29 October 2008
Sibelius Composer Awards winners
Melbourne lads stole the limelight in the national Sibelius Composer Awards at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music last Sunday. The competition drew over 100 entrants from across Australia. The secondary school award went to Jackson Sweeney (16) for his dark and dramatic work Delusional Mind, while Jesse McVeity (19) won the tertiary section for his intriguing use of texture and momentum in Luminous Patterns. The winners were selected by the composers Paul Grabowsky, Anne Boyd, James Morrison and Matthew Hindson along with Ensemble Offspring.
Also among the finalists of the secondary school component were Liam Kemp (15 years, from the ACT) and Liane Papantoniou (15 years, from New South Wales). In the tertiary section, Chie Tsang Lee (24) from the University of Western Australia also reached the finals.
As part of the awards, Jesse McVeity and Jackson Sweeney witnessed the world premiere of their works, played by Ensemble Offspring. For Jackson, it was the first time he had had any of his compositions performed by a professional ensemble on a professional stage. The Melbourne winners took home up to $2,000 cash and a home studio to the value of $10,000.
The concert also saw the Australian premiere of Damien Ricketson's work Same Steps, as well as the world premiere of a new work by the inaugural winner of the Sibelius Emerging Composer Commission, Peter McNamara. McNamara's new work for clarinet, cello, violin and percussion is inspired by the Prussian settlement in the Adelaide Hills in the 1800s. Coincidentally, another composition of his, Landscape of Diffracted Colours, was played on the very same day (26 October) by Ensemble Modern at the ISCM World Music Days in Lithuania, conducted by Peter Eötvös.
In cooperation with Sibelius, Ensemble Offspring and MLC School, the Australian Music Centre has prepared a special education resource for secondary and tertiary music students, focusing on Ricketson's Same Steps. Stepping Stones kit provides learning resources and live listening experiences for years 9 to 12. More information about the kit is available on the AMC website.
Sibelius Composer Awards 2008 (www.sibelius.com/competition/composer/2008/index.html)
Damien Ricketson (www.amcoz.com.au/composers/composer.asp?id=1221)
Peter McNamara (www.amcoz.com.au/composers/composer.asp?id=31580)
Ensemble Offspring (www.ensembleoffspring.org.au/)
ISCM World Music Days 2008 (www.wmd2008.org/)
© Australian Music Centre (2008) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
As a national service organisation, the Australian Music Centre is dedicated to increasing the profile and sustainability of Australian composers and other creative artists. The AMC facilitates the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these artists through: composer and other creative artist representation and assistance; resonate – its online magazine; library and retail services; sheet music publishing; and the management, administration and publication of project-based initiatives. Its library collection holds over 30,000 items by more than 500 artists.
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