Since 1965, Musica Viva has commissioned more than 130 works from almost 50 composers.

For John Davis (CEO of the Australian Music Centre), our achievement in commissioning is ‘astounding… an incredible array of distinctive, individual voices.’ One of our earliest commissions was from a young, relatively unknown Peter Sculthorpe, who said the new work that he was ‘trying to find the essence of the Australian landscape’ in his sixth quartet. Peter went on to create another 12 pieces for Musica Viva in his lifetime.

Our commissioning program is made possible by generous support from individuals and groups who – like Musica Viva – are committed to the continuing growth of an Australian musical canon.

Commissioners may suggest texts or themes, meet composers during the process, and receive premium seating at the premiere, as well as a specially bound copy of the new work.

Commissioners may also provide support for Musica Viva’s general commissioning program by making a gift to:

The Ken Tribe Fund

Established in 2011, the Fun commemorates the unique contributions of Ken Tribe to Australian music, and especially his work at Musica Viva. In 1949, Ken joined Musica Viva as chairman of the executive. In 1966, Ken became Artistic Director; in 1973, he also became President - a role from which he retired in 1986. Ken was Patron of Musica Viva until his death in 2010.

The Hildegard Project

The Hildegard Project – which aims to encourage more female composers in the Australian music landscape –has its origins in a generous gift made by Katherine Grinberg in honour of the late Adrienne Nagy and her sister Yolanda (Nagy). The Nagy sisters were passionate about making a difference in the music world – with particular interests in the area of education and composition – and in reaching those who were finding participation a challenge.

If you’re interested in commissioning a new work or in contributing a gift to one of the Funds described above, please contact Hywel Sims at or 02 8394 6672.