I’ve had another crack at the Repertoire Safety Index, this time taking as much of the orchestras’ repertoire as possible into account, not just the flagship series. The results haven’t changed too much – strong showings from the ACO, ASO and NZSO, with Melbourne and (especially) Sydney underperforming the average by a wide berth:
I’ve also taken the opportunity to update the “Live Music factor” (proportion of repertoire composed by people who are still alive) and a “Local Composers” score showing what proportion of repertoire was composed by Australians (or Kiwis in the case of the NZSO):
Given the amount of grant money these orchestras get each year, you might be excused for thinking that these numbers aren’t good enough. Surely the Sydney Orchestra can manage to schedule Australian works at a rate slightly above 1 in 20.
Does the Arts Council bring any pressure to bear in this area, when it comes time to allocating their grant monies? One of their strategic objectives is:
- Supporting the presentation of distinctive Australian cultural work, nationally and internationally
How does the overwhelming quantity of old European masterpieces help to meet this objective?