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6 April 2012

2012 Art Music Awards - relive the moment (images and audio)

Erica Byrne accepting the Award for Excellence in Music Eduction for Gondwana Choirs Image: Erica Byrne accepting the Award for Excellence in Music Eduction for Gondwana Choirs  

Those who have attended Art Music Awards (formerly Classical Music Awards) ceremonies regularly, know a little bit about what makes these occasions special. Perhaps the absence of big monetary awards helps, for the air in the auditorium is always pervaded with generous collegiality, a tangible sense of something important shared, something important to celebrate, and to speak up for.

At the 2012 Art Music Awards, everyone present felt it - it was in the warmth of the spontaneous laughter, provoked from the audience by the MC James Morrison's jokes, by Mike Nock getting out of sync with his backing tape ('I usually make things up, so this is a bit different!'), by percussionist Claire Edwardes making most of her second time on stage to thank those she forgot to include in her first speech, and by Quentin Angus's father's half-sincere belief that, given the chance, his award-winning jazz guitarist son would surely have first of all thanked his supportive parents. It was equally there in the murmur of respectful agreement that greeted the mention of Uncle Jimmy Little during the traditional welcome to country, and the half-choked words by the AMC CEO John Davis who called the audience to remember those departed since the previous Awards were celebrated (Richard Austin, Rosalie Bonighton, Eric Gross, John Blades, George Pikler, Stephen Stanfield).

It was equally there in the respectful hush that surrounded Nigel Westlake's acceptance speech in which he remembered his son Eli - dedicatee of the winning work Missa Solis - Requiem for Eli - and the simple words with which he thanked his family for being there for him.

It's not that the live performances of the evening weren't met with wholehearted acceptance, too. The evening's music program, curated by Marshall McGuire, brought to the auditorium Super Critical Mass (10 saxophonists, premiering Julian Day and Luke Jaaniste's hypnotic work HALO), pianist Andrea Keller (who went home with the Jazz Work of the Year award), the Band of Brothers (guitarists Slava & Leonard Grigoryan, Joseph Tawadros on oud, and James Tawadros on req'), and, finally, the Australian String Quartet. In its new line-up, the Quartet (Kristian Winter, Anne Horton, Stephen King & Rachel Johnston), performed Peter Sculthorpe's String Quartet No. 11. following the presentation to Sculthorpe of the Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music.

For those wanting to relive the awards, as well as for those that did not make it this year, we have compiled two slideshows embedded on this page (thank you to APRA and photographers Matt Barber and Cynthia Sciberras for the images) as well as an 8-minute audio mix of the proceedings (mp3 file).

The unidentified voices in the audio mix are those of James Morrison who was the MC for the evening, Donna Ingram from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Head of Music at the University of Queensland Margaret Barrett who announced the first awards, and Erica Byrne, who accepted the first award on behald of the Gondwana Choirs. Claire Edwardes's award category was for 'Excellence by an Organisation or an Individual', and she came onstage a second time to read a prepared speech for Brett Dean who was not able to present to accept his Work of the Year: Instrumental award.

Peter Sculthorpe's acceptance speech is also available for listening and download as an mp3 file (4 mins).

A full list of award-winners below - for comments by the judging panels, please see this news article on Resonate.

2012 Art Music Awards - winners

Work of the Year: Instrumental

Title: Sextet
Composer: Brett Dean
Performed by: Australia Ensemble
Publishers: Boosey & Hawkes Inc (ASCAP), subpublished by Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd

Work of the Year: Orchestral

Title: Missa Solis - Requiem for Eli
Composer: Nigel Westlake
Text: John Weiley, Hannie Rayson & Michael Cathcart
Performed by: Sydney Symphony, Nigel Westlake (conductor)

Work of the Year: Vocal/Choral

Title: Osanna Mass
Composer: Clare Maclean
Performed by: Sydney Chamber Choi, Paul Stanhope (conductor)

Work of the Year: Jazz

Title: Affectations
Composer: Andrea Keller
Performed by: Bennetts Lane Big Band

Performance of the Year

Performer: West Australian Symphony Orchestra, WASO Chorus, Paul Daniel (conductor)
Title: Two Memorials (for Anton Webern and John Lennon)
Composer: James Ledger

Award for Excellence by an Organisation or an Individual

Claire Edwardes - Flash: Marimba Miniatures recording project

Award for Excellence in Music Education

Gondwana Choirs - 2011 program

Award for Excellence in a Regional Area

Moorambilla Voices - engagement with local community in North Western NSW

Award for Excellence in Experimental Music

Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey - 2011 activities

Award for Excellence in Jazz

Quentin Angus - composition, performance and international development

Distinguished Services To Australian Music

Peter Sculthorpe

State Awards

Australian Capital Territory State Award
Performer: Tamara Anna Cislowska, Lara St. John, Danish String Quartet, Justin Bullock & Andreas Borregaard
Title: Torque
Composer: Elena Kats-Chernin
Category: Performance of the Year

New South Wales State Award
Performer: Zubin Kanga
Title: Uncanny Valley
Composer: Nicholas Vines
Category: Performance of the Year

Queensland State Award
Lawrence English for Contributions to experimental electronic music in 2011 in Queensland
Category: Award for Excellence in Experimental Music

South Australian State Award
Performer: Zephyr String Quartet and Greta Bradman
Title: Sea Chronicles
Composer: Paul Stanhope
Category: Performance of the Year

Tasmanian State Award
Nick Haywood Quartet
Category: Award for Excellence in Jazz

Victorian State Award
Speak Percussion for 2011 Annual Program
Category: Award for Excellence by an Organisation or an Individual

Western Australian State Awards
Title: Two Memorials (for Anton Webern and John Lennon)
Composer: James Ledger
Category: Orchestral Work of the Year

AMC resources

Art Music Awards (AMC Online)
'2012 Art Music Awards - Sculthorpe's speech draws attention to the AMC's funding'
(Resonate 5 April 2012)
'2012 Art Music Awards - comments by judging panels' (Resonate 4 April 2012)
Art Music Awards 2012 - 8-minute audio mix from the ceremony (mp3 audio)
AMC - Flickr (photos from the Art Music Awards 2012)

Further links

APRA - Art Music Awards

Anni Heino is a Finnish-born journalist and musicologist, and web editor at the Australian Music Centre.


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