Distinguished Services recipient and presenters and performers announced for 2020 Art Music Awards

Thursday, 27 Aug 2020

Ros Bandt, recipient of the Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music. Photograph by Arthur McDevitt

Internationally acclaimed composer, sound artist and scholar Ros Bandt will receive the Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music at the 2020 Art Music Awards, in a virtual ceremony streamed on YouTube on Tuesday 8 September.
Dr Ros Bandt has created a unique and globally recognised body of work over four decades, with some 40 major installations, sound sculptures and numerous intercultural and inter-disciplinary collaborations. Through her art, she has approached a wide array of acoustic spaces, from water tanks and industrial stacks to vast landscapes and ancient, sacred sites, recording their layers of stories and their many voices, past and present. Dr Bandt’s pioneering work provides us with keys to our own identities, and with tools to understanding culturally complex societies. Her aeolian harps sing country in her acoustic sanctuary in Jaara Jaara bushland.

Her major commissions over the years include works for the prestigious Paris Autumn festival, the Studio of Acoustic Art at WDR-Cologne, ORF in Vienna, and the Melbourne Recital Centre. In addition to the Don Banks Music Award (1990), she has received the inaugural Benjamin Cohen Peace Prize in the USA, the Sound Art Australia Prize presented by ABC and the Goethe Institute, and the NFSA Fanny Cochrane Award for sound heritage.  A skilled multi-instrumentalist, and passionate advocate of the Tarhu, a unique Australian instrument,  Bandt is also a founding member of several performing ensembles. At the University of Melbourne she established Australia’s first online gallery for sound designs in public space in Australia created on her 3rd Australian Research Council grant. She is in demand as a keynote speaker, and featured artist, at home and internationally. 

Dr Bandt said, “I am honoured and privileged to receive this award. It belongs to all Australians, old and new, who have dared to ‘sound spaces’ together in this ancient, sung land. The acoustic resonance of all we do is a barometer of Australian culture, presences, absences, reaching back into the dreamtime, an evolving consciousness of deep time. Let’s keep divining a new uncharted music together, courageously weaving stories and songs of difference as they evolve through compassion and understanding, listening to each other and being guided by the ancient wisdom of Indigenous elders on whose land we are living. I am proud to live in a country where Fanny Cochrane Smith led the way forward, recording her Tasmanian songs in language as early as 1903 on a wax cylinder."
The performance program for the 2020 virtual ceremony has been curated by musical director Barney McAll and will include music by four of this year’s finalists: Robin Fox & Erkki Veltheim (Work of the Year: Electroacoustic/Sound Art), and two virtuosi from Western Australia: percussionist Louise Devenish (Performance of the Year: Notated Composition) and composer & bassist Linda May Han Oh (Work of the Year: Jazz). The final performance of the evening will feature poetry slam champion Melanie Munuggurr-Williams and multi-talented producer Beatrice Lewis
The team of three co-hosts for the evening will comprise the incomparable comedian & actor Jonathan BigginsDr Lou Bennett AM - performer, songwriter and composer, artistic director, actor and educator from the Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung people in Echuca, Victoria; and Zela Margossian, an ARIA-nominated pianist whose original music fuses jazz with influences from her Armenian heritage.
The Art Music Awards will be streaming on YouTube on Tuesday 8 September at 7pm (AEST)
You can find a full list of previously announced finalists here.

Tuesday 8 September at 7pm AEST – YouTube Premiere at youtube.com/apraamcos
Hosted by Dr Lou Bennett AM, Zela Margossian and Jonathan Biggins

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