Sydney saxophonist Amy Dickson has been awarded Young Australian Achiever of the Year in the UK. She was presented the award by Australian high commissioner Alexander Downer at Australia House on 24 January, and it adds to her already remarkable string of successes. The 33 year-old, who now lives in the UK, won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Classic BRIT awards in 2013 – she was the first saxophonist and first Australian to do so. Twice she has been nominated for a Grammy award: these were for the Johnny Mercer song ‘Skylark’ on her 2013 album Dusk & Dawn, and ‘Moon River’ on the 2014 album A Summer Place.
Dickson’s sixth album for Sony Classical, Island Songs, was released earlier in January and is notable for its all-Australian content. The three works she plays in partnership with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra are Peter Sculthorpe’s Island Songs, Brett Dean’s Siduri Dances and Ross Edwards’ Full Moon Dances.
The Young Australian Achiever of the Year award is convened by the Australia Day Foundation and recognises any young Australian in the UK who excels in business, sport, arts and culture, or the professions. Last year the award went to author Evie Wyld.
Dickson is an ambassador for the Australian Childrens’ Music Foundation in Australia, helping disadvantaged children through workshops and concerts; and she is also affiliated with the Children and the Arts in the UK. Sinfini Music recently asked her advice for young musicians thinking of entering the music profession: “Follow your heart, work hard, be disciplined and don’t be afraid to try new things,” she said.