USC Thornton School of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music Represent the United States at Inaugural Asia-Pacific Music Summit

Los Angeles, California - Two of the leading music schools from the West Coast, the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, represented the United States last week at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Music Summit.

The four-day event took place April 2-5 in Sydney, Australia, and included leading music schools from Asia and the Pacific. To create closer ties between the institutions and build the region as a driving force of music education and culture, summit representatives established a new Pacific Alliance of Music Schools (PAMS).

“I could not be more pleased to be able to spend quality time with these Pacific Rim music leaders,” said Robert Cutietta, dean of the USC Thornton School of Music. “Our discussions about the future of classical music, and music in general, have been very stimulating.”

“This inaugural conference is an outstanding beginning to an important alliance of the finest music schools on the Pacific Rim,” said David H. Stull, president of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. “Global interchange is the future of music and education. I am tremendously enthusiastic about the potential of this initiative.”

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney and Beijing Central Conservatory of Music hosted the summit, which included leaders of preeminent music institutions from China, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

While collaborations have existed for some time between many institutions in the region, the summit marked the first gathering of deans and presidents of the partner schools. During the summit, participants in the new alliance decided to solidify their affiliation with an annual convention hosted by a member of PAMS.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Dean Karl Kramer described the conference as “a unique opportunity to meet face to face with our peers from the region’s top conservatoriums and discuss best practices in music education and performance.

“While we all assume the Western music tradition of teaching, each institution is mutually exclusive in terms of how it operates.  We are 12 unique case studies, each with different expertise to share.  The summit is a starting point to forming stronger human connections between the institutions to encourage greater and more regular dialogue across the region,” said Kramer.

The summit comes at a time when countries such as China are experiencing a major boom in classical music, and where the audiences are generally much younger than those in America and Europe.

Beijing Central Conservatory of Music’s President Wang Cizhao said: “The purpose of holding this summit is to strengthen the inter-conservatory exchange and collaboration more widely, so that the resources in the Asia-Pacific region can be integrated and we can work together on promoting international music education.

“The inter-conservatory exchange will become a vital part of running a conservatory with the international development of music education across all countries. Through this summit, delegates can air their views on shared problems. Though each conservatory has its own cultural background and historical traditions, they will surely complement one another when facing a shared teaching problem,” said Cizhao.

Over the course of four days, leaders discussed course programs, student exchanges, industry collaborations, funding models and performance platforms.  On April 5, a group of 35 students from Beijing, Shanghai, Melbourne and Sydney presented a recital to celebrate the summit’s finale that featured premieres of two works composed by summit delegates professor Barry Conyngham from Melbourne and professor Xu Shuya from Shanghai.

The Pacific Alliance of Music Schools (PAMS) includes:

• Beijing Central Conservatory of Music

• Faculty of Victorian College of Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

• Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

• San Francisco Conservatory of Music

• School of Music, Taipei National University of the Arts

• School of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts

• School Of Music, University of Auckland

• Shanghai Conservatory of Music

• Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney

• Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California

• Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore

• The College of Music, Seoul National University (absent from Sydney summit)

Photo caption (left to right):

Professor Wang Cizhao, President, Beijing Central Conservatory of Music

Dr. Karl Kramer, Dean, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Professor Bernard Lanskey, Director, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore

Associate Professor Allan Badley, School Of Music, University of Auckland

David H. Stull, President, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Professor Matsushita Isao, Vice-president, Performing Arts Centre, Tokyo University of the Arts

Professor Robert Cutietta, Dean, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California

Dr. Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor, The University of Sydney

Dr. Jinny Liu, School of Music, Taipei National University of the Arts

Professor Xu Shuya, President, Shanghai Conservatory of Music

Professor Barry Conyngham AM, Dean, Faculty of Victorian College of Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

Absent: Professor Young-Yul Kim, Dean, The College of Music, Seoul National University;

Professor Adrian Walter, Director, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

About the USC Thornton School of Music:

For more than 125 years, the USC Thornton School of Music has prepared students to excel as performers, composers, industry leaders and educators on stages and in studios around the world.  Founded in 1884 and today the oldest continually operating cultural institution in Los Angeles, USC Thornton is internationally recognized as one of the finest conservatories and music schools in the U.S.

By blending the rigors of a traditional conservatory-style education with the benefits of a leading research university, USC Thornton offers a curriculum designed to prepare students for successful careers in the 21st century.

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, USC Thornton offers students every advantage of studying, performing and networking in the world’s most vibrant music industry center.  Every week, students engage with leading professionals in all aspects of the music, recording and entertainment industries while collaborating with such pillar organizations as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy. Thornton students are also a constant presence in local classrooms, helping to shape the next generation of musicians.  For more information, visit www.music.usc.edu

About The San Francisco Conservatory of Music:

Founded in 1917, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the American West and has earned an international reputation for producing musicians of the highest caliber. Notable alumni include Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Jeffrey Kahane, Aaron Jay Kernis and Robin Sutherland, among others. The Conservatory offers its approximately 400 collegiate students fully accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in composition and instrumental and vocal performance. Its Pre-College Division provides exceptionally high standards of musical excellence and personal attention to more than 580 younger students.

The Conservatory’s faculty and students give nearly 500 public performances each year, most of which are offered to the public at no charge. Its community outreach programs serve over 1,600 school children and over 11,000 members of the wider community who are otherwise unable to hear live performances. The Conservatory’s Civic Center facility is an architectural and acoustical masterwork, and the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall was lauded by The New York Times as the “most enticing classical-music setting” in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit www.sfcm.edu

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