Australian Art Orchestra


The Australian Art Orchestra is committed to excellence and innovation in contemporary music with an emphasis on improvisation. It explores the meeting points between disciplines and cultures, and imagines new musical forms to reflect the energy and diversity of 21st century Australia.


Insite Arts have entered into a partnership with the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO), which will see us produce and manage the company from 2014 and beyond. This is an exciting new model for one of Australia’s key arts organisations. We will work closely with Artistic Director Peter Knight and the AAO Board to deliver all aspects of the organisation’s management and its 2014 program.

Founded by Paul Grabowsky in 1994, The Australian Art Orchestra has built an unparalleled reputation for the breadth and quality of its output. Initially conceived as a contemporary jazz orchestra the group was soon recognised as a serious commissioner and interpreter of new notated works. It also developed a reputation for cross-cultural collaborations that were more ambitious than anything seen in Australian music previously and it delved into hybrid forms well before the terminology for such approaches became commonplace.

Under Artistic Director Peter Knight, the AAO’s work constantly seeks to stretch genres and break down the barriers separating disciplines, forms and cultures. It explores the interstices between the avant-garde and the traditional, between art and popular music, between electronic and acoustic approaches, and creates works that traverse the continuum between improvised and notated forms.


Director – Lee Cumberlidge