Australian works in 2016: the rankings

Every year, I amuse myself in counting the representation of Australian work in advertised 2016 programs by the major music organisations (I may not be very cool). Sydney Symphony Orchestra kicked off the 2016 announcements early this year, so I will update the below as season brochures become available. Some important qualifications:

  • This is not a particularly scientific activity: I am literally sitting with the publicly available season brochure and manually counting works (not performances) advertised.
  • Because I’m relying on the season brochure, works in education and other outreach programs are not included as these are typically not detailed in the brochure. If a company details programming for these activities I will note it but not include them for the purpose of rankings to maintain some semblance of standardisation.
  • I will also indicate how many Australian works are included in ‘flagship’ programming- i.e the company’s starriest series in their primary venue. This won’t affect the ranking.
  • I’m not going to address the bigger question of what would an appropriate percentage look like- this is a presentation of data only.
  • Nor is it my intention that a raw number is to be equated with the overall quality of the 2016 season (if I were to rank them in order of my own personal excitement, it would possibly be quite a different list).
  • Works must be advertised for performance in 2016- so future plans, no matter how noble, will not be counted.

The companies will be listed in ranked order of Australian works as a percentage of all works advertised. The company’s name will link to the season brochure I used for counting, if available online.

1. West Australian Opera
Date of count: 26 October 2015
Number of works advertised: 3
Number of Australian works advertised: 1 (0 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 33%
Australian works in flagship programming: 1
Composers (0% women): Grandage

=1. State Opera South Australia
Date of count: 26 October 2015
Number of works advertised: 3
Number of Australian works advertised: 1 (1 premiere)
Percentage of Australian works: 33%
Australian works in flagship programming: 1
Composers (0% women): Palmer

3. Victorian Opera
Date of count: 20 August 2015
Number of works advertised: 7
Number of Australian works advertised: 2 (2 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 29%
Australian works in flagship programming: 2
Composers (0% women): Grabowsky, Mills

4. Opera Q (Opera Queensland)
Date of count: 6 October 2015
Number of works advertised: 5
Number of Australian works advertised: 1 (1 premiere)
Percentage of Australian works: 20%
Australian works in flagship programming: 1
Composers: (100% women): Kamalova

5. Australian String Quartet
Date of count: 21 September 2015
Number of works advertised: 11
Number of Australian works advertised: 2 (1 premiere)
Percentage of Australian works: 18%
Australian works in flagship programming: 2
Composers (0% women): Chindamo, Hindson

6. Opera Australia
Date of count: 11 August 2015
Number of works advertised: 14
Number of Australian works advertised: 2 (0 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 14%
Australian works in flagship programming: 0
Composers (50% women): John, Miller-Heidke

7. Musica Viva
Date of count: 17 August 2015
Number of works advertised: 62
Number of Australian works advertised: 6 (3 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 10%
Australian works in flagship programming: 5
Composers (20% women): Broadstock, Edwards (2), Smalley, Stanley, Twist

=8. Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Date of count: 11 August 2015
Number of works advertised: 135
Number of Australian works advertised: 11 (6 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 8%
Australian works in flagship programming: 4
Composers (18% women): Anderson, Dean (2), Edwards, Garsden, Gyger, Hindson, Illean, Sculthorpe, Stanhope, Westlake

=8. Australian Chamber Orchestra
Date of count: 17 August 2015
Number of works advertised: 61
Number of Australian works advertised: 5 (3 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 8%
Australian works in flagship programming: 4
Composers (25% women): Constable, Kats-Chernin (2), Kerry, Sculthorpe

10. Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Date of count: 8 October 2015
Number of works advertised: 73
Number of Australian works advertised: 5 (3 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 7%
Australian works in flagship programming: 1
Composers (33% women): Hsieh, Edwards, Ford, Ledger, Milliken, Westlake

=11. Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Date of count: 6 October 2015
Number of works advertised: 64
Number of Australian works advertised: 3 (1 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 5%
Australian works in flagship programming: 3
Composers (66% women): Eotvos, Kats-Chernin, Munro

=11. West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Date of count: 7 September 2015
Number of works advertised: 58
Number of Australian works advertised: 3 (0 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 5%
Australian works in flagship programming:
Composers (33% women): Dean, Kats-Chernin, Sculthorpe

13. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Date of count: 13 August 2015
Number of works advertised: 112
Number of Australian works advertised: 5 (5 premieres)
Percentage of Australian works: 4%
Australian works in flagship programming: 1
Composers: (0% women as advertised): Conyngham, Ledger, Munro, 2 Cybec Young Composers not identified

14. Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Date of count: 13 August 2015
Number of works advertised: 55
Number of Australian works advertised: 0
Percentage of Australian works: 0%
Australian works in flagship programming: 0
Composers: –

Bonus Observation for 2016
Number of 2016 orchestral programs announced: 7
Number of Beethoven cycles announced: 4
Percentage of orchestras with a Beethoven cycle in 2016: 57%
(18 August- I originally excluded ACO from Beethovapalooza ’16 however on reading this interview, it appears they’re doing a cycle after all so I’ve increased the numbers accordingly).

7 thoughts on “Australian works in 2016: the rankings

  1. You could also do the same for Australian conductors, and Australian soloists.

    And this list was a good way for me to find out who was playing my stuff! Composers are generally the last to know, contrary to popular belief.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think I have the emotional energy to also do the performers! I do feel a bit bad for QSO, because they announce their interesting new music series early in the new year, but my rules were pretty inflexible on that front and at any rate, not a single Australian work in the main season is pretty grim on its own merits.

    Like

  3. And we shouldn’t forget that Sydney Festival are importing Anima Eterna (can’t be bothered with looking up the correct spelling) to do a complete Beethoven cycle too. There is no escape from Beethovapalooza.

    Liked by 1 person

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