2008 Winners

The 2008 Classical Music Awards were held in Sydney in July. The event featured live performances and special guest presenters.

Vocal or Choral Work of the Year

Title Symphony No. 4 'Star Chant'
Composers Ross Edwards and Fred Watson
Performed by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Richard Mills (conductor); Adelaide Chamber Singers, Carl Crossin (director); Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus, Timothy Seton (director)
Publisher Universal Music Publishing MGB Australia obo G Ricordi and Co (London) Ltd.

Orchestral Work Of The Year

Title 90 Minutes Circling the Earth
Composer Stuart Greenbaum
Performed by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Brett Kelly (conductor)

Instrumental Work Of The Year

Title Walk a Golden Mile
Composer Mark Isaacs
Performed by Mark Isaacs (piano), James Muller (electric & acoustic guitars), Jay Anderson (acoustic bass), Vinni Colaiuta (drums), Bob Sheppard (soprano, alto & tenor saxophones)

Best Composition by an Australian Composer

Title The Last Whale
Composer Colin Bright

Best Performance of an Australian Composition

Performer The Australia Ensemble and soloist Catherine McCorkill (clarinetist)
Title Rare Sugar
Composer Nigel Westlake

Outstanding Contribution to Australian Music in Education

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's Community Outreach program, ArtPlay and music theatre project the Hunger

Outstanding Contribution to Australian Music in a Regional Area

Australian Voices Festival in 2007 held in Kenilworth, Queensland.

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

Ian Munro for his contribution to Australian performance and composition in 2007.

Outstanding Contribution by an Organisation

Tura New Music for its 2007 festival and touring program, and its advocacy and support in Western Australia.

Long-Term Contribution to the Advancement of Australian Music

Richard Letts

Distinguished Services to Australian Music

Judy Bailey

The 2008 Classical Music Award State/Territory winners** are:

The ACT panel has selected Nicole Canham, Artistic Director, and Pro Musica Inc, for the 2007 Canberra International Music Festival. The panel would like to especially cite the Artistic Director in the award, recognising her role as the driving force in developing the Festival's vision and broadening its community of interest and participation, as well as promoting the performance of new repertoire and building a significant education program.

The New South Wales panel has selected Damien Ricketson's, So We Begin Afresh. The work is indicative of the composer's enquiring mind. The piece is about imagination and this is achieved in an exciting way both intellectually and aurally. It employs an interesting underlying structural technique and overall illustrates the high quality of his compositional craft and confirms his individual creative voice.

Stephen Leek's work Cries and Whispers impressed the panel as an outstanding work as did his overall contribution and commitment to the community. It is well-crafted, especially suited to the peculiarities of the vocal medium, indicative of a vivid creative imagination and is a thoroughly engaging and professional rendering of the text. Stephen Leek has contributed a great deal too musical life in Queensland and this award not only recognises his ability as a composer, but also acknowledges this sustained commitment.

State Award for Queensland
Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University for Encounters: Meetings in Australian Music, curated by Vincent Plush: an outstanding week-long project involving hundreds of students, staff and performers.

The Victorian panel has selected Mark Pollard for his Long-term contribution to the advancement of Australian music in Victoria over the past 27 years; as a musician, composer and educator. Mark's compositional output has explored many different genres and he has worked across genres with other artists including film makers, actors, directors, choreographers, dancers and curators of community activities. His work as an educator spans two decades and he has contributed to curriculum development and promotion of composition as a lecturer, external adviser and committee member at a state and national level.

The West Australian panel has unanimously selected Tura New Music for the 2008 State Award. Tura New Music not only recognises and encourages the work of adventurous Australian composers and those from elsewhere, but also offers local musicians opportunities for performance that they might otherwise not have enjoyed. Tura New Music is organised most efficiently and with professional skill and enthusiasm.

** State/Territory Awards for SA and NT were not awarded this year.