ACT musicians head to Art Music Awards

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Music festival director Roland Peelman, centre, with the Festival Strings. Photo: William Hall 2017.

APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre have today (Tuesday July 16) announced the finalists for the 2019 Art Music Awards and the Canberra International Music Festival is in the running to win the “Award for Excellence” in the organisation category.

The festival, which makes one of many local nominations in this year’s awards, was nominated for “sustained creative excellence, exceptional growth and cultivation of Australian music”.

Canberra’s Michael Sollis, Warren H Williams and Barkly Arts have been nominated too. This time in the “Excellence in a Regional Area” category for “One Sky Many Stories”, which explored their relationship to the night sky, indigenous culture and the world around them.

MIchael Sollis, left, working on “One Sky Many Stories”.

The finalists in the” Orchestral Work of the Year” category are Elena Kats-Chernin’s “Piano Concerto no. 3 Lebewohl”, Melody Eötvös’s “Ruler of the Hive”, Cathy Milliken’s “DACCORD” and Carl Vine’s concerto for two pianos and orchestra, “Implacable Gifts”.

In the category of “Vocal/Choral Work of the Year”, finalists are Rachel Bruerville for “In Due Season”, Alice Chance’s “The Audience Choir”, which involved participation by the audience wielding mobile phones, Andrew Ford’s orchestral song cycle “The Drowners”, and Damien Ricketson’s opera “The Howling Girls”.

The “Instrumental Work of the Year” finalists include Robert Davidson’s “Stalin’s Piano”; Mary Finsterer’s duet for viola d’amore and cello, Ignis; Andrew Ford’s “String Quartet no.6”; and “Piano Sonata” by Elizabeth Younan .

“Jazz Work of the Year” finalists are “Gratitude and Grief”, a collaborative project by Katie Noonan, Zac Hurren, Stephen Magnusson and Michael Leunig, SA composer-pianist Brenton Foster’s cycle of modern jazz songs “Love, As We Know It”, Joshua Kyle and Andrew Murray’s “Trombone Song Cycle” and bassist-composer Ross McHenry’s “Nothing Remains Unchanged”.

“Performance of the Year” finalists include the team behind Victorian Opera’s feminist retelling of the Lorelei legend, Taikoz, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and soloists for their performance of Lachlan Skipworth’s work “Breath of Thunder”, Speak Percussion and Jessica Aszodi for their performance of Liza Lim’s “Atlas of the Sky” and Ray Chen and Julien Quentin for their performances of Matthew Hindson’s Violin Sonata no. 1 Dark Matter as part of their Musica Viva tour.

The 2019 Art Music Awards will be held at the Great Hall of the University of Sydney, from 5.45pm Monday, August 19 with Jonathan Biggins as MC.

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Helen Musa
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