The Queensland Symphony Orchestrahas topped Ian Whitney’s report on Australian orchestral content for 2019, with 11 percent of works programmed on its 2019 program written by Australian composers, a massive increase on its one percent in 2018.
Whitney’s report, which the composer began in 2016, counts the works listed in the online brochures for each of the Adelaide, Melbourne, Queensland, Sydney, Tasmanianand West Australiansymphony orchestras, as well as the Australian Chamber Orchestra. “If it’s not in the brochure, it’s not counted,” he says in the report, acknowledging that this means festivals, galas and outreach programs often don’t make it into the figures because of the lack of detail in the published brochures.
Trends in Australian Content, MPA Orchestras 2016–2019. Image © Ian Whitney
The report has become a finger on the pulse of Australian orchestral content, providing a snapshot of the overall landscape delivered with what the composer describes as “the occasional snide observation”. Whitney includes his methodology with the 2018 report, acknowledging both the philosophy behind the report and its limitations. Neither the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (which...