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Limelight Awards 2008 – List of Winners

Tuesday 18 November, 6pm.

See the pics from the night

Richard Tognetti, Gurrumul and Don Burrows announced as winners at the prestigious 2008 limelight Awards ceremony: Tuesday 18 November, 6pm.

Amid cocktails, canapés and glamorous surrounds, the Australian arts industry glitterati have toasted their peers at tonight’s 2008 limelight Awards ceremony, which saw 10 of its prestigious awards presented to Australia’s most elite classical musicians and performers.

The highly coveted Music Personality of the Year limelight Award was awarded to violinist Richard Tognetti. The announcement completes a highly successful year for the charismatic leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra who has also just been awarded his third consecutive ARIA award for his internationally acclaimed recordings of Bach.

“It’s an honour and I thank the public of Australia. The most important thing is that it’s a people’s [voted] award,” said Richard Tognetti of his limelight Award.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is another successful young Australian who can now add two 2008 limelight Awards to his collection. The extraordinary singer, who was born on Elcho Island off the Arnhem Land coast, has won the Best World Music Achievement and Best Newcomer Award, for his debut self-titled album and tour. Earlier in 2008, Gurrumul won two ARIA awards for Best World Music Album and Best Independent Release. He also won three 2008 Deadly Awards for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Single of the Year.

The 2008 limelight Award for Best Jazz Achievement has been won by legendary Australian musician Don Burrows. This is fantastic recognition for the man who has contributed enormously to the music industry in Australia for 60 years. Don Burrows is a household name in Australia, and has performed with Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat King Cole and many more.

Guitar virtuoso brothers, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan, The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and conductor Benjamin Northey have won the 2008 limelight Award for Best Classical Recording for their album ‘Baroque Guitar Concertos’ (ABC Classics).

The limelight Awards, now in their third year, are the only awards in Australia where the public votes for their favourite performers. There are 10 categories, including classical, world, jazz and best newcomer. The brand new category for Best Classical Crossover Artist, introduced in response to the immense popularity of these artists, was won by popera supergroup Il Divo.

“To say that we’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with votes for the 2008 limelight Awards would be an understatement. The response has been amazing and really shows how vocal Australians are about their love for the arts. Obviously people want to be involved and to show their appreciation of the musicians and performers that inspire them” said Katarina Kroslakova, editor of limelight magazine.

The December issue of limelight magazine has the winners and nominees of the 2008 limelight Awards, how Shane Warne the Musical will impact on our concert halls, how to give the gift of investing in the arts, and to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Puccini’s birth, every reader receives a FREE limited edition CD, featuring favourite Puccini arias as selected by ABC Classics!

MEDIA: For interviews & images please contact tjc, 02 8904 0822, www.tjc.com.au
Amy Sambrooke 0421 784 253, amy@tjc.com.au

2008 limelight Awards – Winners

1. MUSIC PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Open to any musician who has been a driving force on the Australian music scene in 2008

WINNER: Richard Tognetti
The charismatic leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra celebrates 20 years at the helm of this world-acclaimed ensemble.

FINALISTS:
Richard Gill: The passionate and popular conductor is going strong with the Victorian Opera and continues to be a force in music education.
Lisa Gasteen: The world-acclaimed soprano who has been impressing critics with her Wagner roles is now back home in Australia.
Brett Dean: One of the best ambassadors for Australian music internationally, Dean juggles three careers: violist, composer and administrator.
Vladimir Ashkenazy: The incoming Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony is already popular in this country and will spend three busy years with the orchestra.
2. BEST CLASSICAL CROSSOVER ARTIST
Open to any performers for a crossover project during 2008

WINNER: Il Divo
One of the original popera ensembles, these four lads have consistently been top of the charts.

FINALISTS:
André Rieu: The King of the Waltz keeps breaking records and attracting thousands of fans.
Katherine Jenkins: The Welsh mezzo-soprano released her best-selling album Rejoice.
Andrea Bocelli: New releases and an Australian tour got Bocelli tremendous exposure.
Paul Potts: The mobile phone salesman turned overnight opera singer won hearts worldwide.
3. BEST ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE
Open to any Australian orchestra for a live single concert in 2008

WINNER: Sydney Symphony/David Robertson
Stravinsky: The Firebird. 8, 9 August; Sydney Opera House
American conductor David Robertson led an intense interpretation of Stravinsky’s ballet music.

FINALISTS:
West Australian Symphony Orchestra/Kristian Järvi
Night of the Tango (with Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneón). 9, 10 May; Perth Concert Hall
Two concerts of the seductive, virtuosic music of Piazzolla and Ginastera.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Oleg Caetani
Verdi: Requiem. 3, 4, 5 April; Hamer Hall
Verdi’s famous Requiem was performed by the MSO and over 200 voices, including the MSO Chorus and the Bach Choir.
The Queensland Orchestra/Muhai Tang
Mahler: Symphony No. 3. 23 February, QPAC Concert Hall
Renowned Mahler specialist Muhai Tang directed the epic Symphony No. 3 to critical acclaim.
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Sebastian Lang-Lessing
Wagner (with Lisa Gasteen) and Tchaikovsky. 28 February; Federation Concert Hall
Soprano Lisa Gasteen joined TSO for a rousing concert titled Fatal Attraction, with works by Wagner and Tchaikovsky.
4. BEST CHAMBER MUSIC PERFORMANCE
Open to any ensemble (Australian or international) for a live single concert or tour, in Australia

WINNER: Australian Brandenburg Orchestra: with Andreas Scholl
22 February – 1 March; City Recital Hall, Sydney
The Brandenburg’s 2008 season began with a special concert featuring superstar counter-tenor Andreas Scholl.

FINALISTS:
Musica Viva: Pekka Kuusisto & Simon Crawford-Phillips
National tour, 23 June – 5 July
Always popular in Australia, young Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto was joined by pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips for Schubert, Sibelius and surprises.
Musica Viva: Takacs Quartet
National tour, 31 July – 8 August
A highlight was the premiere of a new work for the quartet by James McMillan. Australian audiences can’t get enough of this ensemble.
Australian String Quartet: Journeys
National tour, 23-31 July
From Haydn to Miriam Hyde, and Beethoven in between, this national tour by ASQ was also broadcast on ABC Classic FM.
Australian Chamber Orchestra: Sublime, with Katie Noonan
National tour, 3-20 March
The ACO celebrated English music, including four centuries of English song (with Katie Noonan) and string masterpieces. 
5. BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE
Open to any single performer (Australian or international) for a live recital or soloist performance in Australia

WINNER: Nigel Kennedy (violin)
Violin Concertos by Mozart and Beethoven
8, 9, 11 February: Sydney Symphony; 15, 16 February: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra;
28 February – 1 March: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
The violin virtuoso tackled two classical concertos: Mozart’s No. 4 in D and Beethoven’s epic work. As always, the performances were enlightening.

FINALISTS:
Bernd Glemser (piano)
Solo Recital
13 July, Hobart Town Hall
Playing Grieg’s Piano Concerto the evening before, Glemser wowed the capacity crowd with his virtuosic playing and charisma.
John Williams (guitar)
Takemitsu: To the edge of Dream and Sculthorpe: Nourlangie
6, 7, 8 March: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
A concert of great emotional depth was bettered by having Peter Sculthorpe in the audience.
Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin)
Berg: Violin Concerto
5-8 December 2007: Sydney Symphony
German violinist Zimmermann gave Sydney audiences the rare opportunity to hear his Stradivarius violin.
Kimmo Pohjonen (accordion)
Solo Recital
18 January: Sydney Festival
World music reviewer Lynden Barber said Pohjonen showed “his theatrical, wildly boundary-stretching approach to the accordion”.
6. BEST CLASSICAL RECORDING
Open to any recording artist (Australian or international) who released the CD in 2008

WINNER: Baroque Guitar Concertos (ABC Classics)
Slava & Leonard Grigoryan, guitars; Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Benjamin Northey
The Grigoryan brothers combine with the TSO and last year’s limelight Award winner Ben Northey for an original disc.

FINALISTS:
Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 7 (ABC Classics)
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra/Arvo Volmer
The first CD of a complete cycle of Sibelius symphonies has received great critical acclaim. Fans look forward to the next installment.
Mozart: Cosi fan tutte (Chandos)
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Charles Mackerras
Like a fine red wine perhaps, Sir Charles Mackerras just keeps getting better with age. His Mozart is sparkling and intelligent.
Love and Death: Tone Poems by Richard Strauss (ABC Classics)
The Queensland Orchestra/Johannes Fritzsch
In his review of this CD, limelight writer Gregory Keane wrote “Every section of the orchestra excels itself. A fine achievement.”
Elgar: Violin Concerto Op. 61 (Onyx)
James Ehnes, violin; Philharmonia/Colin Davis
This young violinist won many fans with his recent Australian tour, and will win even more with this Elgar recording.
7. BEST WORLD MUSIC ACHIEVEMENT
Open to Australian performers for a live concert or recording.

WINNER: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu: Gurrumul
This blind Aboriginal singer/songwriter (formerly of Yothu Yindi) just keeps receiving accolades for his self-titled CD, sung in his native tongue.

FINALISTS:
Archie Roach: Journey
After a long absence, the legendary Archie Roach returned with this new album, full of soul, substance and spirit.
Joseph Tawadros: Angel
The winner of this category last year, oud virtuoso and composer Joseph Tawadros delivers an east-meets-west concept CD.
Monsieur Camembert: Famous Blue Cheese show
This Sydney-based band toured this show of Leonard Cohen songs and also recorded it live at The Vanguard for a 2CD set.
Watussi: Tequila, Sangre, Fuego
Part musical party people, part political opinion-makers, Watussi is an 8-piece Sydney band who combine reggae, funk, latin and rock.
8. BEST JAZZ ACHIEVEMENT
Open to Australian performers for a live concert or recording

WINNER: Don Burrows: jazz performance & education
As he turns 80, Burrows celebrated his contribution to jazz during his 60 years in the business, as a composer, educator and multi-instrumentalist.

FINALISTS:
Andrea Keller: Footprints
Award-winning pianist Andrea Keller interprets the timeless music of legend Wayne Shorter.
Gest8: Kaleidoscope
The brainchild of Sandy Evans and partner Tony Gorman, Gest8 is an integral part of the Australian jazz scene.
Wanderlust: When In Rome
Recorded live in Italy, this album gives ample opportunity for band leader Mike Bukovsky to show his magic.
Judy Bailey: jazz performance & education
This pint-sized jazz dynamo has instilled a love of jazz in hundreds, if not thousands, of young musicians.
9. BEST EVENT / FESTIVAL
Best event or music festival held anywhere in Australia.

WINNER: Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia, 17 July – 2 August: Sydney, NSW
Thirty-five of the world’s best young pianists came to compete in Sydney, and audiences heard every minute on ABC Classic FM.

FINALISTS:
Four Winds Festival, 21-23 March: Bermagui, NSW
This biennial festival is a heavenly combination of food, wine, spectacular scenery and stellar musicians from all around the world.
Wangaratta Jazz Festival, 2-5 November 2007: Wangaratta, VIC
The premier jazz festival in the country consistently attracts big local and international acts and has an annual talent competition.
Aurora Festival, 11-20 April: Sydney, NSW
Led by composer Matthew Hindson, the festival featured 12 concerts highlighting the best of contemporary classical music globally.
2008 Canberra International Music Festival, 7-18 May: Canberra, ACT
Another vibrant and eclectic festival, with music ranging from chamber, to early, from contemporary jazz to cabaret.
2008 Adelaide Festival, 29 February – 16 March
Brett Sheehy’s final Adelaide Festival proved a winner, surpassing previous box office and attendance records.
10. BEST NEWCOMER
Best new talent in any field of classical / jazz / world music

WINNER: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, singer/songwriter
Björk and Sting are already fans, now Australia is discovering the solo voice and song-writing talent of Yunupingu.

FINALISTS:
Taryn Fiebig, soprano
A star on the rise with Opera Australia, tackling more challenging roles. She was splendid as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
Amy Dickson, saxophonist
A great year for Amy, including a debut CD, performances with Australian symphony orchestras – and an article in limelight of course!
Simon Hewett, conductor
Hewitt is conducting very well with Opera Australia, but then again you would expect a protégée of Simone Young to do just that.
TinAlley String Quartet
This Melbourne-based quartet has won many international competitions and is now making the transition to mature ensemble.

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