ACF + APRA AMCOS: supporting creators of art music

Double the score! In March 2017, we matched up to $12K to support the Art Music Fund

Australia and New Zealand are home to some of the world’s most innovative and talented composers, and we wanted them to be heard!

The Australian Cultural Fund (ACF), a premier fundraising platform for Australian artists partnered with APRA AMCOS to boost its $100,000 Art Music Fund, so more artists could create more music to share with audiences here and overseas.

In 2016, its inaugural year, the APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund funded 12 established and emerging composers, including percussionist Matthias Schack-Arnott, who took out the Development Award at the Melbourne Prize for Music in 2016, and composer Liza Lim, for her major new work Wayfaring in the Weather World for renowned ensemble Klangforum Wien, based in Vienna.

Through the Double the Score campaign, donations supported the commissioning of new music that was bold in its conception and excellent in its execution. It gave composers the space and time they needed to take risks, think big and create new works.

The Australian Cultural Fund matched donations given to Double the Score, dollar for dollar, up to $12,000. Those who donated $100 meant that the fund received a $200. Donations of $1000; meant that the next generation of music composers received $2000.

Our aim was to raise a further $100,000 for the fund, which would give more composers a chance to create diverse new works.

Double the Score ran in March 2017 and has now ended. Like all projects on the ACF, donations over $2 were tax deductible.

View the campaign:


Why the Art Music Fund is so important

We spoke with two of last year’s Art Music Fund recipients – Dan Thorpe and Decibel New Music Ensemble – to find out why the fund is so important and the impact it’s had, one year on.

Dan Thorpe

Through the Art Music Fund Dan workshopped and premiered [ false cognate ] for bass flute and electric guitar/viola at the highSCORE festival in Pavia, Italy. It has since been performed in Adelaide and Sydney with additional performances planned for 2017.

Dan Thorpe: “The Art Music Fund has had an almost immeasurable impact on my career. As the youngest composer successful in the first round, I felt a great sense of responsibility to make sure I made the most of the opportunities the fund provided.

The Art Music Fund is important for a number of reasons. The first is that it cuts straight to the heart of what many of us in the industry are facing: it pays artists for their creative work.

Indeed, the Art Music Fund is the first piece of funding I’ve ever received that exclusively and directly paid me to make art. The fund privileges the creation and longevity of high-quality work, something which reinforces the value of art music in a political environment that tries to shift the conversation away from what is being made as a means of devaluing our amazing artists.

The second reason it is important is because it focuses, in a material and useful way, on the future of Art Music in Australia. Encouraging a healthy scene — exchange between composers and multiple ensembles, publishing, recording, and broadcast — is something that few other bodies prioritize and it is essential to the viability and continuation of our tradition and our sense of community.”

Decibel New Music Ensemble

With assistance from the Art Music Fund Decibel commissioned three new works by Cat Hope, Mark Oliveiro and Meg Travers for their Electric Concerto program.

Decibel: “Our Art Music Fund grant enabled us to commission new work from Australian composers for a concert in which the electronic instrument – iPhone, trautonium and electric noise bass, and more – will take the starring role in a series of ‘chamber concertos’ – single movement, ten-minute works, for electronic soloist and six piece ensemble, Decibel. The commissioned works will highlight the talents of the soloist (who is also the composer) as well as the virtuosity of the ensemble players.

Other new works on the program will be commissioned with funds donated to our Difficult Commission Project, through the Australian Cultural Fund.

They provide us with funds to commission new Australian music which is critical to our musicians’ ongoing development of their practice and to the career opportunities of the composers we engage with.  Further, with these funds available for commissioning new work, our capacity to perform the work increases as the cost of commissions is removed from our concert production and promotion budgets.  It makes a difference to our ability to actually perform the work.

The Art Music Fund gives us the freedom to commission work that is central to our artistic vision.  We can maintain the integrity of the ensemble’s practice, rather than having to deliver to the agenda or priorities of a funding body or philanthropic trust.”


Double the Score ran in March, 2017. Like all projects on the ACF, donations over $2 were tax deductible.

The APRA AMCOS Art Music Fund supports artistic diversity and the creation and presentation of new music works, including electroacoustic music, improvised music, sound art, multimedia, web and film sound and music and, theatrical, operatic and choreographed music. Chosen works have committed public presentation partners to ensure the music is brought to life.