John Davis is leaving the Australian Music Centre after 32 years

December 24, 2020 / Glenda Keam
John Davis (photo by Anna Dorota Władyczka)

The ISCM has been alerted to the resignation of John Davis from his position of CEO of the Australian Music Centre (AMC).  Over 32 years working for the organization, the last 25 of which he held the position of CEO, John has actively facilitated transformation and fostered strength in the new music sectors across Australia and internationally. 

In announcing his resignation, the AMC Board notes John’s contribution to the organization’s “excellent shape” and healthy financial position, and his support and promotion of the “diversity and richness of Australian music”. We wish to join the AMC staff in acknowledging John’s “natural curiosity and rare people skills” that have contributed to his initiation and development of many strong music relationships with and between composers, performers, ensembles, festival directors, researchers, music networks, and arts organizations. As a person he has demonstrated many times his deep kindness, wisdom, and trustworthiness; as a leader he has demonstrated great insight, vision, a listening ear, and a commitment on a daily basis.

The ISCM enjoyed many years of far-sighted contribution from John, particularly during the five years he was ISCM President (2008-2013), during which he spearheaded some substantial changes and very healthy growth, reaching out to a more diverse range of members and encouraging wider stylistic inclusiveness. Many of us in the ISCM have benefited from John’s wisdom and thoughtfulness; certainly I personally feel a deep gratitude to him for his timely and positive mentorship over many years, and his very generous friendship.

We understand John is currently taking a holiday, and will be helping the AMC prepare for a handover at the end of March. We hope that he is enjoying his thoroughly well-deserved break, and in due course we look forward with curiosity to finding out what new projects and ventures he will be drawn towards.

Glenda Keam


Glenda Keam

ISCM President Glenda Keam is a composer, music analyst, lecturer, educational leader, new music advocate, and festival organiser. Glenda lectured in Music at the University of Auckland from 1995-2006, and was Senior Lecturer and inaugural Programme Director for Music at Unitec, Auckland from 2006-2013. From 2013 to 2020, she served as Associate Professor and Head of Music at the University of Canterbury. Glenda co-edited the 2011 Pearson publication, Home, Land and Sea: Situating Music in Aotearoa New Zealand, which included her chapter “Attachments to place: locative aspects of New Zealand art music.” A composer-analyst, her writings focus on New Zealand music studies, music education, music analysis, New Zealand cultural identity in music, and the psychology of creativity. Glenda’s musical compositions have been performed in Australasia, the US, Canada and the UK. She was a member of the National Youth Choir of NZ, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields chorus in London and the Britten Singers (formerly BBC Northern), and enjoys performing as a piano improviser. Glenda was President of CANZ (the Composers Association of New Zealand) from 2007 – 2017. In 2019, she was elected first female President of the ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music), an organization dating back to 1922. Earlier appointments included time on the ISCM Executive Committee (including Vice-President from 2016) and four years as Treasurer of the NZSME (New Zealand Society for Music Education).