Robyn Holmes to receive the Distinguished Services to Australian Music honour at the 2018 Art Music Awards

Tuesday, 07 Aug 2018

Curator, academic and musicologist extraordinaire, Robyn Holmes will receive the Distinguished Services to Australian Music award at the 2018 Art Music Awards. The annual celebration of achievements in Australian contemporary classical, jazz and experimental music will be held on Tuesday 21 August at Melbourne’s Plaza Ballroom.

With a career spanning over 40 years, Robyn Holmes’s one driving purpose has been to preserve, collect and communicate our artistic legacy. Her passion for Australia’s music in particular has been behind her many significant achievements, particularly during her 17 years at the National Library of Australia. These achievements include the online service ‘Music Australia’ (later incorporated into NLA’s ‘Trove’ online platform) and the acquisition of the papers of many significant Australian composers, including Miriam Hyde, Peter Sculthorpe, Richard Meale, Nigel Butterley, Elena Kats-Chernin, Paul Grabowsky and Liza Lim. As the Senior Curator of the NLA, Robyn also appeared in many television panels, radio shows and newspaper features as an expert on everything from Australian chamber music and Joan Sutherland, to Waltzing Matilda and Australia’s sporting songs and anthems.

Before the National Library, Holmes held several academic positions, notably at the ANU School of Music, where she was responsible for significant curriculum reviews and the development of multiple programs, and roles at many other national music and educational organisations, including the Australian Society for Music Education, the Musicological Society of Australia, the International Association of Music Libraries and Archives (Australian Branch), and as the Deputy Chair of the Board of the (then) Music Council of Australia. She has also appeared at numerous conferences and national and international forums.

Her academic pursuits were balanced with an active musical life, which included performing as a singer, choral conductor and as Musical Director of the Australian Girls Choir.

“Robyn Holmes’s contribution to Australian cultural life over many years is indeed significant, and her fine achievement in collecting and preserving the legacies of others has facilitated access for all to the people and the stories that shape our art form”, said John Davis, CEO of the Australian Music Centre.

Outgoing Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Council for the Arts, Tony Grybowski will be joined by Liza Lim, Tony Gould, Deborah Cheetham and human rights and refugee advocate, Julian Burnside QC as presenters for 2018 Art Music Awards.

Live performances curated by musical director Gabriella Smart will feature finalist and jazz icon Sandy Evans with Bobby Singh and Adrian Sherriff. Jonathan Grieves-Smith will lead his choir Hallelujah Junction; and, following Gabriella’s involvement with ‘The Titjikala Project’, the Titjikala Women’s Choir will take the stage to perform. 2018 Art Music Awards finalist Matthew Horsley will perform on his Uilleann pipes accompanied by electronics; and Melbourne pianist Timothy Young and cellist Svetlana Bogosavljevic will perform work commissioned by Musica Viva from young South Australian composer Jakub Jankowski.

Tuesday 21 August
Plaza Ballroom

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