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Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address 2019

Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address is an annual forum for ideas relating to the creation and performance of Australian music. Named after the Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks, it has been igniting debate and highlighting crucial issues since its establishment in 1999.

Deborah Cheetham AO: 'In Answer to Your Question'

The 2019 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address took place at the Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre, on Tuesday 22 October 2019, following the announcement of the 2019 Paul Lowin Prize winners.

You can watch and listen to Deborah Cheetham's address below, and the full transcript is available on Resonate.

This historic occasion brought together two important events in Australian art music: the annual Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address and the prestigious Paul Lowin Prizes. Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address has been igniting debate and highlighting crucial issues since its establishment in 1999. The AMC has recently taken on the custodianship of the Address, after the closing of the New Music Network, and is mindful of the importance of continuing this annual tradition with respect to its history. The 2019 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address was delivered by Deborah Cheetham AO: Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator, and a leader in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years.

The Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize ($25,000) and Song Cycle Prize ($15,000) are among Australia's richest prizes for music composition, presented in collaboration between the Australian Music Centre (AMC) and Perpetual, as Trustee of the Paul Lowin Prizes.

AMC CEO John Davis said,

"In 2019, we're fortunate to be able to bring together these two crucially important events of the Australian art music calendar, in a celebration of our vibrant and multifaceted art form. The submissions to this year's Paul Lowin Prizes reflect the multitude of styles in composition and artistic expression that is one of the main hallmarks of Australian art music today.

"The list of people who have delivered the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address over the years is similarly proof of a strong trend towards diversity and true freedom of artistic expression. We are honoured to have Deborah Cheetham AO, an important art leader and one of our strongest compositional voices to have emerged over the past few years, deliver the 2019 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address on 22 October."


Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours List, Cheetham was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for "distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance".

In 2009, Deborah Cheetham established Short Black Opera as a national not-for-profit opera company devoted to the development of Indigenous singers. The following year she produced the premiere of her first opera Pecan Summer. This landmark work was Australia's first Indigenous opera and has been a vehicle for the development of a new generation of Indigenous opera singers.

In March 2015 she was inducted onto the Honour Roll of Women in Victoria and in April 2018 received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia. In 2019 she received the Merlyn Myer Prize to create a new work for the Melbourne-based ensemble Syzygy. Cheetham's commissions for major Australian ensembles include works for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian String Quartet, West Australian Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, Rubiks Collective, Plexus Ensemble, Flinders Quartet and the Goldner Quartet. In 2020 Deborah Cheetham will accept the position of Composer in Residence with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

> Read the full transcript of the 2019 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address by Deborah Cheetham (Resonate 26 October 2019).

> Read 'The New Music Network closes - AMC to continue Peggy Glanville-Hicks address' - news article on Resonate 28 November 2018.