Antony Jeffrey’s twin focus during the last ten years has been devising and leading music and opera tours in Australia and overseas, together with writing fiction and biography. Because of Covid, three overseas tours were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 but new tours will be resumed in June 2022 with two more to follow in 2023. All his tours are planned, organised and run by Antony and his wife Sally in small groups to retain the intimacy of friendship and mutual enjoyment of great cultural, personal and travel experiences.
Early in his career, Antony qualified as a chartered accountant and worked with Price Waterhouse in Australia and the UK before commencing a career in the arts. In 1975, he was engaged as the first Music Board Director at the Australia Council, the federal funding agency for the arts. In 1978 he became Commercial Manager of The Australian Opera, where over five years he established and developed Australia’s most successful arts sponsorship program.
Between 1984 and 1989 he was the first CEO of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and from 2000 to 2005, he was asked by the Board of the ACO to guide the company through a period of management and financial difficulties. Subsequently, from 2006 to 2009, he was General Manager of the Song Company.
In addition to his management roles, for over 25 years he worked as an independent consultant with his own consultancy ABG Australia Pty Ltd in arts executive search, mentoring, strategic planning and short term management, and his many clients included the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Sydney Film Festival, Stalker Theatre Company, the Sydney Youth Orchestra, Australian Ballet and Melbourne Theatre Company.
Over five years in the 1990s, in association with Price Waterhouse he developed and directed two major cultural and trade promotions for the department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, first in Indonesia and two years later in India, each comprising multiple events and programs. His work in this area continued for several years with the NSW government’s Australian Technology Showcase, a program to support innovative technologies.
Throughout his career as an arts manager and consultant, a dominating feature has been his work to link business and the arts. Significant arts/business assignments included:
- Management of the Mobil Business in the Arts Awards for many years
- Publication of a seminal handbook about arts sponsorship 101 Good Ideas for assisting the Arts
- A major study and subsequent publication The Enterprise Program into business/arts advocacy and incentive programs, which led to the establishment of Australian Business Support of the Arts (ABSA)
Antony has recorded over 100 interviews with leading artists and leading figures in the arts. He has chaired or been a board member of many arts organisations including Sydney College of the Arts, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Stalker Theatre Company, Sydney Philharmonia and Bach Akademie Australia.