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Classical Music Awards 2009 Winners

  22 September 2009

  •  Stars of Australian New Music Shine!  
  • Photos & Story from the Awards night
  • Winners of the 2009 Classical Music Awards  All the news & winners from the Classical Music Awards 2009 
    The Hon. Peter Garrett joined the Australian music industry last night to celebrate the success of this year’s most outstanding Australian classical music achievements at the 2009 Classical Music Awards. The Awards were presented by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Australian Music Centre (AMC), at Playhouse Theatre at the Sydney Opera House. Australian pianist, Michael Kieran Harvey, was announced as the 2009 recipient of the award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music. This prestigious award recognises his enormous contribution to Australian new music. Michael has promoted the works of Australian composers, internationally and within Australia and his distinctive pianism has been recognised all over the world.   In 2005, the estate of the late Susan Remington established the Michael Kieran Harvey Scholarship in honour of his contribution to Australian music, and to encourage future directions in keyboard art music. An amazing musician, his career is notable for its diversity and wide repertoire.

     Gwen Bennett’s dedication to Australian music was recognised with the presentation of the Long Term Contribution to the Advancement of Australian Music. Founder of the ABC’s Australian Music Unit – one of the most significant institutions supporting the production and dissemination of Australian performance and composition – Gwen has achieved visionary and long-term results for Australian music in a career spanning over 50 years.

     George Lentz received the award for Best Composition by an Australian Composer for his richly conceived piece Monh, a work with intricate orchestration incorporating violas, electronics and an extreme divisi of the string section. Monh conveys the subtlety of Lentz’s very personal sound world, creating a moving work.

     The finalists for Best Performance of an Australian Composition were all standout achievements; however the West Australian Symphony Orchestra won the award for the exquisitely well-crafted Symphony No.7 Scenes from a Daily Life by Carl Vine. Their compelling performance captured the multiplicity of mood of a major mature work by Carl Vine at the height of his creative career.

     Outstanding Contribution by an Individual was awarded to Riley Lee for his artistic direction of the 2008 World Shakuhachi Festival. He was commended not only for the success of the festival but also for his thoughtful and courageous programming and the artistic calibre of the performances.

    Tura New Music and Australian Art Orchestra received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Music in a Regional Area, for the 2008 Crossing Roper Bar Tour. Tura New Music presented the 2008 Tour with Paul Grabowsky, the Australian Art Orchestra, and the Young Wagilak Group from Ngukurr, Arnhem Land. Crossing Roper Bar is an electrifying marriage of the very old with the very new: the tour consisted of visits to regional centres and remote communities from Darwin to One Arm Point for public concerts as well as schools presentations and workshops.

     All finalists for Outstanding Contribution by an Organisation were commended for their remarkable achievement in promoting Australian music. The judges however, were unanimous on the exceptional nature of Topology’s 2008 Brisbane Powerhouse Series. The 2008 Brisbane Powerhouse Series stood out with its impressive and innovative array of performances and collaborations that showcased and built new audiences for Australian music. The series brought together a range of international artists and many nationally recognised Australian composers and performers.

     The Southern Cross Soloists proudly took home the award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Music in Education for the Sunwater and Stanwell Winter Music School. The Southern Cross Soloists were recognised by the judging panel for the considerable time and effort spent in educational activities, particularly for emerging music artists in regional areas of the state.

     Tony Gould, David Jones and Imogen Manins were awarded the prestigious Instrumental Work of the Year for their piece The River meets the Sea. Graeme Koehne won Orchestral Work of the Year for Tivoli Dances and Vocal/Choral Work of the Year was presented to Lyn Williams for A Flock of Stars.   

      Hosted by renowned ABC Sunday Arts presenter Fenella Kernebone, the 2009 Awards also featured performances by Sydney Children’s Choir, Riley Lee and Marshall McGuire, Michael Kieran Harvey, the Young Wagilak Group and Australian Art Orchestra. Eleven national awards and several state awards were presented by The Hon. Peter Garrett and industry luminaries such as Tony Gould; the winner of the Australia Council for the Arts’ Don Banks Music Award, Tony Grybowski, Richard Letts, ABC television presenter, Peter Thompson and Nigel Westlake.

    Winners of the 2009 Classical Music Awards


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