The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) has announced THE ANAM SET – a bold and ambitious commissioning project delivering confidence and vision in Australia’s creative future. The project is a direct response to the ravaged year of 2020 and a deliberate initiative by ANAM to demonstrate the resilience, power and vibrancy of the arts community.
With the support of the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative – ANAM is marshalling an army of Australian composers to create over 6.5 hours of new Australian music, embarking on one of the biggest commissioning projects of new music ever undertaken in Australia.
Sixty-seven composers – ranging across genres and career stages, from emerging to internationally established – are being commissioned to write a six minute work with each of ANAM’s sixty-seven young virtuoso musicians to perform in 2021, with the intention of revitalising Australian composition and performance.
The composers are being identified via a range of initiatives: fifteen composers – including Brett Dean, Paul Grabowsky, William Barton, Liza Lim, Errki Veltheim, Deborah Cheetham and a number of significant established and emerging talents – have enthusiastically accepted ANAM’s invitation to be included in The ANAM Set; a public Expression of Interest process is identifying another group of composers; and ANAM’s musicians and faculty are making suggestions of composers to be involved.
“The response to The ANAM Set from Australian composers has been amazing – overwhelming both in scale and enthusiasm, I wish we had a hundred more musicians at ANAM this year to work with even more than 67 composers!” said Incoming Artistic Director, Paavali Jumppanen.
“It’s been humbling to see the breadth of diversity, backgrounds, genres, and career paths of so many creative artists – from luminaries including Brett Dean and Deborah Cheetham, to young trailblazers such as Harry Sdraulig.”
“The ANAM Set will be an incredible snapshot of Australian music at a time when it’s most needed. It’s also going to be an exciting challenge for our musicians, whom I completely trust to be up for the task.”
“For all of us, this is such an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the richness of the Australian music scene. And personally, having been witness to the creative potential of this country I hope to see many more projects like this,” said Paavali Jumppanen.
The sixty-seven composers will then embark on a close collaborative creative partnership with each of ANAM’s 2021 musicians, together developing the works that will be first revealed to the world in a variety of performances in the spaces of the beautiful Abbotsford Convent from 16 August to 30 November this year.
A dedicated series of presentations showcasing The ANAM Set is in the planning stages for the end of 2021 and discussions are underway to film the performances – connecting the work of these composers and performers with regional, remote and international communities.
Composer Liza Lim is the first to be paired and will be working closely with ANAM cellist James Morley. “I’m pleased to be part of ANAM’s ambitious program to seed new creative partnerships which I’m sure will bear fruit for Australian music for a long time to come” said Lim, Professor of Composition and Sculthorpe Chair of Australian Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
“I’ve had collaborations with cellists at various transformational phases in my compositional practice so I’m excited to be working with James Morley. I think we’ll be able to make something unexpected together.”
ANAM cellist James Morley added: “The idea of any institution being able to facilitate almost 70 commissions in a year is astounding, but it is an idea that ought to become a standardised practise in our industry,” he said.
“To be able to look forward as classically-trained musicians and to have our eyes opened to the phenomenal work of today’s creative musicians is a huge privilege – it’s actually a learning experience unlike any other that I can say I’ve ever shared with an entire cohort of musicians before.”
“Furthermore, to have the honour of working with Liza Lim is the fulfilment of a long-standing dream of mine! I can’t wait to contribute to the next instalment of what is an already acclaimed offering of works for solo cello,” said Morley.
For more information about THE ANAM SET, visit: www.anam.com.au for details.
Image: ANAM cellist James Morley – photo by Pia Johnson