Canberra music honoured in national awards

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Roland Peelman conducting at the Canberra International Music Festival. Photo: Peter Hislop.

CANBERRA musical initiatives were among those honoured in the 2019 ART Music Awards, announced tonight (August 19) at the University of Sydney’s Great Hall. 

The announcements were made across 11 national categories and eight state categories of the 2019 Art Music Awards at a gala function hosted by actor Jonathan Biggins.

This year’s orchestral work of the year went to Carl Vine’s “Implacable Gifts”, (concerto for two pianos and orchestra) inspired by surrealist painting “Arrival of Implacable Gifts” by James Gleeson.

Canberra International Music Festival was honoured with the ACT award for excellence by an organisation for sustained creative excellence, exceptional growth and cultivation of Australian music.

Canberra’s Michael Sollis ,left, in “One Sky Many Stories”.

The Northern Territory award for excellence in a regional area went to Canberra’s Michael Sollis, who worked with Arrernte singer-songwriter from the NT, Warren H. Williams, and Barkly Arts to create “One Sky Many Stories”, which explored their relationship to the night sky, Indigenous culture and the world around them.

Canberra-raised composer Mary Finsterer was recognised in the category of instrumental work of the year for “Ignis”, a duet for viola d’amore and cello  played by James Wannan and CSO cellist Christopher Pidcock.

The winner of the award for excellence by an individual was Lyn Williams, founder of Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices, for her significant contribution to the creation and performance of choral music in Australia.

WA Symphony Orchestra was the recipient of the award for excellence in music education for their Crescendo program, inspired by the Venezuelan El Sistema.

Illawarra-based Steel City Strings won the award for Excellence in a Regional Area for its performance activity in the last twelve months and its continued commitment to new Australian music.

The award for excellence in experimental music went to Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, described by the judges as “a courageous, stimulating and imaginative place for high quality experimental music in the Australian landscape”.

The newly-titled Richard Gill award for distinguished services to Australian music was presented to experimental jazz trio The Necks.

Hosted by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre, the awards are the only national event in Australia to acknowledge the extraordinary achievements and creative successes of Australian composers, performers and educators in the genres of contemporary classical music, jazz and experimental music.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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