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Art Music Awards

2018 Art Music Awards

The recipients of the 2018 Art Music Awards have been revealed across 11 national and eight state/territory categories. A gala event honouring Australia's finest art music composers, from the genres of contemporary classical music, jazz, experimental music and sound art, was held at Melbourne's Plaza Ballroom on Tuesday evening 21 August 2018. In its 8th year, the Art Music Awards is the only national event to acknowledge the achievements and creative successes of individuals and organisations who continue to champion Australian art music both at home and overseas.

The Work of the Year winners this year include composers Mary Finsterer (Vocal/Choral Work of the Year for Biographica), Matthew Sheens (Jazz Work of the Year award for American Counterpoint), Lisa Illean (Instrumental Work of the Year for Cantor) and Paul Stanhope (Orchestral work of the Year for Concerto for trombone and orchestra). The award for Excellence in Jazz went to saxophonist and composer Sandy Evans (for rockpoolmirror), while Chamber Made was presented with the Award for Excellence in Experimental Music (for Between 8 and 9 (Chengdu Teahouse Project with lead artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey). Chicago-based contemporary chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird was the recipient of the Performance of the Year award. 

Tura New Music received the award for Excellence by an Organisation, and composer Carl Vine was the recipient of the award for Excellence by an Individual. Young Music Society Inc. (ACT) was recognised with the the Award for Excellence in Music Education, and the Award for Excellence in a Regional Area went to Big hART for Acoustic Life of Sheds.

The award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music (as determined by the APRA Board of Writer and Publisher Directors) was presented to Canberra-based curator, academic and musicologist, Robyn Holmes - read a news article about the announcement on 7 August.

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. The live performance program of the 2018 ceremony was curated by pianist and passionate exponent of contemporary music, Gabriella Smart. Actor, director, and entertainer Jonathan Biggins hosted the event.

The AMC would like to congratulate all finalists for their achievement. For a detailed list of winners, see below. For more information and comments by judging panels', see the the news article on Resonate.

> 2018 Art Music Awards - winners (Resonate 21 August 2018). See also: a news article about this year's finalists (Resonate 17 July 2018)

> Rules and Guidelines for 2018 Art Music Awards


2018 Art Music Awards - winners

Vocal / Choral Work of the Year

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

Jazz Work of the Year

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

Instrumental Work of the Year

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

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)

Performance of the Year

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

Award for Excellence by an Organisation

• 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

Award for Excellence in Music Education

• 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

Award for Excellence in Experimental Music

• Chamber Made for Between 8 and 9 (Chengdu Teahouse Project) with lead artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey

Award for Excellence in Jazz

Sandy Evans for rockpoolmirror


2018 State and Territory Awards

NSW State Award for Excellence in a Regional Area
Tyalgum Music Festival for the 2017 Tyalgum Music Festival

QLD Award for Excellence in Experimental Music
Vanessa Tomlinson, Leah Barclay and John Ferguson for 100 Ways to Listen

SA Award for Vocal/Choral Work of the Year
Anne Cawrse for On Earth as in Heaven

TAS Award for Orchestral Work of the Year
Maria Grenfell for Spirals for clarinet, bassoon and chamber orchestra

VIC Award for Excellence by an Organisation
Move Records for 50 years of recording and release of new music

WA Award for Performance of the Year
Louise Devenish, Leah Scholes and Vanessa Tomlinson for Never Tilt Your Chair Back by Kate Neal


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).