Holmes honoured for her service to music

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Robyn Holmes. Photo by Steven Lloyd Photography
CANBERRA musical identity Robyn Holmes will receive the distinguished services to Australian music award at the 2018 Art Music Awards, it has been announced by APRA AMCOS.

The annual celebration of achievements in Australian contemporary classical, jazz and experimental music will be held on Tuesday, August 21, at Melbourne’s Plaza Ballroom.

With a career spanning over 40 years as curator, academic and musicologist, Robyn Holmes’ one driving purpose has been to preserve, collect and communicate Australia’s artistic legacy.

Her passion for Australia’s music has been behind her many achievements, particularly during her 17 years at the National Library of Australia. These achievements include the online service “Music Australia” (later incorporated into NLA’s “Trove” online platform) and the acquisition of the papers of many significant Australian composers such as Peter Sculthorpe, Richard Meale, Ross Edwards, Nigel Butterley and Don Burrows.

In 2009, together with composer and National Film & Sound Archive staffer at the time, Vincent Plush, she staged a major project in Canberra based around Meale’s opera, “Voss”( based on the Patrick White novel), resulting in a publication called “The Voss journey”.

As the senior curator of the NLA, Holmes appeared in television panels, radio shows and newspaper features as an expert on everything from Australian chamber music to “Waltzing Matilda” and Australia’s sporting anthems.

Holmes had previously held several academic positions, notably at the ANU School of Music, where she was responsible for significant curriculum reviews and the development of multiple programs and roles at many other national music and educational organisations such as the Australian Society for Music Education, the Musicological Society of Australia, the International Association of Music Libraries and Archives (Australian Branch) and as the deputy chair of the board of the (then) Music Council of Australia.

Her academic pursuits were balanced with an active musical life.

CEO of the Australian Music Centre, John Davis said: “Robyn Holmes’ contribution to Australian cultural life over many years is indeed significant, and her fine achievement in collecting and preserving the legacies of others has facilitated access for all to the people and the stories that shape our art form.”

Outgoing CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts, Tony Grybowski will be joined by Liza Lim, Tony Gould, Deborah Cheetham and Julian Burnside QC as presenters for the 2018 Art Music Awards.

The annual celebration of achievements in Australian contemporary classical, jazz and experimental music will be held at Melbourne’s Plaza Ballroom on Tuesday, August 21


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