The International Space Time Concerto competition is a result of two important precedents. In 2009 after The University of Newcastle Chamber Choir won the Battle of the Choirs competition on Channel 7, the highly generous and respected donor Jennie Thomas wanted to promote the new directions of the Conservatorium and do something as significant. This resulted with a decision to have an International Concerto competition reflective of the Conservatorium’s music program, one that celebrates the past and promotes the future. The majority of concerto competitions around the world focus on the past. It was strategically decided to hold the competition in 2012 to link in with the year of the Newcastle Conservatorium’s 60th birthday.
Newcastle Conservatorium’s remarkable history has seen many incarnations in music education in Newcastle. Newcastle Conservatorium is no small player on the national level. It has produced numerous alumni who are actively engaged in musical careers all around the world. The International Space Time Concerto Competition continues this grand tradition by opening the Conservatorium’s doors to contemporary themes such as social inclusion, cross-cultural music making, creative uses of technology and most important diversity. These new door openings also embrace international collaborators as can be seen with the participation with Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore, the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria and Waikato University, New Zealand.
The International Space Time Concerto Competition is the perfect activity to celebrate the Newcastle Conservatorium’s 60th birthday and Jennie Thomas’s wish to promote the pedagogical aesthetic of the Conservatorium.