From 1997 until 2006 Symphony Australia received a grant from the Australia Council towards a substantial commissioning program that provided opportunities to composers at all stages of their careers. Symphony Australia matched that grant and during this period more than 170 words from over 70 Australian composers were commissioned. Symphony Australia also ran a composer in residence program on behalf of the six symphony orchestras.
From 2006 the grant was no longer provided but Symphony Australia continued to commission works on behalf of the orchestras, mostly as co-commissions to ensure multiple performances of works. During this time, the orchestras increased their own use of philanthropic funds to commission their own pieces and from 2017 they will work together to ensure regular commissioning of Australian composers, and the performance of Australian works, continues into the future.
In 2016 Symphony Australia will collaborate with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to present the Symphony Australia TSO Composer Development School. For further information about this activity please visit the TSO website – https://www.tso.com.au/educate/training/