Art Music Award Winners 2019

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 ART Music Awards! Winners in 11 national categories and eight state categories of the 2019 Art Music Awards were revealed at a gala function at the Great Hall of the University of Sydney on Monday 19 August.

Hosted by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre (AMC), the Art Music 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.

The 9th annual Art Music Award ceremony was hosted by Jonathan Biggins; presenters included Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Council for the Arts, Adrian Collette AM; Create NSW Executive Director of Investment & Engagement, Elizabeth W. Scott; ABC Classic FM’s Content Manager Toby Chadd; Artistic Director for SIMA, Zoe Hauptmann; Philanthropist and Chair of the Copyright Agency, Kim Williams AM and Dr Simon Barker, Senior lecturer in Jazz Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Live performances curated by musical director Barney McAll featured composer Alice Chance; pianist Sonya Lifschitz performing a work by Robert Davidson; a duo improvisation by saxophonist Scott McConnachie and organist Amy Johansen; and a performance of Rhyan Clapham’s Talk To Me I’m Listening, performed by Ensemble Offspring’s Jason Noble and Emma Jardine joined by Benjamin Kopp, Sonya Holowell and Chloe Kim.

The winners:

Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music – The Necks

Vocal / Choral Work of the Year: The Howling Girls/ Composer: Damien Ricketson; with Adena Jacobs (director)/ Performer: Sydney Chamber Opera: Jane Sheldon (soprano);/artists from The House That Dan Built (ensemble)

Jazz Work of the Year: Trombone Song Cycle /Composer: Joshua Kyle and Andrew Murray/Performer: Joshua Kyle (voice), James Greening, James Macauley, Jordan Murray & Adrian Sherriff (trombones) with Andrew Murray (conductor)

Instrumental Work of the Year: Ignis /Composer: Mary Finsterer/Performer: James Wannan (viola d’amore) and Christopher Pidcock (cello)

Orchestral Work of the Year: Implacable Gifts (Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra) /Composer: Carl Vine/Performer: Kathryn Stott (piano), Piers Lane (piano)/ West Australian Symphony Orchestra with Rory Macdonald (conductor)

Performance of the Year: Speak Percussion with Jessica Aszodi / Atlas of the Sky/Composer: Liza Lim; texts by Bei Dao and Eliot Weinberger

Award for Excellence by an Organisation: Zephyr Quartet for their 2018 activities and 20 years of sustained contribution to the local, national and international arts scene.

Award for Excellence by an Individual: Lyn Williams for significant contribution to the creation and performance of choral music in Australia.

Award for Excellence in Music Education: West Australian Symphony Orchestra for Crescendo, El Sistema-inspired free music education program.

Award for Excellence in a Regional Area: Steel City Strings for activities in 2018 and commitment to new Australian music.

Award for Excellence in Experimental Music: Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music for their ongoing contribution.

Award for Excellence in Jazz: Ross McHenry for recording, international touring, residencies and commissions.
Winners of State Awards are determined through a review process assessing all applications received for each state across all Award categories.


ACT Award for Excellence by an Organisation: Canberra International Music Festival for sustained creative excellence, exceptional growth and cultivation of Australian music.

NSW Award for Excellence in Jazz: Ellen Kirkwood for [A]part and other projects and activities in 2018.

NT Award for Excellence in a Regional Area: Warren H. Williams, Michael Sollis and Barkly Arts for One Sky Many Stories, inspiring audiences as they explore their relationship to the night sky, Indigenous culture and the world around us.

QLD Award for Excellence in Experimental Music: Leah Barclay for Listening Underwater, a large-scale experimental music and acoustic ecology project.

SA Award for Excellence by an Individual: Gabriella Smart for activity in 2018.

TAS Award for Excellence by an Individual: Brian Ritchie for sustained contribution to the Australian music sector as a performer, curator and mentor.

VIC Award for Excellence by an Individual: Cat Hope for leadership in the composition, performance and education of new music in Australia.

WA Jazz Work of the Year: Daniel Susnjar for Onward and Upward.

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