The new premises at Green Square boasts administrative space, a performance and recording studio, and a production suite.
After almost 30 years of managing national operations from premises in Surry Hills, Musica Viva Australia has officially moved into their new office in Sydney’s fast-evolving Green Square precinct.
At the heart of the new construction – which has been conceived as a hub for Australian music – is the Janette Hamilton Studio, a purpose-built space named for the supporter who made it possible. “The Janette Hamilton Studio will provide much needed space for Musica Viva artists to rehearse, workshop and record their work,” said Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey. “It is also the organisation’s plan, as of January 2018, to make this studio available on a cost-neutral basis to independent artists and ensembles who are crying out for affordable creative space.”
Adam Hall @ The Velvet Players taking the new Janette Hamilton Studio for a spin. Photo © Keith Saunders
With an eye to the evolving nature of the music industry the premises will also include a digital production suite. “Named for visionary leader Kim Williams AM, a new digital production suite will enable future generations to become involved in music, minimising the limitations of geographic distance,” he said.
The suite is one of several dedications in honour of Musica Viva’s supporters. The boardroom will bear the name of the Berg family, the resource centre will recognise Board Director Kathie Grinberg, and the Tribe Room will honour the company’s first Patron, Ken Tribe.
“A new building is always exciting,” Charles Graham, Musica Viva’s Chairman. “But this building stands for so much more than bricks and mortar,” he says. “It also fulfils the early dreams of [Musica Viva] founder Richard Goldner, and stands as testimony to those who have carefully nurtured Musica Viva over the past 72 years. Thanks to their prudent stewardship, we are in the fortunate position of an arts organisation that owns its main office, enabling us to take the artistic risks that keep the company vibrant today in its presentation of 2000 events a year.”
“A family of wonderful supporters has also enabled us to secure a grand piano from our partners at Theme and Variations Piano Services,” said Graham. “With thanks to Nora Goodridge and Bob and Ruth Magid, it will bear a plaque in tribute to their mother, Ira Magid, an accomplished pianist and long-time supporter of Musica Viva.”
Michael Brealey, Tony Berg AM, Mary Jo Capps, Charles Graham and Michael Katz. Photo © Keith Saunders
The Goldner String Quartet – also named for the organisation’s founder – was the first ensemble to perform in the new premises, officially opening the building with a string quartet by Australian composer Matthew Hindson. ‘Little big band’ Adam Hall and the Velvet Players, from the Musica Viva in Schools programme, also gave the Janette Hamilton Studio a try-out to an audience of Musica Viva’s friends and supporters.
“Musica Viva holds a special place in the arts landscape as an organisation deeply committed to bringing live music to audiences of all ages and stages, regardless of where they might live across this vast country,” Brealey said. “Luckily for all of us, the benefits of this far-sighted wisdom will be enjoyed for many generations to come.”