The eight Australian winners of the 2011 APRA Professional Developments awards are:
JAZZ - TIMOTHY STEVENS
Timothy Stevens was born in Swan Hill, Victoria, and moved with his family to Melbourne as a child. Growing up in the Anglican church, he was exposed to organ and choral music from very early on and began piano lessons at the age of eight. His classical background has informed his improvisation mostly through the development of his instrumental sound, which is already recognised as distinctive and cultivated. His studies at the Victorian College of the Arts culminated in his being awarded the degree of Master of Music Performance (1996). Subsequently he studied for the Doctorate of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 2000 having completed a thesis on Melbourne's Red Onion Jazz Band. He performed as a member of the trio Browne - Haywood - Stevens in the late 1990s, and subsequently has led his own trio, which features his original compositions and pursues spontaneous ('free') improvisation. He has taught a little bit too but, to be frank, prefers to play and to write.
Highly Commended: Stuart Hunter and Linda Oh May Han
COUNTRY - HARMONY JAMES
In early 2007 Harmonys song Tailwind was announced the first Australian song to win the country category of the International Songwriting Competition. The 2nd single and number 1 hit Somebody Stole My Horse, was Australia's third most played country song of 2008. With the 2009 release of her debut album, TAILWIND, Harmony confirmed that she is a talented and skilled singer songwriter. Harmony was named Rising Star at the 2008 Victorian Country Music Awards, and a 2008 New Talent Golden Guitar finalist. In 2009 she was awarded Independent Female Vocalist of the Year at the Southern Stars awards. Now featuring again with Precious Little the second biggest song of 2009 at country radio, Harmony has found herself right up with the best of the business as finalist for the 2010 CMAA Album of the Year and Female Artist of the Year. After a busy year touring as guest artist with country music darlings the McClymonts, Harmony has a swag of new songs ready to record for her sophomore release.
Highly Commended: Greg Storer and Luke Webb
FILM & TELEVISION - CAITLIN YEO
Caitlin Yeo is a unique and versatile film composer. Since graduating from a Graduate Diploma of Screen Composition at AFTRS in 2003, Caitlin has scored 4 feature films, including All My Friends are Leaving Brisbane and the recently released Jucy, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival to sell-out audiences. She has also scored 18 TV documentaries including Feral Peril, Footy Chicks and The Matilda Candidate, 2 documentary series, and many short films. In 2007, Caitlin won an APRA-AGSC Screen Music Award (Best Music for a Documentary) for her highly original score for Bomb Harvest, about an Australian bomb disposal expert in Laos. Caitlin was nominated again in 2008 for the same award, for documentary, The Last Trimate, and for a third time in 2010 for her score for The Long Goodbye. Caitlin has an eclectic and emotive compositional style. She has a diverse musical background having performed in rock bands, orchestras, gypsy bands and gamelan groups. She is an accomplished accordionist, flautist and pianist, and spent her time during her bachelor degree at Sydney University focusing on 20th century composition and ethnomusicology. Currently, Caitlin is working on 2 feature documentaries, and has just completed another documentary series.
Highly Commended: Angela Little and Geri Green
INDIGENOUS - BRENDON BONEY
Brendon Boney is a 23 year old indigenous singer/songwriter from Wagga Wagga in country New South Wales. He had his first guitar when he was 10 but only picked it up and played nearly 7 years later when a severe shoulder injury ended a soccer career that had seen him travelling the world. Brendon is now one half of the Australian Duo Microwave Jenny who met a year out of high school, backstage at a show. With the realisation that they shared the same kind of musical direction and an undeniable chemistry, Microwave Jenny was born. Their silky smooth harmonies have been wooing music lovers across the country and the genre-blending duo is now a strong contributor to Australian Festival circuit. Drawing influence from artists and storytellers such as James Taylor, Bill Withers, Van Morrison, Janis Ian and Joni Mitchell they aim to promote good vibes, positive spirited music with honest, and sincere lyrics. Their contagious melodies and unique outlook on life, love and the world around them is hard to ignore
Highly Commended: Leah Flanagan and Kahl Wallace
CLASSICAL - ALEX POZNIAK
Composer Alex Pozniak completed his Masters in Musical Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, with the assistance of a UPA scholarship and under the guidance of Matthew Hindson. During his undergraduate years at the University of Sydney (beginning in 2000), Alex obtained First Class Honours and the University Medal in 2005. In 2009 Alex was named composer-in-residence for the 2009 Verge Arts Festival at the University of Sydney during which he staged his first composer portrait concert, INFOCUS, presented by chronology arts, featuring eight works of both chamber and electronic music drawn from 2005-09. In 2010 Alex had three works performed in the ISCM World New Music Days in Sydney as well as performances at the Brisbane Encounters Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Adelaide Soundstream Festival and Sydney Fringe Festival, Alex is Artistic Director of chronology arts, voted one of the top 100 Creative Catalysts in 2009 in the Creative Sydney arm of the inaugural Vivid Sydney Festival, He is Associate Lecturer in composition at the University of Sydney's Music Department, teaches composition at the Conservatorium High School and The McDonald College and is a board member of the New Music Network and the Aurora Festival.
Highly Commended: Julian Day and Rebecca Smith
POPULAR CONTEMPORARY - ROHIN JONES
Rohin Jones is a Townsville native, and graduated from Calvary Christian College in 2004. In 2005 he commenced a Bachelor of Music & Creative Arts, which he completed in 2007. While at university Rohin performed in the James Cook University choir and taught guitar, drums and musical theory at his old high school. He is a founding member of The Middle East and one of two primary songwriters (alongside band mate Jordan Ireland). Rohin also performs in Joseph Liddy and The Skeleton Horse and is involved in various recording projects in Townsville.
POPULAR CONTEMPORARY - CATHERINE KELLEHER
Catherine Kelleher, writes and performs music as Catcall, her original style shows off a strong character, with beats and quirky melodies that quickly sublet their way into your brain. Catherine cut her musical teeth as a teenager in DIY punk group Kiosk and eventually discovered their pop sensibility within the aggression and urgency of punk rock. Catherine Kelleher created Catcall as a project in 2007 where she could further develop her penchant for pop within the realms of beats and synthesizers. Releasing her "Anniversary" EP in 2008 on her own label, to much critical acclaim, Catcall is an artist that continues to grow and develop, with an aim to produce interesting and fresh pop music, injected with honesty and passion and stamped with her own personality and style from start to finish. Catcall has toured with Phoenix, La Roux and The Gossip and has performed at Big Day Out, Parklife, Falls festival and Homebake.
POPULAR CONTEMPORARY - ZOE RANDELL
With the release of their debut album, Dear Hamlyn, Luluc has become a quiet sensation. Songs pared down to an essential core, the music of Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett is of austere and unadorned beauty. Since their album's release, they have achieved much, playing major Australian & Canadian festivals and being hand picked to tour with Fleet Foxes, Jose Gonzalez and Lucinda Williams. Relocating from Melbourne, Australia, to Brooklyn in 2010, coincided with wide exposure for Luluc, with two songs, 'I Found You' and 'One Day Soon' featured in ABC TV series Grey's Anatomy. Like a whisper or a caress, Luluc hold their audiences entranced. Zoë's unique alto is central and provides a strikingly beautiful counterpoint to her nylon guitar. Exquisite melodies are accentuated by Steve's close vocal harmony and guitar accompaniment. Together they create a rich and deeply affecting sound.
Highly Commended: Fergus Brown, Jarrad Brown, Adrian Deutsch, Eva Popov and CW Stoneking.
JESSICA MICHALIK Contemporary Music Endowment
The endowment, which provides a promising Australian songwriter or group with a development grant of $10,000 this year goes to NATALIE PA’APA’A singer of Blue King Brown. As one of two founding and songwriting members of the band, Natalie Pa'apa'a is the bands multi talented front person. Her growing legion of fans extends to Spearhead’s Michael Franti who said, “Natalie is a bright light in the world with a vision that extends beyond the stage and together with the rest of the band raise the roof off every show they play. I love em!!!”
UTAS STEPHEN SCHWARTZ Songwriting Award
The 2011 recipient is composer/lyricist MATTHEW ROBINSON who is also the youngest ever recipient of Australia’s richest theatre-writing award, the Pratt Prize for Music Theatre. His winning musical, Metro Street, has since been nominated for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, five Helpmann Awards and won the South Australian ATG Award for Best Musical. With performing credits which include The Pirates of Penzance, Henrik Egerman in A Little Night Music and Freddy Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady, Matthew’s current writing project is a State Theatre Company of South Australia commission entitled Happy People.