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20 February 2020

All new Art Music Awards in 2020

All new Art Music Awards in 2020

In 2020, some important changes will be introduced in the categories and the nomination process of the annual Art Music Awards. APRA AMCOS's Art Music Specialist Cameron Lam explains.

The Art Music Awards aim to honour the music, the people, and the organisations that make up Australia's diverse and vibrant art music landscape. We celebrate our achievements as a community and applaud those who create, communicate, and inspire our shared practice.

Founded in 1988 as the Sounds Australian Awards, our annual celebration has evolved and changed over time to meet the needs of the art music sector and to reflect its constituents and their achievements accurately. New categories have been introduced for jazz and experimental music, and, over the years, we've also seen the retirement of various categories.

In 2020, the Art Music Awards evolve again to embrace broader categories for Work of the Year, to achieve a multi-genre approach to Performance of the Year and Excellence categories, and to introduce new sustained contribution 'Luminary' Awards on both national and state levels.

The changes: Work of the Year

The number of Work of Year categories has expanded to give a dedicated space for electronic works (under Electroacoustic/Sound Art), and to works for the theatre such as opera, music theatre, and ballet (under the Dramatic category). Vocal, instrumental and orchestral works will now be assessed based on number of forces with 1 to 12 players defined as Chamber Music, and larger works as Large Ensemble. Works for choir will remain as a separate category (Choral).

New category: Work of the Year: Dramatic
New category: Work of the Year: Electroacoustic/Sound Art
Vocal/Choral Work of the Year (old category) => Work of the Year: Choral
Instrumental Work of the Year (old category) => Work of the Year: Chamber Music
Orchestral Work of the Year (old category) => Work of the Year: Large Ensemble
Jazz Work of the Year (old category) => Work of the Year: Jazz

As in previous years, a particular piece can only be considered in a single category so in the case of multiple options, such as a choral work with strong elements of jazz, the composer will elect in which category the work will be considered (Jazz or Choral).
In order to be eligible, the work must have been premiered (either in live performance, by broadcast, or digital dissemination) in 2019 only.

The changes: Performance of the Year, and Excellence Awards

Performance of the Year expands to two categories, noting the difference in realising a composer's intent (Performance of the Year: Notated Composition) and devising and creating new content (Performance of the Year: Jazz / Improvised Music).
The Awards for Excellence (Music Education, Regional and Experimental Music) remain structurally the same, but with an increased focus on inclusivity - these categories are for our jazz and experimental communities as well as our classical community and we welcome diverse nominations.

Performance of the Year (old category) => Performance of the Year: Notated Composition
Excellence in Jazz (old category) => Performance of the Year: Jazz / Improvised Music
Award for Excellence in Music Education
Award for Excellence in a Regional Area
Award for Excellence in Experimental Music

The changes: Luminary Awards (National & State)

Finally, the Awards for Excellence by an Individual, Organisation and the State Awards are being combined into a new group of awards: the Luminary Awards.

The Luminary Awards seek to honour individuals and organisations who through sustained contribution (demonstrated over a period of the last 3-5 years), have impacted their communities through visionary leadership, fearless trailblazing, and engagement with their Australian art music repertoire. The Awards will be presented on state level (State Awards) and nationally in the categories of National (Individual) and National (Organisation).

Unlike in previous years, State Awards will be specifically nominated for, focusing on the nominee's contribution to their local community. Due to the longer period assessed, winners of the Luminary Awards are ineligible in their category for the next three years. Only recipients for these awards will be announced, there are no finalists for these awards.

Award for Excellence by an Individual (old category) => Luminary Awards - National (Individual)
Award for Excellence by an Organisation (old category) => Luminary Awards - National (Organisation)
State Awards => Luminary Awards - State Awards

Nomination process

Nominating is now simpler than ever!

Step 1

To nominate you need to be either:
• a member of APRA AMCOS (Composer, Author, or Publisher member)
• a financial member of the Australian Music Centre (you can join here)

Step 2

Provide essential information (category, name of nominee, etc.)

Step 3

Write a short paragraph on why you're nominating. That's it!

Nominations must be received by 5pm AEDT, Wednesday 18 March 2020. Please note that you cannot self-nominate in any category.

If you've been nominated

We'll be in touch via email! The process from here is as follows:

Step 1: Confirm you'd like to be nominated, or select which nomination if there are multiple options in a single category.

Step 2: Submit all requested support material (see the guidelines for the list of materials for each category).

Step 3: Provide any press material (additional photos, videos, or biographical information) to be used if selected as a finalist.

That's it!

These supplementary materials from the nominees must be received by 5pm AEDT, Tuesday 14 April 2020.

> Read the full guidelines for the 2020 Art Music Awards.

> Nominations will be opened on 27 February. The online form will be available on the AMC website.


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