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Welcome to the first Podium for 2014.

Welcome to this issue of The Podium.  You’ll find some wonderful reading in Gordon Williams’ article about the LA-based Academy of Scoring Arts, a group that regularly meets to analyse great music and “maintain Hollywood’s high standards in musicianship”. Poor Gordon arrived in LA too late to enjoy the two-and-a-half years the group spent analysing The Rite of Spring!

I’m also pleased to point you towards the transcript of Scot Morris’ presentation on Performance and New Media Licensing for Australia and New Zealand. Scot is the Director – International of APRA/AMCOS (the organisations that collect and distribute rights payments, licence fees and royalties on behalf of Australian musicians and performers). Scot was a special guest speaker for the first Librarians Summit held for our Member and Associate orchestras. In anticipation of our next Librarians Summit we invite you to learn more about this fascinating area.

Our Top Tip will point orchestras in the right direction to ensure they comply with Australia's new federal WHS legislation, and our featured Member orchestra is the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, from Australia's Sunshine State. And finally, enjoy our Speed Read for news of orchestral matters from around the world.

Shortly I’ll be heading off to Seattle for the always stimulating League of American Orchestras conference. In addition to speaking on a panel dedicated to orchestral trends around the world, I’ll be undertaking some in-depth research into best-practice conductor training and career pathways; stay tuned for a run-down in the next issue of The Podium.

Happy reading and listening!

Kate Lidbetter
Chief Executive Officer

Score reading in Studio City - Getting 'under the hood'

The cabaret room of Vitello's in Studio City (the same suburb where Mack Sennett built his film lot in 1927; where The Brady Bunch lived in the early 1970s) is not the sort of place you'd expect to find composer activity on a Friday morning. But once a month, of a Friday, 50+ LA composers meet there as members of the Academy of Scoring Arts. Read Gordon Williams article in full.

Featured Member Orchestra – Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Each year the Queensland Symphony Orchestra presents over 100 performances, delivering extraordinary musical experiences to Queenslanders of all ages. Find out more.

Top Tip - New WHS Legislation

Although not yet adopted by Victoria and Western Australia the federal Work Health and Safety Act 2011 requires employers in the remaining states to approach WHS in a holistic way.  Whereas the previous state-based laws focused on a model of hierarchical responsibility between employer and employee, the new Act requires all stakeholders to take responsibility for employees’ health and wellbeing. For orchestras this involves a broad approach to compliance; their Work Health Management System (WHMS) needs to reference not only their own organisation’s WHS policy, but also the policies of each of the parties with which they collaborate and of the venues in which they perform.

In response to the new legislation, Symphony Services has developed a WHMS to cover the international artists that tour with the six Australian member orchestras.  These artists are contracted by SSI, work with the orchestras and perform in one or more of dozens of venues around the country. 

Orchestras and arts organisations should consider revising their WHS policies and WHMS to ensure that they have considered the range of stakeholders with which their employees interact and, for best practice, to cross reference those stakeholders’ policies in the appendices to their own policies.

Performance and new media licensing in Australia and New Zealand

In late 2014 Symphony Services International will host an Orchestral Librarians Summit in Brisbane. For the first time, a portion of this event will be open to Asia-Pacific members of the Major Orchestral Librarians Association (MOLA) and we are grateful to MOLA for their support of this part of the event. There will also be a section of the meeting just for Members and Associates of SSI. For further information please contact Vi King Lim, SSI Library Manager, on (02) 8622 9486 or In the meantime, this transcript of Scot Morris’ presentation to the last Orchestral Librarians Summit may whet your appetite. Titled “Performance and New Media Licensing in Australia and New Zealand”. Read his comments here.

Speed Read

Some more stories from the world's papers

Crowdsourcing is being used to help save the financially-troubled San Diego Opera.

Some more thoughts on class and race in classical music.

But Ted Gioia rails at the displacement of music criticism - all music criticism - by lifestyle reporting.