The finalists for the 2019 Australian Women in Music Awards have been announced, with several classical or art music figures making the cut. Now in its second year, the Awards seek to highlight on the accomplishments of women across the Australian music industry.
Claire Edwardes. Photo © Jordan Adams
“As well as the opportunity to celebrate tremendous talent, AWMA provides a platform for artists and music practitioners including those in regional and remote areas, to come together, to learn and empower one another,” said AWMA Founding Director and Executive Producer, Vicki Gordon. “We received almost double the nominations this year, from every state and across all areas of diversity, reflecting the urgent need for change in the Australian music industry.”
Percussionist and Ensemble Offspring Artistic Director Claire Edwardes has been nominated for the Creative Leadership Award, alongside City Recital Hall Chief Executive Elaine Chia and singer/songwriter and recent Queensland Music Festival Artistic Director Katie Noonan.
Edwardes is also up for the Excellence in Classical Music Award, alongside The Metropolitan Orchestra’s Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams and pianist Caroline Almonte, while composers Lisa Cheney and Peggy Polias have been nominated for the Diversity in Music Award for Making Waves, their series of curated playlists of Australian new music. Cheney and Polias are up against singer Christine Anu and singer/songwriter NGAIIRE (both of whom are also up for the Artistic Excellence Award).
Virginia Read. Photo © Cheryl Gray
ABC Classic’s Virginia Read – who became the first woman to win the ARIA Engineer of the Year in 2013 for her work on pianist Sally Whitwell’s Michael Nyman album All Imperfect Things – has been nominated in the Studio Production Award category, up against Elise Reitze-Swensen and Kathy Naunton.
This year’s Awards included three new categories, for Excellence in Classical Music, Music Journalist Award, and Excellence in Image Making, while the Educator Award, won last year by Dr Anita Collins, was not offered this year.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony, concert and party at the Brisbane Powerhouse in October, with performances across a mix of genres, including by Katie Noonan, Cheryl Barker and Tamara-Anna Cislowska. The AWMAs will also host a two-day program at the Brisbane Powerhouse including forums and panel discussions, with a keynote address by ABC Classic presenter, musician and author Ed Ayres.