Winners of the Art Music Awards were announced at the 2023 Art Music Awards ceremony, held on Tuesday 15 August at Carriageworks in Sydney, Gadigal land.
Véronique Serret, Delmae Barton, and William Barton (photo by Rhiannon Hopley).
Winners include Paul Dean, Nat Bartsch and Omega Ensemble & Dr Lou Bennett AM. William Barton receives Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music.
Presented by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre (AMC), the 2023 Art Music Awards winners have been announced in a ceremony at Carriageworks in Sydney, Gadigal land.
The winners and finalists of the 2023 Art Music Awards showcase the power of cross-cultural collaboration and the impact of music leadership and engagement with local communities around Australia, and the importance of supporting the creation of new work.
They include Omega Ensemble and Dr Lou Bennett AM, composer and clarinettist Paul Dean, the collaborators of The Cloud Maker, Iranian-Australian composer Shervin Mirzeinali, jazz musician and composer Nat Bartsch, Tasmania's Alluvium, music educator and composer duo Laura Andrew and Elizabeth Jigalin for their work at Cobar High School and more.
The Awards recognise some of Australia's finest established and emerging artists in art music and acknowledge the achievements of composers, performers, educators and leaders in contemporary classical music, jazz, improvisation, electronic and sound art and experimental practice.
"Many of this year's finalists noted that their work was made possible from funding during the pandemic. The silver lining of that difficult period is now clear. It also affirms what we already know; give artists the time, space and resources to do great things, and they will." said Dean Ormston, APRA AMCOS Chief Executive, and Catherine Haridy, Australian Music Centre CEO.
The winners of both performance categories demonstrated an active cross-cultural approach to music making. Performance of the Year - Notated Composition was awarded to Omega Ensemble and Dr Lou Bennett AM for their performance of Dr Lou Bennett AM's work nyernur, nyarkur - to see, to hear, recognised for technical abundance, trust and meaningful reconciliation. Performance of the Year - Jazz/Improvised Music was awarded to Freya Schack-Arnott, Aviva Endean, Sunny Kim, Jasmin Wing-Yin Leung, Maria Moles, and Te Kahureremoa Taumata for their work The Cloud Maker, which blends a unique combination of instruments and represents a wide array of cultural and musical practices.
Work of the Year - Choral was presented to Heather Percy for Three Night Songs, performed by Sydney Chamber Choir and conducted by Sam Allchurch.
Shervin Mirzeinali received the award for Work of the Year - Dramatic for his work Panbe Zan, an imaginative theatrical work which explores the traditional Iranian craft of cotton beating.
First-time winner, composer and pianist Nat Bartsch received Work of the Year - Jazz for Busy/Quiet, which triumphantly evokes an individual voice whilst broadening the jazz tradition.
Paul Dean was named as the recipient of Work of the Year - Large Ensemble for his sonically colourful work, Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra.
Lachlan Skipworth's Pine Chant was named Work of the Year - Chamber Music, showcasing clever and thoughtful integration of electronic and live instruments while making sense of ecological issues unfolding around us.
Work of the Year - Electroacoustic/Sound Art was presented to Rebecca Bracewell, who produced an intricately complex work in Spirals, which uncovers the hidden world of hearing aid feedback.
Three Excellence Award categories were given to site-specific and community-based projects. Excellence in Experimental Practice was awarded to Eve Klein for City Symphony, a Brisbane sound walk revolutionising audiences' engagement with urban environments, underpinned by an ethos of collaborative inclusivity and accessibility.
Music educator and composer duo Laura Andrew and Elizabeth Jigalin received the award for Excellence in Music Education for the Sound and Stories project at Cobar High School, engaging students with popular song, field recordings and oral local history.
Excellence in a Regional Area was awarded to Alluvium, the experimental duo of Paul Corfiatis and Aaron Hopper for the Paper on Skin soundtrack, a collaborative project that integrated with the fashion and paper-making industries of north-west Tasmania.
The Luminary Award for a National Individual was presented to Roland Peelman AM for sustained service to Australian music as a conductor, pianist, artistic director and mentor to composers, singers, and instrumentalists, notably through his work with The Song Company and the Canberra International Music Festival.
The Luminary Award for a National Organisation was presented to Moorambilla Voices for its long-term commitment to creating Australian art music with and for young people in regional NSW.
State and territory-based Luminary Awards were presented to individuals and organisations who made significant contributions for their local communities: AJ America (ACT), SIMA (NSW), MADE NOW MUSIC (QLD), Creative Original Music Adelaide (SA), Julius Schwing (TAS), Miranda Hill (VIC), and Tone List (WA).
The Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music was presented to William Barton, recognising his trailblazing contributions to Australian music, broadening horizons for the didgeridoo and the culture and landscape it represents.
The 2023 Art Music Awards were hosted by Monica Trapaga with guest presenters Nardi Simpson and Sonya Holowell. Live musical performances were curated by Barney McAll, which featured William Barton with Veronique Serret (violin), Sam Anning (bass), Matthew Hoy (cello) and Barton's mother and frequent collaborator, Aunty Delmae Barton; Australian-American experimental art rock band Liars, saxophonist Tessie Overmyer with jazz quintet and Omega Ensemble.
APRA AMCOS and the AMC congratulate all 2023 Art Music Award winners on their outstanding achievements and contributions.
2023 Art Music Awards Winners
Work of the Year- Choral
Title: Three Night Songs
Composer: Heather Percy
Performer: Sydney Chamber Choir & Sam Allchurch, conductor
Work of the Year- Dramatic
Title: Panbe Zan
Composer: Shervin Mirzeinali
Performers: Maximillian Alduca, Majid Amani, Harry Birch, Danial Bozorgi, Arman Gouniaei, Ehsan Kachooei, Agnes Sarkis & Ali Yarmohammadi, Marjan Lotfali, director
Work of the Year - Jazz
Composer: Nat Bartsch
Performer: Nat Bartsch Quartet, Ellen Kirkwood & Loretta Palmeiro
Work of the Year - Large Ensemble
Title: Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra
Composer: Paul Dean
Performer: Phoebe Russell & Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Johannes Fritzsch, conductor
Work of the Year- Chamber Music
Title: Pine Chant
Composer: Lachlan Skipworth
Performer: Sara Fraker, Jackie Glazier, Marissa Olegario & Lachlan Skipworth
Work of the Year- Electroacoustic/Sound Art
Composer: Rebecca Bracewell
Performer: Rebecca Bracewell
Performance of the Year - Jazz/Improvised Music
Performer: Freya Schack-Arnott, Aviva Endean, Sunny Kim, Jasmin Wing-Yin Leung, Maria Moles, and Te Kahureremoa Taumata
Title: The Cloud Maker
Composers: Freya Schack-Arnott, Aviva Endean, Sunny Kim, Jasmin Wing-Yin Leung, Maria Moles & Te Kahureremoa Taumata
Performance of the Year - Notated Composition
Performer: Omega Ensemble & Dr Lou Bennett AM
Title: nyernur, nyarkur - to see, to hear
Composer: Dr Lou Bennett AM
Award for Excellence in Music Education
Laura Andrew & Elizabeth Jigalin for Cobar High School's Sounds & Stories
Award for Excellence in a Regional Area
Alluvium for Paper on Skin soundtrack
Award for Excellence in Experimental Practice
Eve Klein for City Symphony
Richard Gill Awards for Distinguished Services to Australian Music
Luminary - National Individual
Roland Peelman AM for sustained service to Australian music as a conductor, pianist, artistic director and mentor to composers, singers and instrumentalists.
Luminary - National Organisation
Moorambilla Voices for long-term commitment to creating Australian art music with and for young people in regional NSW.
Luminary - State/Territory
Australian Capital Territory: AJ America for leadership in the ACT.
New South Wales: SIMA for leadership through performance, artist development and education programs in Australian jazz.
Queensland: MADE NOW MUSIC for MADE NOW MUSIC label and concert series.
South Australia: Creative Original Music Adelaide (COMA) for COMA programs.
Tasmania: Julius Schwing for multiple album releases through his label Isthmus Music, touring and career development, and cultivating and fostering the Tasmanian improvised/experimental music scene.
Victoria: Miranda Hill for Homophonic!
Western Australia: Tone List for Audible Edge Festival of Sound.