Internationally renowned recorder virtuoso, artistic director, spokesperson and musical leader Genevieve Lacey has been named as the Individual Winner of the 2018 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards, a prize worth $60,000.

2018 Award Winners: Louise Bezzina, Artistic Director and CEO of Bleach* Festival; musician, collaborator and curator Genevieve Lacey; and Annette Downs, Senior Producer for Tasmania Performs. Photograph © Tony Lewis

Lacey is a well-known concert artist who also works across genres, creating creative collaborative works for radio, film, dance, theatre and public art. She is currently at the Adelaide Festival where she has curated a series of 11 concerts called A Brief History of Time: Chamber Landscapes, which will be performed at UKARIA Cultural Centre, March 8 – 11. Carrillo Gantner AC, Chairman of the Sidney Myer Fund, described Lacey as “an artist like no other” and “a most deserving recipient of the 2018 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Individual Award.” In an Award citation, Gantner said: “Limelight Magazine has chronicled Genevieve’s ‘unique brand of virtuosity’ as one which ‘prizes communication over pyrotechnics’ while The Australian has portrayed Genevieve as able to ‘conjure whole worlds’ with her recorder.”

“Genevieve has won two ARIAs, a Helpmann Award, Australia Council, Freedman and Churchill Fellowships and Outstanding Musician [awards, and the Melbourne Prize for Music. She holds academic and performance degrees (including a doctorate) in music and English literature from universities in Melbourne, Switzerland and Denmark.”

“Genevieve Lacey is an extraordinary artist – loved by audiences and peers alike for her humility, artistry and shining humanity. She is a leader in the truest sense of the word – one who lights a path for others not through exerting control but through encouraging collaboration. Her exemplary musicianship and effortless technical mastery make her a truly world class Australian musician,” said Gantner.

Receiving her Award, Lacey said: “The Myer family have held artists and the arts dear for generations, creating career changing opportunities that have shaped our cultural life. Joining the list of extraordinarily distinguished artists who have been previous recipients of the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award is humbling and inspiring. I’m over the moon!”

The Group Award, worth $90,000 was presented to Bleach* Festival on the Gold Coast, which this year runs April 17 – 28. The Facilitator’s Prize worth $25,000 went to Annette Downs, Senior Producer for Tasmania Performs.

The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were established in 1984 by the Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Sidney Myer, a passionate advocate and great friend to the arts. Over the past 35 years, the national awards have awarded over $3.8 million to artists.

The national Awards are determined by a Judging Committee that this year included Christie Anthoney (CEO Festivals Adelaide), Fraser Corfield (Artistic Director ATYP), Iain Grandage (composer, musician and incoming Artistic Director of Perth Festival), Fiona Maxwell (CEO Brisbane Powerhouse) and Brian Ritchie (curator of Mona Foma). Gantner chairs the committee but does not vote. The Judging Committee recognises past achievements but also gives consideration to the potential of an individual or group to continue their contribution to Australian society through the performing arts.