Now in its second year, the winners of the Australian Women in Music Awards, which celebrate the accomplishments of women across the Australian music industry, have been announced at a ceremony held at the Brisbane Powerhouse.
Pianist Caroline Almonte took home the Excellence in Classical Music Award, which recognises a mid-to-late career classical music artist who has demonstrated musical excellence throughout their career. Introduced this year, the Award paid particular regard to Almonte’s position at “the forefront of female classical performance in Australia for over 25 years.” Her fellow nominees were percussionist and Ensemble Offspring Artistic Director Claire Edwardes and The Metropolitan Orchestra’s Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams.
Virginia Read. Photo © Cheryl Gray
ABC Classic’s Virginia Read meanwhile won the Studio Production Award, which recognises a sound engineer or producer who has made contributions of outstanding significance in the studio recording environment. Described by AWMA as “arguably Australia’s finest classical music producer and engineer”, Read recently oversaw West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s acclaimed recording of Tristan und Isolde for ABC Classic. Her fellow nominees were Elise Reitze-Swensen and Kathy Naunton.
Other award winners included Queensland Music Festival Artistic Director Katie Noonan, who was honoured with the Creative Leadership Award for her “unwavering perseverance in aiding the development of Australia’s diverse musical landscapes.” Described as “one of Australia’s most hardworking, versatile and prolific artists”, the Award singled out Noonan’s championing of “female-fronted and community projects.” Other nominees in that category included Claire Edwardes and City Recital Hall CEO Elaine Chia.