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20 July 2015

2015 Art Music Awards - finalists announced

2015 Art Music Awards - finalists announced

An impressive selection of some of Australia's finest compositions, performances and outstanding achievements across 11 national categories have today been named as finalists for the 2015 Art Music Awards. APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre are proud to recognise the diversity, excellence, craftsmanship and creativity of this outstanding group.

With a roll-call that features well-known composers Paul Stanhope, Carl Vine, Elena Kats-Chernin, Damien Ricketson, Brett Dean and many others, this year also sees an increase in composers acknowledged for the first time. Dan Walker, Mace Francis, Daniel Susnjar, Simon Barker, Carl Dewhurst, Bae Il-Dong, Riley Lee, Matt McMahon, Phil Slater, Lachlan Skipworth and Joseph Twist have all been recognised within the Work of the Year categories.

Moorambilla Voices have been named as finalists in three categories for their work in regional NSW. Paul Grabowsky, Synergy Percussion, and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra also appear multiple times across Works of the Year, Performance and Award for Excellence categories in 2015.

Of the finalists, John Davis, Australian Music Centre CEO said, 'The achievements represented by the finalists across the award categories demonstrate the diversity and vibrancy of creative practice in our sector, and a level of excellence that we are immensely proud of.'

The recipient of the Distinguished Services to Australian Music award (as determined by the APRA Board of Directors) will be announced prior to the event.

The winners will be announced at the 2015 Art Music Awards on Tuesday August 11 at the City Recital Hall in Sydney. The event will be hosted by Fenella Kernebone, with music performances curated by Genevieve Lacey.

APRA AMCOS and the AMC would like to congratulate all the finalists for the 2015 Art Music Awards.

2015 Art Music Awards - finalists

Vocal / Choral Work of the Year

Title: Afterwards
Composer: Stephen Adams
Performed by: Sydney Chamber Choir & Claire Edwardes

Title: How Shall We Sing in a Strange Land?
Composer: Joseph Twist
Text: Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Performed by: National Youth Choir of Australia, Australian Boys Choir & The Vocal Consort

Title: Mass of Deliverance
Composer: Dan Walker
Performed by: Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, Sydney Brass, Michelle Leonard conductor

Title: The Riders
Composer: Iain Grandage
Text: Alison Croggon, based on the novel by Tim Winton
Performed by: Victorian Opera

Jazz Work of the Year

Title: Love Like a Curse
Composer: Paul Grabowsky
Performed by: Monash Art Ensemble (MAE)
Publisher: J Albert and Son Pty Ltd

Title: Mujing
Composers: Simon Barker, Carl Dewhurst, Bae Il-Dong, Riley Lee, Matt McMahon and Phil Slater
Performed by: Simon Barker (drums), Carl Dewhurst (guitar), Bae Il-Dong (vocalist), Riley Lee (shakuhachi), Matt McMahon (piano), and Phil Slater (trumpet)

Title: Music for Average Photography
Composer: Mace Francis
Performed by: Mace Francis Orchestra (MFO)

Title: Pius Bartosik
Composer: Daniel Susnjar
Performed by: Daniel Susnjar Afro-Peruvian jazz group

Instrumental Work of the Year

Title: Piano Trio 'The Village'
Composer: Carl Vine
Performed by: Sitkovetsky Trio
Publishers: Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd/Faber obo Faber Music Ltd

Title: Shadow Box (concert version)
Composer: Damian Barbeler
Performed by: Genevieve Lacey and James Crabb

Title: The Nightingale and the Rose
Composer: Paul Grabowsky
Performed by: Paul Grabowsky and Genevieve Lacey with the Flinders Quartet
Publisher: J Albert and Son Pty Ltd

Title: The Secret Noise
Composer: Damien Ricketson
Performed by: Ensemble Offspring

Orchestral Work of the Year

Title: Concerto for clarinet and orchestra
Composer: Lachlan Skipworth
Performed by: West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Ashley William Smith soloist, Baldur Bronniman conductor

Title: Dramatis Personae - Music for Trumpet and Orchestra
Composer: Brett Dean
Performed by: Håkan Hardenberger, soloist, Brett Dean conductor, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Publishers: Hal Leonard/Boosey & Hawkes Group obo Bote Bock Der Boosey Hawkes Bote Bock Gm

Title: Elastic Band - for solo improvised violin and orchestra
Composers: Elena Kats-Chernin and Jon Rose
Performed by: Jon Rose with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov conductor

Title: Jandamarra - Sing for the Country
Composer: Paul Stanhope and the Bunuba People
Librettist: Steve Hawke
Performed by: Brett Weymark, Simon Lobelson, Singers and Dancers of the Yilimbirri Ensemble, Gondwana Choirs and Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Performance of the Year

Performer: Ashley William Smith soloist, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Baldur Bronniman conductor
Title: Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
Composer: Lachlan Skipworth

Performer: Michael Kieran Harvey
Title: Luz meridional, Twenty-four Études for Pianoforte, no. 411
Composer: Andrián Pertout

Performer: Synergy Percussion
Title: Beauty Will Be Amnesiac Or Will Not Be At All
Composer: Anthony Pateras

Performer: West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Michael Stern conductor
Title: Concerto for Orchestra
Composer: Carl Vine

Award for Excellence by an Organisation

Gondwana Choirs for the 2014 artistic program, and significant contribution to Australian music since 1989

Moorambilla Voices for the 2014 program and contribution to musical life in remote New South Wales

Sydney Chamber Choir for 40 years of outstanding contribution to Australian choral music

Synergy Percussion for 40 years of Synergy Percussion in 2014

Award for Excellence by an Individual

Jeanell Carrigan for resurrecting the piano music of Meta Overman

Julian Day for excellence in researching, broadcasting and presenting the work of Australian musicians to a broad national and international public on broadcast and print media outlets

Peter Knight for leadership, composition, performance and curation

Ross Edwards for his contribution to Australian chamber music

Award for Excellence in Music Education

Lorraine Milne for sustained contribution to music education

Moorambilla Voices for education work in North West New South Wales

Sydney Symphony Orchestra for TunED-Up!

Topology for Top Up music education program

Award for Excellence in a Regional Area

Boyd and Alison for Coalface 2014

Moorambilla Voices for Moorambilla Voices Program 2014

New England Conservatorium of Music for New England Sings!

Tyalgum Music Festival for 2014 activity

Award for Excellence in Experimental Music

Darrin Verhagen for activity/projects

Jon Rose, Ensemble Offspring, Speak Percussion for Ghan Tracks

Luke Johnson for Ornate Boredom Machine

Richard Johnson for the SoundOut Festival of Experimental and Improvised Music

Award for Excellence in Jazz

Alister Spence, Christopher Cantillo and Joe Williamson for Begin

Julien Wilson for recording and touring associated with the establishment of Lionsharecords

PBS 106.7FM for The Young Elder of Jazz Commission

Peter Knight for leadership, composition, performance, curation

Further links

Art Music Awards (AMC Online)
Art Music Awards - finalists (APRA AMCOS)


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Thumbs down...

With the exceptions of Ricketson and Dean, the art-music awards this year look to be nauseatingly retrospective. Most of those 'composers' are mere pasticheurs, traders in dreary clichés, and/or minimalist hacks. Australia has a few genuinely creative composers; only one is here (Ricketson). Where are the rest?


Hi Ian Shanahan, if your favourites at not represented then you can easily address this, like any other AMC or APRA member, by submitting nominations! We look forward to you lodging yours next year... 

Thumbs up!

Great selection of finalists - bravo! A whole bunch of really terrific composers and some very creative works. And so good to see some new voices appearing for the first time. I don't envy the judges when there's such a wealth of talent!

Thumbs up?

Alastair, you claim: "A whole bunch of really terrific composers and some very creative works". I challenge you to choose just one of the works by these so-called 'terrific' composers and demonstrate how it is "very creative" by revealing something therein that is genuinely innovative, or even genuinely distinctive. Until you can do that, your opinion remains unsubstantiated and worthless.

A better solution

In regard to art-music and jazz compositions, there should be no need for nomination. If a work is performed publicly during the period in question, then it should be considered **automatically**. And the only relevant materials for adjudication are its score and - if available - a recording. Anything else has no relevance whatsoever to a work's standard of merit. These changes would guarantee that smaller groups - which is where all of the compositional innovation and excellence are occuring (and not with the orchestras, the AO etc.) - are at least in the running.