John Davis

John davis

General Manager, Australian Music Centre

PO Box N690, Grosvenor Place, NSW 1220, Australia 

I am pleased to write this letter of support for Kelly Lovelady.

I have known Kelly since her early interactions with the Australian Music Centre in the mid-1990s, some two decades ago, and I have followed the development of her career with great interest, and with great enthusiasm for whatever she undertakes.

The Australian Music Centre (AMC) is the national service organisation for Australian art music composers and sound artists, and undertakes a broad range of activities in supporting the sector, primarily through documentation, promotion, and dissemination of the works by AMC Represented Artists, and through various associated activities. In my role as CEO of the AMC I have been actively engaged in international contexts and networks, and have gained a perspective on how artists develop their careers, and the various international benchmarks that mark an artist’s progress in pursuing their art.

There are common qualities that indicate the potential for success of artists, who are increasingly mobile, and who develop their creative careers very much as global citizens. There is on the one hand the need to develop their craft to the highest levels, to learn the value of a commitment to doing the very best that they can. And added to this, a need to develop as human beings, develop a sense of resilience and persistence, of humility, and stamina, that enables them to navigate the various challenges that they face in pursuing a career as an artist.

But above all, I believe that as an artist one must also possess a commitment to service, to your peers, to those you collaborate with, and to the audiences that as a musician, one engages directly with. And this requires a strong social conscience, and a set of outstanding communication skills, which are at the very core of the best artists.

I write these thoughts as I think of Kelly’s progress as an artist over the many years I have known her, and her skill set and personal characteristics embrace all that I outline above. She has shown astounding perseverance and single- mindedness in pursuing her goals, with a very clear vision of the direction that she takes in doing so.

Kelly has been a great advocate for Australian music, programming it at every opportunity, and in more recent years she has been energetically commissioning works, both from established and emerging composers. Her establishment of Ruthless Jabiru, a chamber orchestra whose programs centre around new and existing repertoire by living composers, has provided a vehicle to effectively pursue this, and it also provides a vehicle for professional Australian musicians based in the UK to come together to showcase their exceptional talents.

As the ensemble’s founding Artistic Director Kelly has demonstrated outstanding leadership and drive in achieving the success of Ruthless Jabiru in a comparatively short time. And secured the support of the players, and of many others, to achieve this. Her capacity as a leader and a facilitator has been evident since I met her, so I have not at all been surprised by what she has achieved.

There is one final characteristic that I would like to highlight in regard to Kelly, regarding her capacity as a consummate collaborator. In the creative world, finding a balance between expressing one’s own ego and finding ways to work with others, can be a challenge for some artists. Not so with Kelly, who embraces, as a core philosophy, the concept of collaboration – with artists, administrative and managerial people, production and technical people, and supporters of various kinds, including the audiences that she serves.

Kelly is an ambitious and highly capable musician and director with demonstrated international success. I trust that what I write of her communicates the high regard that I have, for her, and for her activities. I am pleased to recommend her in any capacity, and commend her to you for your support.

Recent Posts

Turning the Page for the Arts

Originally posted at Journal of Beautiful Business:

template-258x173-1A conversation with the conductor and page turner Kelly Lovelady

Tim Leberecht

Artists have suffered tremendously from the pandemic. Many have lost their income and realized that the safety net protecting them is even more fragile than they had feared. Add to this the underlying socio-economic challenges that the cultural critic William Deresiewicz aptly depicts in his recent book, The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech. At first glance, the democratization of the arts through digital technology might let you conclude that “There’s never been a better time to be an artist.” Many artists, however, feel differently: There’s never been a worse time to be one. Despite (or in fact, because of) the gig economy, as well as the long tail of digital platforms and crowdsourced funding mechanisms, revenue for most creators is falling. They may now have “universal access” to the audience, but “at the price of universal impoverishment,” as Deresiewicz puts it.

As we are all desperately wanting to turn the page and open a new chapter, I spoke with someone who’s not just an artist but also professional page turner: London-based Australian conductor Kelly Lovelady. Lovelady is the founding Artistic Director of Ruthless Jabiru, a chamber orchestra dedicated to exploring humanitarian and social justice stories through new music to promote compassion, sustainability, and social consciousness. Continue reading

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