Ahead of tomorrow night’s Art Music Awards in Sydney, where achievements in the composition, performance, education and presentation of art music are recognised, industry luminary John Davis has penned an op-ed on what the sector means to the music industry.

As CEO of the Australian Music Centre, John Davis is the best person to explain what ‘art music’ is and the state of art music in Australia.

Read John Davis’ op-ed in full below, written especially for TIO readers.

One of the first things some people ask when hearing about the work of the Australian Music Centre (AMC) is “what is art music?” Well, we’ve been operating since 1974, supporting artists working in the art music sector, promoting artists, their creative work, the products, events, and other materials that document this important form of cultural expression.

The terminology of “art music” is complicated, necessarily, because whilst it covers the contemporary classical and experimental scene, these terms alone cannot embrace the diversity of creativity that exists across the sector. Our work on behalf of creators in this field covers an enormous range of styles and approaches, from notated music for concert performance, in the concert hall or alternative venues; to contemporary original jazz and improvisatory forms; to the broad range of experimentalism across computer and acousmatic music, installation and sound art, noise, and more.