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15 August 2007

2007 Classical Music Awards

Taikoz member Ian Cleworth Image: Taikoz member Ian Cleworth  

The new music scene is buzzing with anticipation. In just under four weeks, composers, music educators, performers, arts administrators, and writers from across Australia will gather in Sydney to celebrate the thriving talent and artistic excellence in our community at the 2007 Classical Music Awards.

And we have much to celebrate. The list of finalists released last week by the Australian Music Centre and the Australasian Performing Right Association demonstrates not only the outstanding quality of new music activity in 2006, but also its diversity. Against the continual pressures of inadequate funding and political support, new music is indeed flourishing.

A total of five composers are in the running this year for the prestigious Best Composition Award: Roger Smalley for his intelligent and imaginative Birthday Tango, Liza Lim for her intricate vocal piece Mother Tongue, Graham Hair for his suite of short, focussed pieces O Venezia, Iain Grandage for his orchestral work The Silence and Brett Dean for his Viola Concerto jointly commissioned by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Australia and Sydney Symphony.

Of course composers are not the only practitioners in the running for an Award this year: performers, educators, music organisations and arts administrators will also be honoured for the passion, intelligence and commitment that they bring to the community. During the evening, a total of eleven awards will be presented in categories covering composition, performance, music education and regional music activities.

The finalists for the ‘Long-Term Contribution to the Advancement of Australian Music’ Award include: music entrepreneur Belinda Webster – the founder of record label Tall Poppies 16 years ago; Ian Cleworth - the inspirational artistic director of TaikOz; Australian jazz pioneer and international ambassador, leader of Ten Part Invention, and percussionist John Pochee; and South Australian composer, teacher and mentor Tristram Cary – a world pioneer in electronic and tape music and now a lively and productive 81.

Percussionist Claire Edwardes, composers Elena Kats-Chernin and Liza Lim and Tasmanian guitarist and lecturer David Malone, are all finalists for the ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Individual’ award. In the ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Organisation’ category, the finalists are: the 2006 Aurora Festival; Australian Youth Orchestra, Australian Ballet and the Sonic Art Ensemble for BodyTorque; and Topology Ensemble for the 2006 concert series.

Presented annually by the Australian Music Centre and Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), the Classical Music Awards will see Julia Lester, presenter of ABC Classic FM’s Drive, return to host this year’s event, which will feature presentations and performances by some of Australia’s leading musicians. The event will be held on Wednesday 12 th September at the Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney.

For a full list of the 2007 Classical Music Award finalists, visit the Australian Music Centre’s website (www.amcoz.com.au/projects/awards/awards2007.htm).

Further Links

2007 Classical Music Awards (www.amcoz.com.au/projects/awards/awards2007.htm).

APRA (www.apra.com.au)

Australian Music Centre (www.amcoz.com.au)

Danielle Carey is a musicologist, writer, and musician. A graduate from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, she writes for various national music publications and is editor of resonate - the Australian Music Centre's new web magazine.


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