Do you enjoy fine music with a drink in hand, or in a hall with superb acoustics? What will classical and art music look like in the future?  How...

Indie Classics: What Will Classical and Art Music Look Like in the Future?


Museum of Contemporary Art
2000 NSW

Indie Classics: What Will Classical and Art Music Look Like in the Future?


Nicole Canham

Nicole Canham

Independent performer, writer, former Artistic Director Canberra Music Festival, Music Australia Councillor

Nicole Canham is a musician (clarinet and tarogato) who is committed to creating transformative arts experiences, and to building new audiences for live music. 

Her work as an independent artist, festival director and creative producer has taken her around Australia and throughout Mexico, the UK, Belgium and France for concerts and collaborative projects which engage diverse audiences. 

Nicole’s commitment to the commissioning and performance of new Australian music was recognised in 2013 with an Australian Art Music Award. 

Nicole is a Music Australia Councillor, focused on advocacy for the independent and small to medium music sector. She is currently completing a PhD at the University of Queensland on career pathways of independent, classically trained artists. 

Previous research conducted through a Churchill Fellowship (2008/9) and in her role as Artistic Director of the Canberra International Music Festival (2005 – 2008) has focussed on the positive impact of the arts in diverse communities and development initiatives for classical music audiences. 


Indie Classics - Sophie Lieberman

Sophie Lieberman

Head of Programs, Sydney Living Museums

Dr Sophie Lieberman has many years of experience working with cultural and tertiary organizations in audience development and engagement.

In 2012, Sophie took up the role of Head of Programs for the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales and was part of the executive team that undertook a once in a generation restructure and rebrand of a treasured public institution.

At Sydney Living Museums she leads public, education and volunteer programming to involve diverse audiences with eight house museums, a world heritage site, two city museums, a research library and the associated landscapes, collections and research. 

Sophie has particular expertise in audience development, education, outreach and partnerships and consults to tertiary and government bodies. Sophie is the Chair of the Executive Committee for the Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group and a board member of the Australian Theatre for Young People and has held roles on the Executives of the Sydney Architecture Festival and National Science Week Committee.

In 2014 she was awarded a scholarship to undertake the Sydney Leadership Program with Social Leadership Australia, of which she is now an alum. She has a particular interest in how cultural institutions can act as vectors for social inclusion.

Drew Crawford - Indie Classics

Drew Crawford

Composer, Producer, Arranger, Songwriter & Educator

Drew Crawford is an award-winning composer, producer, sound designer, arranger, songwriter and educator. With a body of work across a diverse and exceptional range of acoustic and electronic music production environments, in both ‘pure music’ and multimedia contexts, Drew’s output spans contemporary classical, opera, theatre, dance, pop, cabaret, installation, TV, film, and digital platforms.

He has performed across Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia, and been commissioned and presented by some of Australia’s leading performing arts organisations. 

Graduating in 1995 from Sydney University with First Class Honours & the University Medal for Music, and awarded his PhD in composition in 2005. Drew currently teaches Composition and Music Production at the Australian Institute of Music and has spent ten years developing a compositional instruction technique that is independent of genre.

Greg Sandow

Greg Sandow (USA)

Classical Music Consultant & Commentator

Greg Sandow is a writer, teacher, and consultant, who works on projects involving the future of classical music.

He’s a member of the Graduate Studies faculty at Juilliard, writes an influential blog about classical music’s future and has worked on projects with major American orchestras. As a consultant he’s had clients ranging from individual artists to the DePauw University School of Music, where he worked intensively with students, faculty, and the dean, helping the school put in place its radical new curriculum. In Australia, he’s worked with Sally Whitwell and Ensemble Offspring.

He’s much in demand as a speaker, both in the US and internationally. He visited Australia in 2010, and gave a keynote talk at a classical music summit in Sydney.

For many years he was a widely known critic, writing about both classical and pop music. Prior to this he was a composer and he will re-emerge as one in April, with a concert of his music at a large performing arts center just outside Washington, DC, where he currently lives. 

Claire Edwardes

Claire Edwardes

Artistic Director, Ensemble Offspring and Percussionist

Internationally acclaimed percussion soloist, chamber musician and artistic director of Sydney based Ensemble Offspring, Claire Edwardes has been described by the press as a ‘sorceress of percussion’.

She was recently granted a prestigious Australia Council Music Fellowship, is a two time recipient of the AMC/APRA Art Music Award (2007/2012) and winner of the Symphony Australia Young Performers Award. From 1999-2006 Claire was resident in Europe where she had success in numerous international competitions and performed solo in Het Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and Queen Elizabeth Hall (London).

In Australia she has performed with all of the leading orchestras. Claire is Vice President of the New Music Network.


Tim Hansen

Composer, Songwriter & Music Educator

Tim Hansen is a composer, songwriter and music educator. He is currently composer in residence at Santa Sabina College, and Artistic Administrator for Synergy Percussion. He is a co-founding director of New York-based music collectives W4 and exhAust Australian New Music ensemble, and a shortlist of ensembles he has composed for include Synergy Percussion, the Song Company, Contemporaneous, JACK quartet, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, and TRANSIT. 

Residency credits include the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, Norfolk Contemporary Music Festival, Avaloch Farm New Music Institute and twice artist-in-residence at Hill End, NSW.  In addition to being shortlisted for the APRA Professional Development award in 2010 and 2013, Tim has been awarded the Frank Ponton Memorial Prize and the Darwin International Guitar Festival Composition Prize. 

Tim has created two online lessons for TED on music, is part of Musica Viva’s ‘Musician in the Classroom’ program, has created several online learning series for US-based music education website Soundfly, and worked extensively with youth arts organisations including Australian Theatre for Young People, Canberra Youth Theatre and Shopfront Youth Theatre.

Event Details

Do you enjoy fine music with a drink in hand, or in a hall with superb acoustics? What will classical and art music look like in the future?  How will it sound, and who’ll attend?

Presented by Music Australia, with support from APRA AMCOS, this event looks into the future of classical music, exploring new ground, and sharing great ideas and practice.

Our panel examines the art of the independents, how companies and the classical ecosystem works, as well as artform and audience trends.

In the 21st century, perhaps our biggest challenge is one of connection.  How to connect with broader audiences, and younger audiences for classical and new art music?  We look at challenges and opportunities; explore innovation in audience creation and connection, and inventive programming. We provide an overview of the new wave of global independent classical activity. 

Join us for an afternoon of ideas and exchange designed to inspire and turbocharge your creative practice.

Panellists include:

  • Panel Chair and Moderator – Nicole Canham, Artist, Researcher, Music Australia Councillor
  • Drew Crawford, composer, producer, arranger, songwriter and educator (VIA SKYPE)
  • Sophie Lieberman, Head of Programs, Sydney Living Museums
  • Greg Sandow (USA), Classical Music Commentator (VIA SKYPE)
  • Claire Edwardes, Co-Artistic Director Ensemble Offspring, award winning percussionist
  • Tim Hansen, Composer, songwriter, music educator

“As audience tastes and behaviours change, the future of traditional art forms such as art music rests in the hands of artists who must not only play the notes, but must also build audiences for their work”.

- Panel Chair, Nicole Canham

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This event is presented by Music Australia.


*Booking and transaction fees may apply

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