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29 April 2011

Art Music Awards 2011 - Distinguished Services Award to Hopkins and Thomas

Art Music Awards 2011 - Distinguished Services Award to Hopkins and Thomas

The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Australian Music Centre (AMC) are delighted to release names of the recipients of the Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music. In 2011, the Award will be shared between two outstanding and inspiring members of the Australian music community, conductors John Hopkins OBE and Patrick Thomas MBE. The recipients of this Award were determined by the Board of Directors of APRA and the AMC.

The Awards ceremony will be held at Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay next Tuesday, 3 May 2011.

One of Australia's most esteemed conductors and administrators, British-born John Hopkins OBE was the youngest chief conductor of the BBC Orchestra at age 24. On settling in Australia, Hopkins became recognised as an innovator. As Federal Director of Music for the ABC, he initiated a concert series featuring avant-garde works by international composers as well as actively championed the work of Australian artists Peter Sculthorpe, Nigel Butterley and Richard Meale.

Hopkins has conducted the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, and completed numerous overseas tours to conduct orchestras from Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, the USSR, Canada, the USA, South Africa and Japan. Other career highs include becoming the founding Dean of the College of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts, and enjoying a six-year tenure as Director of Sydney Conservatorium of Music. John Hopkins is currently Convenor of Conducting and an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Music at the University of Melbourne.

Orchestral conductor, flautist and writer, Patrick Thomas MBE has had a distinguished career in music spanning 60 years. Originally from Brisbane, Thomas made some of his first appearances as a flautist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and eventually went on to become the orchestra's only ever homegrown chief conductor thus far. He founded and conducted the Patrick Thomas Singers in Brisbane and in 1964 went on to be appointed resident conductor of the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust Opera Company and the Australian Ballet. Thomas has worked with numerous Australian orchestras and was guest conductor internationally with the Moscow Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Orchestra among others. Throughout his life he has remained a fierce advocate for new music and Australian talent and in 1998 he was the first Australian conductor to become an honorary life member of the Fellowship of Australian Composers. In 2010, Thomas published a book of autobiography and poetry Upbeats and downbeats: a conductor's life (2010).

APRA and the AMC warmly congratulate Patrick Thomas and John Hopkins on their immense achievements and commend them for their ongoing contribution to musical life in Australia.

Further links

Art Music Awards (AMC Online)

Art Music Awards 2011- finalists announced - Resonate article

Subjects discussed by this article:

The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.


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