Melbourne pianist Caroline Almonte has won the Excellence in Classical Music Award in this year’s Australian Women in Music Awards, which were announced at Brisbane’s Powerhouse on 9 October. This award, one of 15 that celebrate the achievements of women in the Australian music industry, recognises female classical musicians in their mid-to-late careers who have demonstrated musical excellence throughout their careers.
A most deserving winner, Almonte has one of the most impressive records of any of Australia’s concert pianists. In 1992 she won the Keyboard section of the ABC Young Performer’s Awards in which year 1992, and she took out first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Trieste with violinist Miki Tsunoda in 1999. She appears frequently on stage both as a soloist and in a chamber music capacity, In the latter capacity having collaborated with such figures as soprano Yvonne Kenny, violinists Sarah Chang and Daniel Hope, and cellists Ralph Kirschbaum and Pieter Wispelway.
On staff at the University of Melbourne, Almonte is a highly sought-after teacher and has made a very substantial contribution to music education. This has seen her work with the Australian Youth Orchestra, Melbourne Youth Orchestras, AMEB and give many teacher workshops. Through her numerous recordings in the AMEB Piano Series, she has been an inspiration to thousands of young pianists around Australia.
Other finalists for the AWMA Excellence in Classical Music Award were percussionist Claire Edwardes and conductor Sarah-Grace Williams. Christine Anu took out two awards, for Artistic Excellence Award and for Diversity In Music, and Katie Noonan received the Creative Leadership Award. Find the full list of award recipients here. Congratulations to Almonte and all this year’s winners.