From April 2-5, the USC Thornton School of Music, as well as representatives from leading music institutions, met in Sydney, Australia for the inaugural Asia-Pacific Music Summit.
The two institutions representing the United States were the Thornton School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The goal of the summit was to create closer ties between musical institutions in the Pacific Region, as well as advance the area as a driving force of music education and culture.
“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 Thornton School. “Our discussions about the future of classical music, and music in general, have been very stimulating.”
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney and Beijing Central Conservatory of Music hosted the summit. Over the course of four days, leaders discussed course programs, student exchanges, industry collaborations, funding models and performance platforms.
The inaugural conference served as the first time that deans and presidents gathered from the schools participating in the conference in the Pacific Rim region.
Sydney Conservatorium of Music Dean Karl Kramer described the conference as a “unique” opportunity to utilize the distinctive traits of multiple premier music institutions.
“While we all assume the Western music tradition of teaching, each institution is mutually exclusive in terms of how it operates,” Kramer said. “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.”
A result of the conference was the establishing of the Pacific Alliance of Music Schools by representatives in attendance. The newly formed PAMS consists of pre-eminent music institutions from Australia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. During the summit, the participants also solidified their commitment to an annual convention hosted by a member of PAMS.
“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.”