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Art Music’s 2017 Winners Announced

Image Caption: Liza Lim’s Tree of Codes. Image Credit: Paul Leclaire.
Graham Strahle
| August 28, 2017

Liza Lim and Lyle Chan took home top honours in this year’s Art Music Awards, recently announced by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre, and it just goes to show how composers who hail from Australia’s Asian neighbours are being recognised as among this country’s best. Of Chinese parentage, Lim came out winner in both the Vocal / Choral Work and Instrumental Work of the Year categories with, respectively, her nature inspired opera Tree of Codes and How Forests Think for sheng and mixed ensemble.

Lim’s opera is particularly notable given that it was commissioned by Ensemble MusikFabrik and Cologne Opera, Germany, who mounted its performance in April 2016. Based on the writings of Bruno Schulz, it is a wonderfully experimental work employing mutant creatures concocted from nature and a bizarre range of hybrid instruments, as one can see in this clip.

Meanwhile, Lyle Chan, who was born in Malaysian and moved to Australia at the age of 19, took out Orchestral Work of the Year with his work Serenade for Tenor, Saxophone and Orchestra (“My Dear Benjamin”), inspired by Benjamin Britten.

Winners across 11 categories were announced at the seventh annual Art Music Awards held at Sydney’s City Recital Hall on 22 August.

The Performance of the Year Award went to the remarkable young Melbourne-based pianist Peter de Jager for his performance of Chris Dench’s Piano Sonata, a virtuosic 45-minute work he requested from the composer.

Speak Percussion won the Award for Excellence by an Organisation while Daryl Buckley took out the Award for Excellence by an Individual. A full list of winners plus the judges’ comments on all this year’s finalists can be found in Resonate magazine.

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