The Living Music Report, created by Ciaran Frame, takes stock of major Australian orchestral programming every year. It assesses whether the works that were performed around the country adequately represented Australian composers and “our gender, cultural and First Nations diversity.”
As demonstrated by our first Lost Work for Creatives of Colour survey, 2020 was a year of upheaval and struggle for creatives: the COVID-19 pandemic derailed live events and 92% of creatives of colour were expected to lose income. Innovative solutions arose: there was a marked increase in live-streamed performance and online content.
However, the 2020 Living Music Report found that these opportunities did not fully boost local representation. 10% of works were written by Australian composers (up from 1% from 2019) but the numbers for CALD Australian composers were noticeably dire.
The relevant statistics
Out of every performed work around the country in 2020, only 1% of works were written by CALD Australian composers.
Of the Australian composers, 15% were CALD Australians.
12 out of 915 performed works were written by a CALD Australian composer.
A single piece, The Lark Ascending (13 performances), was performed more times than all CALD Australian composers’ work combined (12 performances).
There were zero CALD Australian composers in Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s entire 2020 season.
There were 3 First Nations composers and 12 out of 915 performed works was written by a First Nations composer.
Queensland Symphony Orchestra: 3 works by a CALD Australian composer.
Australia chamber orchestra: 2 works by a CALD Australian composer.
Tasmania Symphony orchestra: 5 works by CALD Australian composer.
Australian Brandenburg Orchestra: 0 works by a CALD Australian composer.
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra: 0 works by a CALD Australian composter.
Musica Viva: 1 work by a CALD Australian composer.
Western Australian Symphony Orchestra: 0 Works by a CALD Australian composer.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: 1 work by a CALD Australian composer.
Sydney Symphony Orchestra: 0 works by a CALD Australian composer.
2020 Living Music Report
Read the 2020 Living Music Report for more statistics about gender diversity, and representation of living and Indigenous composers.
Help us collect more data and help CALD creatives
What kinds of support do culturally diverse creatives, organisations and businesses need in the wake of anti-racism movements like BLM? If you or your organisation has lost work, fill out our Lost Work for Creatives of Colour survey 2.0 to automatically enter a draw to WIN 1 in 5 gift cards valued at $50 (DEADLINE 1 JUNE 2021)