26 August 2013
2013 Art Music Awards - winners announced
Winners or the 2013 Art Music Awards have been announced at a gala function hosted by Australian Music Centre and APRA AMCOS on Monday 26 August 2013 at the NIDA Parade Theatre in Sydney. The Work of the Year awards went to compositions by Brett Dean, Gordon Kerry, Stephen Leek and Marc Hannaford, while Australian Art Orchestra & Struthi Laya Ensemble took home the Performance of the Year award. Soundstream: Adelaide New Music Festival won the Award for Excellence by an Organisation, and cellist Canielle Bentley was the winner in the Excellence by an Individual category.
Also awarded were saxophonist Jamie Oehlers for Excellence in Jazz, the New England Conservatorium for Excellence in Music Education, and the Wired Lab and Country Arts SA who were the joint winners of both Awards for Excellence in a Regional Area and Excellence in Experimental Music. For more details about the aforementioned Awards as well as seven State Awards, please read on.
> 'Art Music Awards 2013 ceremony - not a lone wolf in sight' (report from the awards ceremony on Resonate, 29 August 2013)
> Art Music Awards 2013: 'Buoyed Up' speech by George Dreyfus (Resonate 28 August 2013)
> A full list of Art Music Awards finalists
The winner of the Work of the Year: Orchestral category, the powerful Fire Music by composer Brett Dean, was commended by the judging panel for its outstanding, complex orchestration, its emotional intensity and its palpable sense of theatricality. Fire Music was inspired by the bushfires that devastated parts of Victoria in 2009. While the finalists in this category were established names (Dean, Edwards, Ford, Vine), the judges noted the quality of emerging composers' work and found the consistently high standard of live performances encouraging.
Winner of the Work of the Year: Instrumental category, Gordon Kerry's String Quintet, was characterised by the judges as elegant, constantly engaging, and 'an exceptionally well-crafted work, deeply informed by tradition and showing the composer's sympathetic understanding of string instruments'. In their general summary, the judges commented on the impact of particular performers committed to generating repertoire for their instruments in close cooperation with composers.
Stephen Leek's Songs of Our Journey, winner of the Award in the category of Work of the Year: Vocal/Choral stood out thanks to the composer's ability to take the individual stories, brought to the project by the participants from Sydney Children's Choir, and turn these into a well-crafted and exceptional piece celebrating the voice. The standard and the diversity of this year's nominations was impressive, and the judges also commented on the number of commissioned works as well as brave, new achievements in the field of chamber opera.
Jazz pianist Marc Hannaford's winning piece Anda Two in the Work of the Year: Jazz category was seen as 'highly original and fundamentally different from most Australian jazz works today'. Hannaford 'successfully integrated a whole lot of influences that are personal to him to make a powerful piece which stretches the idiom in a highly successful way'. The standard of entries in this category was considered excellent, and the task faced by the judges was challenging not least because of the multitude of styles from experimental to jazz rock, and everything in between.
Members of the Australian Art Orchestra and the Sruthi Laya Ensemble won the category of Performance of the Year for their thrilling performance of Sandy Evans's Meetings at the Table of Time. According to the judges 'the genuine enjoyment and enthusiasm of the performers for the work and the real sense of collaboration in the improvisations made for a lively and engaging experience'. Overall, the judges were impressed by the wide variety, diverse styles and quality of the performances nominated this year.
Soundstream: Adelaide New Music Festival won the Award for Excellence by an Organisation for their sustained promotion of new music. Through satellite concert events, public forums, workshops, composer residencies and master classes, this energetic collective has given art music a tremendous boost in South Australia as well as making an exceptional contribution to new music in Australia.
The winner of the Award for Excellence by an Individual went to cellist Danielle Bentley for her dedication and commitment to Australian art music and chamber music. The judges noted her accomplishments as cellist working with many chamber groups and orchestras, however it was her commissioning and championing of music and musicians through the Collusion ensemble and 'Restrung' and 'Crossbow' festivals that made her stand out in this competitive category which had a diverse range of nominees from across the country.
The New England Conservatorium of Music received the Award for Excellence in Music Education for the New England Sings! 2012 program. Designed to encourage and support singing, music making and composition in regional and remote schools across the New England area, the program ensures a lasting legacy for future students.
The Award for Excellence in a Regional Area went to the Wired Lab and Country Arts SA for Southern Encounter. This exceptional regional project combined elements of art, culture, community, heritage and landscape with the very best in experimental music, and engaged with the community on all levels with its extensive collaborations across a vast landscape in regional South Australia. Southern Encounter also brought the Wired Lab and Country Arts SA the Award for Excellence in Experimental Music.
Saxophonist Jamie Oehlers took home the Award for Excellence in Jazz. A phenomenal musician, inspiring educator and tireless advocate for Australian jazz, Oehlers toured the country and overseas extensively in 2012 and released three CDs to excellent reviews. The judging panel commented on the terrific geographical as well as the generational spread of nominations in this category where most entries demonstrated a high degree of innovation and originality.
The Queensland State Award went to Linsey Pollak in the Performance of the Year category. The well-known Queensland composer, instrument maker and community music facilitator was awarded for The Dream of Zedkat Nabu, a striking piece featuring four singers and four musicians. Tura New Music and the Australian Chamber Orchestra won the Western Australian State Award for the outstanding Reef Tour 2012 in the category of Excellence in a Regional Area.
Nicole Canham has won the ACT State Award (in the category of Excellence by an Individual) for Hourglass, a multimedia performance installation curated and directed by Canham, while the New South Wales State Award went to the Moorambilla Voices for their education program (in the category Excellence in Music Education).
Chamber Made Opera received the Victorian State Award for The Minotaur Trilogy (and their Living Room Opera Series) in the Excellence by an Organisation category. The South Australian State Award went to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and OzAsia Festival for Australian emerging composers creative workshops with Tan Dun in the category of Excellence in Music Education. The Tasmanian State Award has been given to composer Maria Grenfell for Ten Suns Ablaze in the category of Work of the Year: Instrumental.
As previously announced, the Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music (as determined by the APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors) was presented to the 85-year-old George Dreyfus AM for his long career as a composer of operas, symphonies, chamber works and scores for over 60 film and television productions. George Dreyfus's son, violinist and composer Jonathan Dreyfus, took part in a musical tribute to his father alongside the host of the awards ceremony, James Morrison and Morrison's sons William and Harry.
The live performance program curated by Genevieve Lacey also featured performances by Robin Fox, Sandy Evans with the Nexus Quartet, and the Black Arm Band. Presenters on the evening included Lynne Williams, Tony Gould, Rupert Myer, Joel Crotty and Australia's Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management, Mark Dreyfus QC.
APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre congratulate all the 2013 ART Music Awards winners on their outstanding achievements.
2013 Art Music Awards - winners
Distinguished Services to Australian Music
George Dreyfus AM
Work of the Year: Orchestral
Title: Fire Music
Composer: Brett Dean
Performed by: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brett Dean
Publisher: Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd
Work of the Year: Instrumental
Title: String Quintet
Composer: Gordon Kerry
Performed by: Kuss Quartet with Naoko Shimizu
Work of the Year: Vocal/Choral
Title: Songs of Our Journey (from an original concept by
Lyn Williams and Andrew Walsh)
Composer: Stephen Leek
Text: Stephen Leek
Performed by: Sydney Children's Choir conducted by Lyn Williams
Work of the Year: Jazz
Title: Anda Two
Composer: Marc Hannaford
Performed by: The Marc Hannaford Trio
Performance of the Year
Performer: Members of the Australian Art Orchestra and the Sruthi
Title: Meetings at the Table of Time
Composer: Sandy Evans
Award for Excellence by an Organisation
Soundstream: Adelaide New Music Festival for the sustained promotion of new music
Award for Excellence by an Individual
Danielle Bentley for dedication and commitment to Australian art music and chamber music
Award for Excellence in Music Education
New England Conservatorium of Music for New England Sings!
Award for Excellence in a Regional Area
The Wired Lab and Country Arts SA for Southern Encounter
Award for Excellence in Experimental Music
The Wired Lab and Country Arts SA for Southern Encounter
Award for Excellence in Jazz
Jamie Oehlers for recording, touring and educational achievements in 2012
Queensland State Award
Performer: Linsey Pollak
Title: The Dream of Zedkat Nabu
Composer: Linsey Pollak
Category: Performance of the Year
Victorian State Award
Chamber Made Opera forThe Minotaur Trilogy (and their Living Room Opera Series)
Category: Excellence by an Organisation
Western Australian State Award
Tura New Music and The Australian Chamber Orchestra for The Reef Tour 2012
Category: Excellence in a Regional Area
ACT State Award
Nicole Canham for Hourglass
Category: Excellence by an Individual
New South Wales State Award
Moorambilla Voices for Moorambilla Voices Education Program
Category: Excellence in Music Education
South Australian State Award
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and OzAsia Festival for Australian Emerging Composers Creative Workshops with Tan Dun
Category: Excellence in Music Education
Tasmanian State Award
Title: Ten Suns Ablaze
Composed by: Maria Grenfell
Performed by: The Australia Ensemble
Category: Work of the Year: Instrumental
Music Awards - AMC Online
Art Music Awards - APRA AMCOS
'Art Music Awards 2013 - finalists announced' (Resonate 1 August 2013)
'Art Music Awards 2013 - Distinguished Services Award to George Dreyfus' (Resonate 14 August 2013)
© Australian Music Centre (2013) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
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