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Art Music Awards

2018 Art Music Awards

Finalists for the 2018 Art Music Awards have been announced. With a great many first-time finalists and emerging composers among the shortlisted artists, as well as a vast geographical spread, this year promises to be a particularly forward-looking one in the history of the Awards. See below for a full list of finalists. In addition, the APRA Board of Directors will announce the recipient of the Distinguished Services to Australian Music in coming weeks. 

Presented each year by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre, the Awards recognise achievement in the composition, performance, education and presentation of Australian art music. Art music covers activity across contemporary classical music, contemporary jazz and improvised music, experimental music and sound art.

The 2018 Art Music Awards will be held in Melbourne's Plaza Ballroom on 21 August 2018. The live performance program will be curated by renowned pianist and passionate exponent of contemporary music, Gabriella Smart. Actor, director, and entertainer Jonathan Biggins will host the event.

> Read a news article on Resonate about the 2018 finalists (17 July 2018)

> Rules and Guidelines for 2018 Art Music Awards


2018 Art Music Awards finalists

Vocal / Choral Work of the Year

Title: Biographica
Composer: Mary Finsterer; libretto by Tom Wright
Performer: Sydney Chamber Opera, Ensemble Offspring, Jack Symonds (conductor)

Title: Comeclose and Sleepnow: six Liverpool love songs
Composer: Andrew Ford; poems by Adrian Henri, Brian McGough, Brian Patten
Performer: The Monash Art Ensemble, with Gian Slater, Paul Grabowsky (conductor)

Title: Fiat Lux: The Light Cycle
Composer: Alice Chance
Performer: Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, The Song Company, Alice Chance, Benjamin Burton (and audience); Michelle Leonard (conductor)

Title: On Earth as in Heaven
Composer: Anne Cawrse; text by Michael Leunig
Performer: Adelaide Chamber Singers, Christie Anderson (conductor)


Jazz Work of the Year

Title: American Counterpoint
Composer: Matthew Sheens
Performer: Zephyr String Quartet, Matthew Sheens, Lyndon Gray, Myele Manzanza

Title: [A]part
Composer: Ellen Kirkwood
Performer: Sirens Big Band, Andrea Keller (piano), Sandy Evans (saxophones), Gian Slater (voice)

Title: Opioid
Composer: Johannes Luebbers
Performer: Johannes Luebbers Dectet

Title: rockpoolmirror
Composer: Sandy Evans
Performer: Sandy Evans (saxophone), Steve Elphick (double bass), Alon Ilsar (drums), Satsuki Odamura (koto), Adrian Sherriff (trombone), Bobby Singh (tabla)


Instrumental Work of the Year

Title: Aspects of Return
Composer: Jakub Jankowski
Performer: Nicolas Altstaedt & Aleksandar Madžar

Title: Cantor (after Willa Cather)
Composer: Lisa Illean
Performer: Ensemble Offspring

Title: Up in the Clouds
Composer: Corrina Bonshek
Performer: All of the Above

Title: When We Speak
Composer: Lisa Cheney
Performer: Gemma Tomlinson


Orchestral Work of the Year

Title: Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra
Composer: Paul Stanhope
Performer: Joshua Davis (trombone), West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Asher Fisch (conductor)

Title: Entropia for Symphony Orchestra, no. 441 (2016-2017)
Composer: Andrián Pertout
Performer: Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, Guerassim Voronkov (conductor)

Title: Spirals for Clarinet and Bassoon
Composer: Maria Grenfell
Performer: Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, James Feddeck (conductor), Andrew Seymour (clarinet), Tahnee van Herk (bassoon)

Title: Spiritus
Composer: Lachlan Skipworth
Performer: West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Blendulf (conductor)


Performance of the Year

Performer: Australian String Quartet and Pieter Wispelwey
Title: String Quintet No. 2
Composer: Gordon Kerry

Performer: Eighth Blackbird
Title: Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup
Composer: Holly Harrison

Performer: Matthew Horsley
Title: A Book of Migrations
Composer: Liam Flenady

Performer: West Australian Symphony Orchestra and soloists; Simone Young (conductor)
Title: Maali, op. 101 - Concerto for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn with orchestra
Composer: Andrew Schultz


Award for Excellence by an Organisation

• Australian Art Orchestra for collaboration, touring, mentorship and innovative programming

• Gondwana Choirs for 'Songs of My Country' collaboration with the Vienna Boys Choir

• Move Records for 50 years of recording and release of new music

• Tura New Music for 30 years of presenting, producing, commissioning, exhibiting, publishing, advocating and supporting Australian art music


Award for Excellence by an Individual

Carl Vine AO for 2017 activities

Connor D'Netto for outstanding artistic direction of ARGO throughout 2017

Keyna Wilkins for activities in original art music throughout 2017 as a composer-musician including the release of three original albums


Award for Excellence in Music Education

• Australian Art Orchestra for Creative Music Intensive

• Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony for MCM Wind Symphony Performances

• MLC School, Sydney for MLC School Sydney Opera House Concert 2017

• Young Music Society Inc. (ACT) for 50 years of community youth music activity


Award for Excellence in a Regional Area

• Big hART for Acoustic Life of Sheds

• Moorambilla Voices for their 2017 season

• The Orpheus Club String Quartet for their 2017 'Festival in a String Quartet' Central QLD tour

• Tyalgum Music Festival for the 2017 Tyalgum Music Festival


Award for Excellence in Experimental Music

• Chamber Made for Between 8 and 9 (Chengdu Teahouse Project)

• Eugene Ughetti for Assembly Operation

• Splinter Orchestra for new work, performances, exhibitions, concerts

• Vanessa Tomlinson, Leah Barclay, John Ferguson for 100 Ways to Listen


Award for Excellence in Jazz

Sandy Evans for rockpoolmirror

Alister Spence Trio for Not Everything But Enough

Barney McAll for Hearing the Blood

Jeremy Rose for the recording, performance, composition and promotion of contemporary jazz through Earshift Music


About the Awards

The yearly Art Music Awards are presented by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Australian Music Centre to recognise achievement in the composition, performance, education and presentation of Australian music. There are eleven national Awards and a varying number of State and Territory Awards. The national awards are presented in categories covering, among others, composition (four Work of the Year awards), performance, music education, regional music, experimental music and jazz. Nominations are accepted from current AMC or APRA members - also, industry organisations and companies such as educational institutions, broadcasters, retail outlets, recording studios, and promoters are able to nominate.


National Awards

Eleven national Art Music Awards are open for nominations from members of the Australian Music Centre and APRA, as well as industry organisations and companies such as educational institutions, broadcasters, retail outlets, recording studios and promoters: Work of the Year (orchestral; instrumental; vocal or choral; jazz), Performance of the Year, Award for Excellence by an Individual, Award for Excellence by an Organisation, Award for Excellence in Music Education, Award for Excellence in a Regional Area, Award for Excellence in Experimental Music (for works, people or events) and award for Excellence in Jazz (for works, people or events). An additional category is awarded at the discretion of the Board of Directors of APRA and AMC for Distinguished Services to Australian Music.


State/Territory Awards

For each State or Territory, one Award is given from one of the following categories: Work of the Year (orchestral; instrumental; vocal or choral; jazz), Performance of the Year, Award for Excellence by an Individual, Award for Excellence by an Organisation, Award for Excellence in Music Education, Award for Excellence in a Regional Area, Award for Excellence in Experimental Music (for works, people or events), award for Excellence in Jazz (for works, people or events).