2019 Art Music Awards - A new, fitting way to celebrate the diverse and exciting Australian art music community

Friday, 28 Jun 2019

As the only event that specifically acknowledges the achievements of Australia’s outstanding talent in the fields of composition, performance, education and presentation of Australian art music, APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre (AMC) are delighted to announce details of the 2019 ART MUSIC AWARDS to be held on Monday 19 August at the Great Hall of the University of Sydney.

This year, the annual celebration of Australia’s contemporary classical music, contemporary jazz and improvised music, experimental music and sound art will transform in style with a reinvigorated stage and seating layout. All will be revealed on the night. 

John Davis, Australian Music Centre CEO, said:

“Our art music community grows more dynamic and more diverse year after year, and we believe it was time for the Art Music Awards to reflect this change. The magnificent Great Hall at Sydney University is imbued with a beautiful sense of history and prestige, so we felt it was appropriate to liberate our audience from the pews to better experience the evening’s fabulous live performance program, and to participate in this unique celebration of our rich art form."

Finalists for the 2019 Art Music Awards will be announced on Tuesday 16 July. Awards will be presented in 11 national categories, along with an award for each Australian state or territory, selected from one of the national categories. 

The APRA Board of Directors will also award the newly named Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music. In October 2018 the art music community mourned the loss of the legendary conductor whose passion and advocacy has seen him become a prominent spokesperson for music as a crucial tool in the development of children, people and the wider community. His ongoing contribution to developing and supporting the art music community has been acknowledged through Awards such as Don Banks, MOST (Music and Opera Singers Trust) and an Order of Australia Medal in 1994. Previous recipients of this honour include Gill himself in 2014, Robyn Holmes, John Pochée, Helen Gifford, Larry Sitsky, and the late composer Peter Sculthorpe, among others.  

The live performances for the 2019 Art Music Awards will be curated by pianist and composer Barney McAll one of our truly international artists with a GRAMMY nomination, an ARIA Award, as well as  multiple Australian Jazz Bell Awards to his name. Born and raised in Australia, McAll moved to New York City in 1997 to join saxophonist Gary Bartz‘s band, and also plays with the Josh Roseman Unit, Fred Wesley and the JB’s, and Kurt Rosenwinkel‘s Heartcore. He has worked and recorded with numerous international and Australian artists and was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship in 2007 and the Peggy Glanville-Hicks composer residency 2015 – 2016.

Returning as Art Music Awards host is Jonathan Biggins. The actor, author, satirist and MC extraordinaire is regarded as one of Australia’s most polished and entertaining performers. He has played Peter Sellers in Ying Tong, Koko in The Mikado, written for the Good Weekend magazine for seven years and directed the Australian productions of Avenue Q and the Wharf Revue.

NATIONAL CATEGORIES FOR THE 2019 ART MUSIC AWARDS

  • Orchestral Work of the Year
  • Instrumental Work of the Year
  • Vocal / Choral Work of the Year
  • Jazz Work of the Year
  • Performance of the Year
  • Award for Excellence by an Organisation
  • Award for Excellence by an Individual
  • Award for Excellence in Music Education
  • Award for Excellence in a Regional Area
  • Award for Excellence in Experimental Music (for works, people or events)
  • Award for Excellence in Jazz (for works, people or events)

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