Richard Letts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Richard Albert Letts (born Sydney, 3 August 1935) is a music advocate and administrator.

Life & Work[edit]

Richard Letts trained as a classical pianist and composer and worked as a jazz band leader in his early years. In 1964 he moved to the University of California (Berkeley) where he completed his Ph.D. in 1971. In 1972 he built and became the director of the East Bay Center for Performing Arts, a community performing arts school in a ghetto on San Francisco’s East Bay. In 1980 he became Director of the MacPhail Center for the Arts, the downtown music school of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and in 1981 was elected Vice-President of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts.

In 1982 Dr Letts returned to Australia as Director of the Music Board of the Australia Council, where he initiated major developments in policy that "had a profound influence in reshaping the pattern of government support for music in Australia" (Bebbington 1997). He became Director of the Australian Music Centre in 1987, and introduced programs in digitisation, record production, publishing, retailing, the awards program and others. In 1994, he founded the Music Council of Australia, of which he is currently (2009) the Executive Director.

In 2005, he was elected President of the International Music Council, based in UNESCO in Paris, and has been responsible for some major innovations in its program including establishment of an international Music Sector Development Program, the weekly e-bulletin Music World News[1] and the initiation of the IMC Musical Rights Awards.[2]


  • 1996: Member of the Order of Australia (AM) under the Australian honours system, for services to music.
  • 2008: The APRA/AMC Classical Music Award for Long-Term Contribution to the Advancement of Australian Music.[3]

Selected writings[edit]

All monographs available for loan from Australian Music Centre

  • Creative musicianship and psychological growth : bases in some theories of personality, creativity, instruction, aesthetics and music, for a music curriculum for the late twentieth century. Thesis (Ph.D. (Educ.)) - University of California, Berkeley, 1971.
  • Music board medium range plan. Sydney: Australia Council, 1985.[4]
  • The Arts on the Edge of Chaos. Report commissioned by the Australia Council, 1995. Unpublished.
  • Opportunities for Australian musical works in North Asia, 1988.
  • Your career as a composer Sydney: Allen & Unwin. Australia Council, 1994.
  • The ART of Self Promotion : Successful Promotion by Musicians. Commissioned by the Australia Council. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1996.
  • The Effects of Globalisation on Music in Five Contrasting Countries: Australia, Germany, Nigeria, The Philippines and Uruguay. Global research project commissioned by the International Music Council, 2003.[5]
  • A statistical framework for the music sector : for the Statistics Working Group of the Cultural Ministers Council / a scoping study with Hans-Hoegh Guldberg. Canberra : Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, 2004.
  • The Protection and Promotion of Musical Diversity, 2006. Global research project carried out by the International Music Council, commissioned by UNESCO. With consultants from Europe, Latin America, Africa, Arab World, Asia.[6]
  • Sound Links: Exploring the Dynamics of Musical Communities in Australia, and Their Potential for Informing Collaboration with Music in Schools, 2009. Research partnership of Music Council of Australia with the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, funded by the Australian Research Council. With Brydie Leigh-Bartleet, Peter Dunbar-Hall, Huib Schippers May 2009.[7]

A diverse range of articles is available from the Music Council of Australia's Forum. See further references in the Music Council of Australia entry.


  1. ^ Music World News
  2. ^ IMC Musical Rights Awards
  3. ^ "2008 Winners - Classical Music Awards". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  4. ^ Available from The National Library of Australia
  5. ^ Available from The Music Council of Australia website
  6. ^ Available from The International Music Council website
  7. ^ Available from The International Music Council website

External links[edit]