Pathfinders - Music Leadership Program


Pathfinders – Music Leadership Program

With an emphasis on improvisation, the Australian Art Orchestra explores the meeting points between disciplines and cultures, and imagines new musical forms to reflect the energy and diversity of 21st century Australia.

As the leading and longest standing improvising music ensemble in Australia, the Australian Art Orchestra and its Artistic Director Peter Knight are strongly committed to nurturing and developing leaders of the future.

The Australian Art Orchestra is proud to announce that we’re now taking applications for our Associate Artist position 2019/2020, as part of the Pathfinders Music Leadership Program - generously supported by the Ian Potter Foundation.

The Pathfinders program offers a one-year, part-time Associate Artist role (0.6 fte, $50,000 pro rata) for an exceptionally talented emerging musician and future music leader with a practice in contemporary art music and improvisation. 

The Pathfinders program is designed to provide an opportunity to gain an insight into what is required to run a successful music ensemble, and to gain experience and skills to prepare the Associate Artist for future artistic leadership roles. 

The Associate Artist will be able develop their artistic skills as a performer, ensemble director, composer and curator, whilst at the same time gaining experience as a producer and arts administrator.

Aviva Endean, inaugural recipient of the Pathfinders program: “The Associate Artist role with the AAO has provided me with a rare offer of a long-term, supported engagement with a high-profile arts organisation and this experience has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of an arts organisation, develop meaningful artistic relationships with other artists, and equip me with the skills I will require in future artistic leadership roles.

The appointment will run for one year, from August 2019 to August 2020. Candidates are expected to be available throughout this period, but provisions will be made for prior obligations or stacked working periods.

The Australian Art Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer and embraces diversity amongst its staff and orchestra members. We strongly encourage suitably experienced people from all cultural backgrounds to apply. All applicants are required to be Australian residents. The place of work is The Substation in Newport, Melbourne; whilst Interstate artists are invited to apply, the AAO cannot cover any interstate expenses i.e. travel, accommodation or per diems. Candidates who were not successful in the past year are invited to apply again.

Expressions of Interest for the 2019 / 2020 Program are now open.

Please find a position description of the role here.

Questions about the role or requests to schedule a phone conversation can be emailed to Executive Producer Jerry Remkes,

What to include in your Expression of Interest:

1.  A current CV

2. Links to recordings (audio or video) of you as a composer and/or performer

3. Motivation statement (no more than two pages) where you:
- Describe why you want this opportunity and how it will benefit your career trajectory;
- Refer to relevant artistic and administrative experience and interests that make you suitable for the role and how they will support your ability to make the most of this opportunity;
- Outline your availability for August 2019 - July 2020;
- Include names and contact details of two referees.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday 16 June 2019
All applications need to be submitted digitally at

  • Candidates will be notified about the outcome of the selection procedure by Wednesday 10 July

  • Interviews with selected candidates are scheduled to take place on Tuesday 16 July, late afternoon

  • Role is scheduled to commence in August