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2021 Art Music Fund recipients announced

Media Published Thursday 6 May 2021
Top: Alice Chance, Mary Rapp (top, singing), Alexandra Spence (below, at computer), Nardi Simpson, Ellen Kirkwood; Bottom row: Celeste Oram, Stephen de Filippo, Noemi Liba Friedman, Brenda Gifford, Tilman Robinson.

Ten art music composers have been awarded grants for new projects

This year's $50,000 total allocation will support a range of exciting, boundary-pushing new projects

Since 2016, the fund has granted more than $500,000 to new works


Ten composers from Australia and New Zealand are the recipients of the APRA AMCOS and Australian Music Centre's Art Music Fund, with each receiving a $5,000 grant towards the commission of a proposed work.

The 2021 Art Music Fund recipients are Alexandra Spence, Alice Chance, Brenda Gifford, Celeste Oram, Ellen Kirkwood, Mary Rapp, Nardi Simpson, Noemi Liba Friedman, Stephen de Filippo and Tilman Robinson.

This year's $50,000 total allocation will support a range of exciting, boundary-pushing new projects that draw inspiration from myriad sources the ocean's phosphorene light, the Dhurga language, family connections, mythical creatures, the history of radio and more, and will be presented in Australia, UK, France and the US.

The winning works span genre and format from electro-acoustic sound, to experimental theatre, contemporary jazz, music for small ensembles and more, and will take place in concert and recital halls, and be made into albums and video productions.

Since 2016, the fund has granted more than $500,000 to new works, and APRA AMCOS and the AMC ensured the fund went forward during the challenges of 2020 with greater flexibility and adaptability factored in to the application process.

The successful applicants’ compositions demonstrate the high-level creativity, innovation and collaboration happening in the sector, which is more important than ever to fund.

Genevieve Lacey, Chair, Australian Music Centre

It’s inspiring to see the vibrant creative energy of the Australian art music community evident in the list of the 2021 recipients of this life-giving fund. It’s particularly exciting to see Nardi Simpson and Brenda Gifford, both alumni of Moogahlin Performing Arts and the AMC’s Ngarra-Burria program, continuing their stellar compositional careers. Heartfelt thanks to APRA for creating opportunities for Australian composers, and congratulations to all — can’t wait to hear the music."

Dean Ormston, CEO, APRA AMCOS

“I would like to commend this year’s Art Music Fund recipients, who continue to push artistic boundaries, explore new musical ideas, and pursue collaborations locally and globally even in times of uncertainty. APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre are committed to supporting the innovative work of our art music composer members through this one-of-a-kind fund.”

2021 Art Music Fund recipient Alice Chance:

"Artists are vital in society, whether their work is commercially viable or not. The Art Music Fund is an extremely precious lifeline for composers who are able to benefit from it as it fosters pure creativity and uninhibited expression."

Chance's funded work 'Heirloom,' which explores the strength of family ties and the fragility of intergenerational memories, will be premiered in November as part of Melbourne Recital Centre’s Local Heroes series. 'Heirloom' is a collaboration with Rubiks Collective.

Art Music Fund applications were assessed on the viability of the proposed project, the quality of the work, and the strategy for the life and reach of the work.