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Art Music Awards return for 2021

Media Published Tuesday 6 July 2021
Chair of the AMC Board, Genevieve Lacey, at the Art Music Awards. Credit: Jess Gleeson

The 2021 Art Music Awards will be held on Tuesday 17 August at Meat Market, North Melbourne.

Finalists will be announced in 12 national categories on Tuesday 20 July.

The Awards will be hosted by Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe, Emma Donovan & Aaron Wyatt with live music curation by Barney McAll.

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 2021 Art Music Awards to be held on Tuesday 17 August at Meat Market, North Melbourne.

Held as a virtual event in 2020, the annual celebration of Australia’s contemporary classical music, contemporary jazz and improvised music, experimental music and sound art recognises some of this country’s finest composers and performers for their standout efforts.

Finalists for the 2021 Art Music Awards will be announced on Thursday 15 July. Awards will be presented in 12 national categories, along with Luminary Awards for each Australian state or territory, to honour individuals and organisations who have impacted their communities over a sustained period.

The APRA Board of Directors will also award the Richard Gill Award For Distinguished Services to Australian Music which recognises an individual or group considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the art music industry over a number of years. Previous recipients of this honour include Gill himself in 2014, Ros Bandt, Robyn Holmes, John Pochée, Helen Gifford, Larry Sitsky, and the late composer Peter Sculthorpe, among many others.

Live performances for the 2021 Art Music Awards will once again be curated by Melbourne-based 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 spent years working in New York and has performed and recorded with numerous international and Australian artists. He was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship in 2007 and the Peggy Glanville-Hicks composer residency in 2015–2016.

Making her debut as Art Music Awards host is Rwandan-British composer Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe. Stéphanie writes and presents Passenger, a weekly show on ABC Classic, to a national and international audience. She will be joined at the podium by acclaimed Indigenous Australian singer and songwriter, Emma Donovan who is best known for her work with soul bands, The Putbacks and The Black Arm Band project. Rounding out the trio of hosts for 2021 is accomplished violinist, Aaron Wyatt, who has appeared regularly throughout the past decade with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Alice Chance performs The Audience Choir at the Art Music Awards. Credit: Jess Gleeson