMC provided a large and diverse audience with access to the music created by Australian composers, improvisers and sound artists, through a diverse range of activities:

    2, 933 scores and recordings were loaned for perusal (2,469 in 2015, 2,549 in 2014; 3,247 in 2013), 3,177 scores were produced for sale (3,839 in 2015, 2,870 in 2014; 2,830 in 2013), not to mention additional sales of MP3 recordings, CDs and published scores. Additionally, 1,156 new works were catalogued in AMC’s database (956 in 2015, 990 in 2014; 758 in 2013).

    The AMC represented an additional 24 artists in 2015 (16 in 2015, 22 in 2014; 21 in 2013), working across the spectrum of notated composition, experimental/non-notated composition and sound art, jazz and in pedagogy. The AMC catalogue now captures the works of 704 Australian composers and includes over 39,354, scores, recordings and information resources by or relating to these composers. Through representation, each of these artists (621 of whom are active/living) have a dedicated profile on the AMC website (accessible to the high traffic volumes achieved there), and a specific online management system to maintain their catalogue of work with the AMC. These composers also have access to the AMC facsimile publishing and sales services.

    The financial results achieved in 2016 further contribute to building reserves, and appropriately mitigate against the inherent risks of retail operations.

    Working with stakeholders from creation, through to performance, publishing and recording, and end audiences, the AMC has actively aided the creation, documentation and dissemination of the music of Australian art music creators. In 2016 we have continued to provide essential infrastructure support to the vibrant and diverse art music community.

    The continuing survival of the AMC in meeting the significant challenges presented each year are indeed a testament to the many who contribute to the organisation. First and foremost, the committed staff, who have such passion and care for the work that they do, and whose contribution to Australian music continues to be truly significant, and inevitably under-acknowledged. I thank them for their outstanding work in 2016, and the loyalty to the organisation that they continually demonstrate, and more broadly, loyalty to the sector.

    The often unseen work of the AMC’s Board of Directors must also be acknowledged. We are grateful for what they bring to the organisation, the skills and expertise that they offer, and the support that they provide to AMC’s management and staff, both directly and by example.

    Similarly, the role that APRA AMCOS has taken on with the AMC is marked by a great respect for the value of the AMC’s work, and what it brings to the sector. The ongoing daily support of the APRA AMCOS staff, in various ways, is gratefully acknowledged.

    The support of the AMC’s key funding partners is vital during this period of significant change for the organisation. The Australia Council and APRA AMCOS’s essential support of AMC to continue its important work on behalf of Australian music is vital to our survival, and this support is gratefully acknowledged.

    There are many in the Australian music community who contribute to the scene in so many ways, through the work that they do. The composers, performers and presenters, the educators, and the many others who assist in the work of the AMC as a national service organisation for Australian music, is also gratefully acknowledged.

    John Davis, CEO
    April 2016



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