Associate Professor Kim Cunio

Senior Lecturer in composition and convenor of musicology, College of Arts and Social Sciences

Professor Kim Cunio, Head of the School of Music at the Australian National University (2019-2023), is an activist composer interested in old and new musics and the role of intercultural music in making sense of our larger world.Kim led the ANU School of Music into a period of stability and innovation, instituting a strategy for Indigenous engagement as well as a global music performance program that responds to Australia in the 21st Century.

Kim made a sustained contribution to Australian music, arts, culture and governance, public advocacy and commentary in print, radio and pod. The role included leadership of the ANU Press - Music, writing and implementing a Strategic Plan (2019), major review (2023), securing funding for and leading major research projects, developing philanthropy, rebuilding the performance capacity of the School, and reimagining the role of music and music education in the 21st Century.

Kim has been nominated for the ANU's Academic Board, the College of Arts and Social Sciences Awards for Excellence in Education and the Vice Chancellors Awards for Excellence in Education, received the College of Arts and Social Sciences leadership award, and transformed the ANU School of Music into innovative research led institution that is capable of winning competitive research and philanthropic funding. Kim writes for the peak body the Deans and Directors of the Creative Arts, the Crawford Centre for Public Policy at the ANU and has a regular segment on ABC Radio Canberra to discuss music and the larger word.

Highlights include 6.5 million in new endowed philanthropy comprising jobs in opera, brass, jazz and conducting; 3.7 million in new arts / research funding; Launch of Yil Lull studio - Australia's free National Indigenous recording studio in 2020; Major investment in First Nations music: 6 First Nations staff in 2023, William Barton as research Fellow in 2022; Teaching into and funding the Ngarra Burria program which trains First Nations composers at the ANU; A highly regarded PhD program cantering on artistic practice research; Partnerships with neuroscience and astrophysics; A new music and health initiative; Active decolonisation of the School while still fostering important musical traditions; New initiatives such as in Women and Music and Music of the Global South; ANU Music Press; 5 years of a fortnightly half hour radio slot on ABC Radio to talk music; Economic study demonstrating a net worth of 22 million P/A to the ACT economy; ARC peer reviewer 2023-4.

Research interests

Music composition, traditional music, ethnomusicology, music and the sciences, music and health

A descendant of Mizrachi Jews from India and Iraq, Kim is a recipient of the ABC Golden Manuscript Award for his work on traditional music. His compositions have been played internationally with performances at the Whitehouse, United Nations, and festivals in a number of countries. His list of commissioning organisations and places include the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Art Gallery of NSW, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Foundation for Universal Sacred Music (USA), and many others. A number of Kim's projects and tours have been funded by the Australia Council for the Arts and the Commonwealth Government. Kim is working on a series of albums with the Gyuto Monks of Tibet; a project setting the sounds of space with the British Antarctic Survey and artist engineer Diana Scarborough; and a project on enforced feticide in India with writer and gender scholar Manish Sharma, as well as a book that looks at Indigenous led decolonisation in the Academy with kate harriden and Jess Weir.

  • Kenny, M, Cunio, K & Pickering, P 2020, Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny: COVID-19 and hitting the wrong notes for the arts.
  • Harriden, K, Weir, J & Cunio, K 2020, 'Climate Grief, Expert Evidence and Academic Practice', Transform: The Journal of Engaged Scholarship, vol. 5, pp. 13-26pp.
  • Cunio, K 2018, 'Entropy: Where Byzantium Meets Jazz Enja Records ENJ-9638 2 (Various Performer)', Yearbook for Traditional Music, vol. 50, pp. 224-224.
  • Cunio, K & Hitchcock, M 2017, 'Creative Practice: Investigating the Development of Inter-disciplinary Collaboration in the Creative Arts', INTED, ed. unknown, IATED, unknown.
  • Cunio, K & Dowrick, S 2016, Rising.
  • Cunio, K 2014, 'Reinterpreting Tradition (2011-2016)'.
  • Cunio, K 2015, 'New Methods in Composition (2013-2016)'.
  • Cunio, K, Campbell, G & Ngarukuruwala, N 2016, Goose Moorfish and the Footy.
  • Cunio, K & Sharma, M 2015, The Vanishing.
  • Cunio, K, Gyuto Monks of Tibet, G & Lee, H 2015, Embrace of the Cosmic Mother.
  • Cunio, K & Gyuto Monks of Tibet, G 2014, Beyond Karma.
  • Cunio, K 2015, Navigating Norman Creek.
  • Cunio, K, Houle, F & Bown, O 2015, Playing the Castle.
  • Cunio, K & Lee, H 2015, Savitri.
  • Cunio, K 2014, Three Film Projects.
  • Cunio, K & Dowrick, S 2014, Psalm 57.
  • Cunio, K 2014, The Adventures of Prince Achmed.
  • Cunio, K, Dowrick, S, Lee, H et al 2013, Heavenly.
  • Cunio, K & Draper, P 2013, 'The 'little r' in Artistic Research Training', in Scott Harrison (ed.), Research and Research Education in Music Performance and Pedagogy, Springer Dordrecht, Germany, pp. 105-117.
  • Cunio, K 2013, Oneness.
  • Cunio, K, Lee, H & Abudragh, A 2012, Auroville Residency: Mystical Meetings - Live performance by Anwar Abudragh, Heather Lee and Kim Cunio..
  • Cunio, K 2012, 'Piano Games: Multiple compositions from a single source', The Australasian Computer Music Conference, ACMC 2012, Australasian Computer Music Association, Australia.
  • Cunio, K & Lee, H 2012, Auroville Residence: Hildegarde of Bingen - Heather Lee and Kim Cunio.

Updated:  25 June 2024/Responsible Officer:  College of Science/Page Contact: