The Australian Mandolin Music Association Inc. was established in 2006 to be a private source of funding for the commissioning of mandolin music and for the promotion of that music within Australia and internationally.
The aim is to commission 2-3 works per year for mandolin orchestra, or mandolin related ensembles/instruments and, over time, establish a body of music for present and future generations to enjoy. This web site provides information on the commissioned music, and provides a link to the composers' web sites. Each composer is a professional musician who will have a wealth of music worthy of your exploration.
A requirement for a commission from AMMA is that the composer grants permission for a limited number (approx.10-15) copies of the work to be freely distributed. This allows us to distribute the work to selected orchestras/performers in Australia and overseas which ensures the music is performed and helps to promote the composer.
If you are a performer, or represent a mandolin orchestra, and would be interested in premiering or performing one of the commissions in your country, please email: info @ mandolinmusic.com.au
AMMA operates using privately gifted funds, and contributions are most welcome. Deposits may be placed into the following Australian bank account:
|| 083 847
| ACCOUNT No:
|| Australian Mandolin Music Association Inc.
Commissions for 2011, 2012
No commissions have been awarded in 2011 or 2012. At this stage, further funding is required before any more commissions are granted.
The commissions award to date have been funded by just three private individuals and have been enormously successful having been performed by orchestras all around the world. If you have benefited from this, or if you just support music in the community, then please consider a financial donation into the above account so we can our next commission underway. Each commission, including publication, costs about $3,000.
Commissions for 2010
Keith Harris' "Three Miniatures" was completed in September 2011. The work provides fascinating glimpses into some of the influences which have shaped Keith's career in the mandolin world. A work which will be performed widely, particularly in Australia and Europe. ***NEWS FLASH*** "Three Miniatures" was given its' World Premiere by the Estrellita Mandolin Orchestra in The Netherlands in December 2011!
Commissions for 2009
Richard Charlton's "A Day at the Circus" was completed in October 2009. Richard's third work for mandolin orchestra is another wonderful addition to the repertoire. His previous works have been performed by many Australian and International orchestras. "A Day at the Circus" was premiered in the USA by Marilyn Mair's American Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra as part of their Suitcase Seminars in February 2010.
Commissions for 2008
Robert Schulz's "Dance Pieces 3 & 4" for mandolin orchestra was completed in March 2009. The work is a sequel to Robert's highly successful "Dance Pieces 1 & 2" written in 1978 and widely performed and recorded.
John Peterson's "Illawarra Dances" for mandolin orchestra was completed in March 2009. This is John's second work for mandolin orchestra with his first, "Under Sydney Skies", premiered at the Sydney FAME music camp in January this year. "Illawarra Dances" will be performed by the West Australian Mandolin Orchestra on their tour to France and Germany in May 2010.
Commissions for 2007
Ann Carr-Boyd's "Suite for Solo Mandolin" has now been published. The work was premiered on 25th March 2008 in Muecke, Germany by Stephanie Rauch and had it's Australian premiere on 9th July 2009 by Sue Flower at the FAME festival in Brisbane.
UPDATE - Ann has arranged "Rag for Razz" (one of the suite) for mandolin orchestra !!
Ann also arranged a piano version of "Rag for Razz" which has been recorded and was broadcast on ABC Classic FM national radio on 31 January 2009.
Betty Beath's "Though I travel far ... I do not forget" for mandolin orchestra was completed in March 2008 and was premiered in Japan on 1st November 2008 by the Takarazuka Mandolin Guitar Orchestra.
Commissions for 2006
Richard Charlton's "The Adventures of the Duyfken" for mandolin orchestra was completed in June 2007 and was premiered in The Netherlands on 3rd November 2007 by the ONI Mandolin Orchestra.
Robert Schulz's "A Symphony of Seasons" for Mandolin Orchestra, Oboe, Timpani and Percussion - was completed January 2007 and premiered in Japan on 18 November 2007 by the Takarazuka Mandolin Guitar Orchestra. Robert was invited to Japan to conduct the premiere performance which received a wonderful reception from a full house. The piece was also performed in July 2012 at the Perth International Mandolin Festival under conductor Marco Ludemann.
Click on the "Commissioned Works" tab above to see full details about each commission
Why we do this........
It is our experience that only a few composers in Australia write for mandolin, and often their output is sporadic (with some exceptions). Commissioning of works from professional composers is often limited by the difficulty faced in obtaining scarce funds from government arts organisations. Sometimes a successful first commission from a composer new to the mandolin is never followed up with a second, and an opportunity is lost. In addition, there has been a very limited history of private commissioning or sponsorship in Australia.
The purpose of the AMMA is to help rectify this situation by providing a private source of funding for commissioning 2-3 works per year for mandolin orchestra, or mandolin related ensembles/instruments. The funding for the commissions is donated by a small group of mandolin orchestra members from around Australia who can afford to do so and who want to give something back to the movement. In this manner, AMMA hopes to make a meaningful contribution to the pool of music available to mandolin players worldwide and to play a part in the development of composers for mandolin, particularly within Australia.
A key feature of the AMMA is that it promotes the performance of this music internationally through limited free distribution (as per written agreement with the composer). The composer is immediately given wide exposure and, if their work is well received, may gain recognition more quickly than would otherwise be the case. The success of this depends on AMMA composers producing quality music that will be well received by orchestras, otherwise the music will not get performed and the reputation of AMMA commissioned music will suffer. It is therefore the policy of AMMA to commission music from proven composers. These composers may not necessarily have written for mandolin orchestra before, although it is desirable.
Many works written for mandolin by Australian composers have been performed and recorded internationally. It is clear that there is a real opportunity for Australian composers to write for the mandolin, and for those works to be widely performed.
Postscript 21 April 2009:
Having commissioned seven works so far I have learnt so much in my dealings with composers, and I would like to share the following observations:
1. There is so little funding available in Australia that I have been overwhelmed by the response from composers to the AMMA. The funding available from the government is generally distributed only to a small elite group of composers so that many wonderful composers get nothing.
2. Composers love to be asked to write music. They love having a reason to write music. Mandolin orchestras should not be reserved in asking composers to write for them.
3. AMMA offers composers the opportunity for performance and recognition - something that has great value to a composer. If your orchestra works with a composer, ask them how you can help them - they may be more that happy for you to distribute their music for free in order to achieve greater recognition. I feel we have an obligation to assist and promote composers who write well for mandolin.
4. For too long there has been limited liason between composers and mandolin orchestras. Orchestras have been reluctant to ask composers because they can't afford to pay, and composers are reluctant to push their own music. We need to get over these reservations, start talking, and look for ways to help each other. For a composer, having a commission on their CV can be worth much more than money. Mandolin orchestras need to start taking the initiative!
Food for thought.