6 April 2012
2012 Art Music Awards - relive the moment (images and audio)
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
Work of the Year: Orchestral
Work of the Year: Vocal/Choral
Work of the Year: Jazz
Composer: Andrea Keller
Performed by: Bennetts Lane Big Band
Performance of the Year
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
Australian Capital Territory State Award
Performer: Tamara Anna Cislowska, Lara St. John, Danish String Quartet, Justin Bullock & Andreas Borregaard
Composer: Elena Kats-Chernin
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
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
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)
© Australian Music Centre (2012) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
Anni Heino is a Finnish-born journalist and musicologist, and web editor at the Australian Music Centre.
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