ABR Arts Commentary

Letter from London

Alastair Jackson
28 January 2020

The name William Alwyn (1905–85) conjures up memories of that golden age of British cinema in the late 1940s and 1950s. He produced more than seventy film scores and dozens of works for orchestra and piano, as well as a healthy output of chamber music. In later years he produced a couple of operas, only one of which attracted attention.

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Musician of the world: A tribute to Andrew Davis

Michael Shmith
09 December 2019

The trouble with musical longevity as it affects conductors, especially ones we see often, is they are always the age we expect them to be as against the age they once were. From the vantage point of the present, therefore, it is tempting to regard Sir Andrew Davis as having always been the person he is now; a sort of reverse-Peter Pan whose youth we are incapable of imagining.

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An Open Letter on the ABC

The Editors
20 July 2018
ABR shares many Australians’ concerns about the health and viability of the ABC. The threats are myriad and sustained. Funding cuts, political interference, and frequent taunts from News Corp have weakened the organisation. Recently, the Liberal Party’s Federal Council voted to privatise the organisation. This would surely spell the beginning of the end for the national broadcaster. We take things for granted in the Lucky Country, but can we really be sure that the ABC will be around in 2028 to celebrate its centenary – searching, unfettered, well resourced? More and more people think not and have begun to lobby government. ABR supports them wholeheartedly. Meanwhile, one hundred writers, artists, commentators, and public figures have signed our Open Letter in support of the ABC. ... (read more)

On 'Black Panther'

Dilan Gunawardana
22 May 2018

The Marvel film Black Panther has currently earned more than US$1.3 billion dollars at the box office worldwide since its release on 13 February 2018, which places it high among the most financially successful films of all time. Such an achievement isn’t necessarily indicative of quality – the Fast and the Furious and Minions ...

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'A win for Namatjira' by Colin Golvan

Colin Golvan
06 November 2017

Following a concerted media and legal campaign, the Namatjira Legacy Trust has succeeded in securing the ownership of the copyright of Albert Namatjira following a recent resolution of claims made by the Trust against the long-time copyright owner Legend Press ...

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Why I quit as opera critic of The Age

Michael Shmith
14 August 2017

There was a time not that long ago when the arts pages of quality daily newspapers were regarded as essential reading as much for those inside the arts industry as outside it. Just as these newspapers were themselves papers of record, their arts pages existed primarily to record and sustain ...

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'The Copyright of Albert Namatjira'

Colin Golvan
14 March 2017

You see them driving from Kings Canyon to Alice Springs, the majestic ghost white river gums depicted so faithfully in the paintings of Albert Namatjira. You would think you were looking at a Namatjira painting. And then there is the vista of the craggy hills of the West McDonnell ...

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Letter from Paris

Lee Christofis
16 February 2017

The idea of visiting Paris in January to see six exhibitions and two repeats in five days may seem excessive to some people, but Paris’s museum offerings this northern winter were so impressive it was impossible to resist. At Frank Gehry’s lofty Fondation Louis Vuitton, hordes lined up ...

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The David Roche Foundation

Christopher Menz
06 June 2016

Australia's newest museum – one that focuses on the decorative arts – was launched by Paul Keating on Friday, 3 June. (It is open to the public, by appointment only, from 7 June 2016.) Positioned in North Adelaide, The David Roche Foundation is home to a superb collection of European ...

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Letter from America

Christopher Menz
09 May 2016

Los Angeles – city of freeways, studios, hotels, and endless sunshine – is also home to some great art collections and notable architecture, the latter spanning much of the twentieth century. Several of the art museums, taking advantage of the climate, are built as a series of separate pavilions ...

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