2017 Art Music Awards Winners Announced

Tuesday, 22 Aug 2017

An exciting group of composers, performers and educators, including several first-time recipients, were announced tonight as winners at the 2017 Art Music Awards. Together they represent the most outstanding contributions of 2016 across the genres of contemporary art music, contemporary jazz and experimental music.

The winners across 11 national categories and 8 state / territory categories were honoured at an industry celebration at the City Recital Hall in Sydney. Now in its 7th year, the Art Music Awards is the only national event in Australia to acknowledge the extraordinary achievements and creative successes of those who excel in these genres. From Art Music Fund-winning composers at the beginning of their careers to established creators unafraid to push boundaries, the Art Music Awards brings together a dynamic group of artists.

Taking out two awards is Melbourne-based composer Liza Lim. Liza has received the Instrumental Work of the Year award for How Forests Think, a 35-minute reflection on the work of anthropologist Eduardo Kohn who writes about forest ecologies as the 'living thought' of human and non-human selves. She has also received the award in the Vocal / Choral Work of the Year category for Tree of Codes, an opera based upon Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2010 novel of the same title which itself is based on The Street of Crocodiles, a collection of short stories by the pre-war Polish author Bruno Schulz.

The Orchestral Work of the Year winner is composer Lyle Chan for Serenade for Tenor, Saxophone and Orchestra (“My Dear Benjamin”) with text by Benjamin Britten and Wulff Scherchen. This epic piece is based on letters written between the great English composer Benjamin Britten and his first love - a young German man named Wulff Scherchen. Their relationship was shattered by World War II when Wulff was incarcerated as a prisoner of war.

The Performance of the Year Award goes to pianist Peter de Jager for his performance of the Piano Sonata by Chris Dench. The Sonata was two years in the making, and almost five decades in the imagining, and it was Peter de Jager’s exceptional abilities as an outstanding performer that opened the door to the composition of this work.

Acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Tom O’Halloran has received the Jazz Work of the Year award for Now Noise, an album composed for his group Memory of Elements (Moe). The Award for Excellence in Jazz has gone to Andrea Keller for the creation, presentation and release of contemporary jazz in 2016. A recent recipient of an APRA Professional Development Award, and a previous Art Music Award winner, Keller has been described as ‘one of Australia's most consistently interesting musical minds’.

The Award for Excellence by an Organisation has gone to Speak Percussion for their 2016 program and sustained contribution to Australian music, while the Award for Excellence by an Individual was awarded to new music innovator Daryl Buckley for over thirty years of contribution to the international projection of Australian contemporary performance, ideas and practice through the work of the ELISION ensemble.

The Award for Excellence in a Regional Area has gone to Western Australia’s Tura New Music for their exceptional 2016 Regional Program. Clocked Out with Bruce and Jocelyn Wolfe have received the Award for Excellence in Experimental Music for The Piano Mill Project, a unique project starring an architectural structure and musical instruments in one.

One of last year’s winners, Moorambilla Voices, returns, this time to receive the Award for Excellence in Music Education for their 2016 season. Now 12 years old, Moorambilla Voices continues to provide outstanding creative and performance opportunities to young singers and dancers across central and north-west NSW.

The Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music (as determined by the APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors) was presented to the legendary John Pochée OAM for his influential and visionary work as a jazz drummer and bandleader.

Eight State and Territory awards were presented recognising some of the finest performances, compositions and contributions to the art music community all over Australia in 2016.

The 2017 Art Music Awards were staged jointly by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre (AMC). The event was hosted by Simon Marnie, with musical performances curated by Gabriella Smart. Presenters at the event were Sandy Evans, Paul Mason, Stephen Lias, Natalie Williams and Marshall McGuire.

Finalist Paul Stanhope conducted the Sydney Chamber Choir with Adelaide Chamber Singers’ soloist Karina Jay, in a performance of his work Agnus Dei (Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep). Tristen Parr (cello) performed finalist Cat Hope’s Shadow of Mill (1st movement), while harpist Marshall McGuire performed dual finalist Liza Lim’s work Rug Music. Jazz winner Andrea Keller teamed up with Gian Slater and Shannon Barnett to perform Keller’s Darest Thou Now O Soul. The legendary jazz ensemble Ten Part Invention performed to honour Distinguished Services to Australian Music recipient John Pochée OAM. The Narli Ensemble featuring Mark Atkins (didjeridu), Stephen Pigram (voice and guitar), Erkki Veltheim (violin), Stephen Magnusson (guitar), Tristen Parr (cello) and finalist Tos Mahoney on flute performed a collage from Tura’s Kimberley Touring Program, sharing their stories of country, history and passion through music.

 The Art Music Awards also paid tribute to those members of our music community who passed away since last meeting, in honouring Patrick Thomas (1932 – 2017), Tomasz Śpiewak (1936 -2017), Robert Allworth (1943 - 2017), Dr Allan Zavod OAM (1945 - 2016), Richard Divall AO OBE (1945 - 2017), Richard Toop (1945 - 2017), Irene Hendricks (1952 – 2017), Janet Seidel (1955 - 2017), Graham Wood (1971 - 2017) and James Wade (1979 - 2017).

APRA AMCOS and the AMC congratulate all the 2017 Art Music Awards winners on their outstanding achievements.


2017 ART MUSIC AWARDS WINNERS

Distinguished Services to Australian Music

John Pochée OAM

Orchestral Work of the Year 

Title:                     Serenade for Tenor, Saxophone and Orchestra (“My Dear Benjamin”)

Composer:          Lyle Chan       

Text:                    Benjamin Britten and Wulff Scherchen

Performed by:    Andrew Goodwin tenor, Michael Duke saxophone, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Paul Kildea conductor

Performance of the Year

Performer:                   Peter de Jager

Title:                            Piano Sonata

Composer:                 Chris Dench

Vocal / Choral Work of the Year 

Title:                            Tree of Codes

Composer:                  Liza Lim

Performers:                Ensemble MusikFabrik; Cologne Opera, Clement Power conductor, Massimo Furlan director

Publishers:                Universal Music Publishing MGB Australia obo G. Ricordi & Co. Bühnen- und Musikverlag GmbH

Jazz Work of the Year 

Title:                            Now Noise

Composers:                Tom O’Halloran

Performer:                  Memory of Elements

Instrumental Work of the Year

Title:                            How Forests Think

Composer:                  Liza Lim

Performed by:            Memory of Elements

Award for Excellence by an Organisation

Speak Percussion for their 2016 program and sustained contribution to Australian music

Award for Excellence by an Individual

Daryl Buckley for over thirty years of contribution to the international projection of Australian contemporary performance, ideas and practice

Award for Excellence in Music Education 

Moorambilla Voices for their 2016 season

Award for Excellence in a Regional Area

Tura New Music for their 2016 Regional Program

Award for Excellence in Experimental Music

Clocked Out with Bruce and Jocelyn Wolfe for The Piano Mill Project

Award for Excellence in Jazz

Andrea Keller for the creation, presentation and release of contemporary jazz in 2016

2017 ART MUSIC AWARDS: STATE AND TERRITORY AWARDS

ACT Award for Instrumental Work of the Year

The 7 Great Inventions Of The Modern Industrial Age by Sally Greenaway

NSW Award for Excellence in Music Education

Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA) for Young Women's Jazz Workshop program

NT Award for Excellence in a Regional Area

Ngarukuruwala for Ngiya Awungarra (I Am Here, Now)

QLD Award for Excellence by an Individual

Vanessa Tomlinson for conceiving and curating the 2016 Australian Percussion Gathering

SA Award for Performance of the Year

Adelaide Chamber Singers for Agnus Dei (Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep) by Paul Stanhope

TAS Award for Excellence by an Organisation

Mona for Mofo 2016

VIC Award for Performance of the Year

Chamber Made Opera for Permission To Speak by Kate Neal with text by Tamara Saulwick

WA Award for Jazz Work Of The Year

Help You Along Your Way by Daniel Susnjar


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