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16 April 2021

The ANAM Set: 67 works for 67 musicians

<a href="https://anam.com.au/theanamset/composers" target="blank">See the full composer gallery </a> on the ANAM website. Image: See the full composer gallery on the ANAM website.  

The Australian National Academy of Music has announced the sixty-seven Australian composers who will be participating in the ANAM Set series of commissions in 2021. Each of the composers has been commissioned to write a six-minute solo work in close collaboration with one of ANAM's sixty-seven young virtuoso musicians. The works will be performed later in 2021.

Demonstrating a remarkable diversity of backgrounds, genres and career paths, the list includes many of Australia's best-known composers as well as numerous emerging names, including the 22-year-old Alexander Voltz.

'The ANAM Set is like a census of contemporary Australian art music', said Alexander Voltz, who will be working with violinist Emily Beauchamp on his new work. 'Whereas in the past it has been customary to commission individual composers, here we see individuality represented by a broad, national collective. That's exciting, and humbling to be a part of. This is one of Australia's most important contemporary art music projects to date. For the international community, it is a portfolio of what this country's creators can do.'

The currently US-based Kitty Xiao will write her composition for cellist Hamish Jamieson. She said, 'As an Australian living overseas during 2021, it has been especially meaningful to be able to make creative connections with Australian musicians. It's an incredibly challenging time for many, and to be able to be part of a creative project which is nurturing these connections in a time of separation and isolation is incredibly valuable.'

In addition to creating over six hours of new Australian music, this project (made possible by support from the Commonwealth Government's RISE fund) seeks to provide each ANAM musician with the experience of collaborating with a composer to produce a new work that complements and enriches their musical strengths.

The composers were identified via a range of initiatives: by invitation (the first fifteen composers, including many of Australia's best-known names); nominated by ANAM's musicians and faculty; and through a public Expression of Interest process resulting in 212 submissions.

ANAM's new Artistic Director Paavali Jumppanen and faculty had the challenging task of selecting sixty-seven composers and pairing them with ANAM musicians.

'To be part of bringing a new composition to life can be among the most profoundly satisfying acts we can do as musicians' said Paavali Jumppanen. 'The ANAM Set collaborations mark a unique opportunity to be part of creating something completely new; for our musicians to be involved in every part of the process from the first conversation with a composer to the premiere performance of the final work. Grateful to all the goodwill that has carried us here, we embark on this project with tremendous excitement and filled with creative energy!'

> More information and the full list of composer/musician teams on the ANAM website.


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Rise and Shine

Brilliant is the word that comes to mind when reading about this project. What an opportunity for some emerging composers and  rising stars to make their way into the sunlight in the company of our most established Australian composers.

This massive group project, but working on a one to one between composer and performer, is a real inspiration in the way it gives opportunity to many, rather than the one or two or few, to display their wares to each other and to the community.

ANAM by reaching beyond its usual focus on performance excellence, is really giving a boost to Australian composers no matter whether they are directly participating this year, by showing that it is possible to support and grow Australian composition in a very practical way that will ripple through the composer community.

Collaboration and communication are two key attributes that seem to lead to success in music-making as much as any project in the business world. Building this into the project as a way of providing experience and building skills in these attributes is another sign of the breadth and depth of this project.

Go Commonwealth funding for the arts, Go ANAM, Go performers, Go composers.

Can't wait to hear the results.