In May, Ciaran Frame wrote an article for the Limelightwebsite about his 2020 Living Music Report. The Report is an annual analysis of Australian orchestral programming, examining whether the composers, whose works were performed around the country, adequately reflect the Australian identity and our gender, cultural and First Nations diversity. Coining a phrase used by the Australia Council, the article was called Do Our Arts Reflect Us?Frame found that in 2020 the answer was “not yet” although the trajectory is headed in the right direction. Phillip Scott, one of Limelight’s regular music reviewers, replied with a piece in which he argued against classical music being programmed through the prism of 21st-century diversity and gender equality. Felicity Wilcoxresponded with the following article, in which she argues that orchestras must urgently address the stark deficits addressed in The Living Music Report.
“No excuse to continue this discrimination” – what does Australia’s orchestral repertoire say about us?
Limelight has been looking at whether the music our orchestras play genuinely reflects our society, and to what extent it ought to. Our readers have responded passionately and eloquently.