Inaugural Asia Pacific Music Summit to build regional ties

2 April 2014

Eleven heads of the leading tertiary music schools from the Asia Pacific region will meet in Sydney this week for an inaugural music summit. The 2014 Asia Pacific Music Summit, which runs from 2 to 5 April, will create closer ties between the music conservatories and build the region as a driving force behind music education and culture globally.

The initiative is the brainchild of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney and Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, which are the joint hosts of the summit that will take place at the Sydney Opera House.

The leaders of 11 pre-eminent music institutions will represent the tertiary education interests of China, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United States, New Zealand and Australia. A group of 35 students from the Beijing, Shanghai, Melbourne and Sydney conservatories will also take part and prepare for an orchestral recital for the summit finale at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on Saturday 5 April.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music's Dean Dr Karl Kramer said: "This is a unique opportunity to meet face to face with our peers from the region's top conservatoriums and discuss best practices in music education and performance.

"Whilst we all assume the western music tradition of teaching, each institution is mutually exclusively in terms of how it operates. We are eleven unique case studies, each with different expertise to share.

"The summit is a starting point to forming stronger human connections between the institutions to encourage greater and more regular dialogue across the region," said Dr Kramer.

The summit comes at a time when countries such as China are experiencing a major boom in classical music, and where the audiences are generally much younger than those markets in America and Europe.

Beijing Central Conservatory of Music's President, Professor Wang Cizhao said: "The purpose of holding this summit is to strengthen the inter-conservatory exchange and collaboration more widely, so that the resources in the Asia Pacific region can be integrated and we can work together on promoting international music education.

"The inter-conservatory exchange will become a vital part of running a conservatory with the international development of music education across all countries. Through this summit, delegates can air their views on shared problems. Though each conservatory has its own cultural background and historical traditions, they will surely complement one another when facing a shared teaching problem," said Professor Wang Cizhao.

During the four-day summit, the leaders will discuss course programs, student exchanges, industry collaborations, funding models and performance platforms. Australian industry figures including Australia Council for the Arts' Tony Grybowski, Sydney Symphony Orchestra's Rory Jeffes, Sydney Opera House's Louise Herron, University of Sydney's Dr Michael Spence and media executive and composer Kim Williams AM, will share their vision for the performing arts sector in the region.

At the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the student cohort from Australia and China will workshop and rehearse a program of classical orchestral pieces for the finale event. The recital will include premiere performances of two works composed by two summit delegates, Professor Barry Conyngham AM from Melbourne and Professor Xu Shuya from Shanghai.

Whilst bilateral relations have existed for some time between many of the institutions across the region, the Sydney summit will be the first gathering of the Deans and Presidents who have officially formed the Association of Asia-Pacific Music Institutions (AAMI) this year. The summit is expected to be held annually, hosted by a member of AAMI.

The members of the AAMI and delegates of the Asia-Pacific Music Summit (2-5 April 2014) are:

  • Dr Karl Kramer, Dean, Sydney Conservatorium of Music
  • Professor Wang Cizhao, President, Beijing Central Conservatory of Music
  • Professor Xu Shuya, President, Shanghai Conservatory of Music
  • Professor Bernard Lanskey, Director, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore
  • Professor Barry Conyngham AM, Dean, Faculty of Victorian College of Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
  • Associate Professor Allan Badley, School Of Music, University of Auckland
  • President David H. Stull, President, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Professor Robert Cutietta, Dean, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California
  • Professor Adrian Walter, Director, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
  • Dr Jinny Liu, School of Music, Taipei National University of the Arts
  • Professor Ueda Katsumi, Dean, School of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts
  • Professor Young-Yul Kim, Dean, The College of Music, Seoul National University (absent from Sydney summit)

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