The exterior of Melbourne University's new Ian Potter Southbank Centre

Melbourne University Partnership

The University of Melbourne have been announced as the ACO's Official University Partner.
The University of Melbourne have become the ACO's Official University Partner.

Students and staff at the University of Melbourne will have unparalleled access to education and research opportunities with a $1 million partnership with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell made the announcement at the official launch of The Ian Potter Southbank Centre, a new home for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, in the heart of Melbourne’s Arts Precinct.

The University will be recognised as the official University Partner of the ACO, with an investment of $200,000 a year for five years. The University’s Southbank campus, home of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, will become the new Melbourne development and education home for the ACO.

Professor Maskell said: “The ACO partnership, made possible by the Sidney Myer University Trust, will provide our students at the Conservatorium with exceptional educational enrichment opportunities to engage and learn from the national orchestra’s musicians.

“These partnerships demonstrate how the Southbank campus transformation enables us to expand community engagement, foster new partnerships locally and internationally, and help our cultural precinct partners achieve the city’s vision for a thriving arts scene.

“We have an incredible new conservatorium building and a reinvigorated campus with world-class facilities. This partnership will be the beginning of the next stage of development for the University, in which we look forward to building strong, enduring and relevant educational arts partnerships.”

The ACO will explore opportunities to collaborate with University researchers on areas such as talent development pathways, musician and social interaction, early musical interventions, and performer and audience wellbeing. 

ACO Managing Director Richard Evans said the partnership builds on an excellent relationship between the University and the ACO.

“We are delighted that the University of Melbourne will be the Official University Partner of the ACO. With its world-class music facilities, the University’s Ian Potter Southbank Centre is an ideal home for the ACO’s learning and community engagement activities in Melbourne.

“This partnership will see the ACO’s musicians and guest artists provide unique training opportunities for the talented students of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and continue to play an important role in developing the next generation of Australia’s professional string players.

“This partnership will also provide opportunities for the ACO to collaborate with the University’s highly regarded research specialists in the fields of music and education as we grow and develop our learning and engagement activities in Melbourne and across Australia.”

The $109 million Ian Potter Southbank Centre, designed by John Wardle Architects, is the centrepiece of a oncein- a-generation transformation, which has seen a $200 million investment in the University’s Southbank campus. It positions the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music as a world-leading arts education institution with cutting-edge facilities and rich industry links.

The building was funded by the University of Melbourne, the Victorian Government, and generous philanthropic support, particularly from The Ian Potter Foundation, Martyn and Louise Myer and The Myer Foundation. Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley, who officially launched the Ian Potter Southbank Centre, said the building is a game-changer for music education and a new drawcard for the Melbourne Arts Precinct.

“This partnership will foster important career pathways for students and will welcome another leading creative organisation to the Precinct, which is already home to the highest concentration of arts and cultural organisations anywhere in the world,” Mr Foley said.