2020 Australian Art Music Awards to go ahead online

Finalists will be announced on August 8

APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre have announced the tenth Art Music Awards will go ahead online this year.

The virtual event will celebrate achievements in contemporary classical, jazz and improvised and experimental music and sound art on September 8. It’s also set to feature socially distanced performances from some of the nominees, to be announced in the coming weeks.

Finalists in each category will be announced on August 11, curated partly by Barney McAll. Some of the categories have been blended or expanded from previous years, which the competition says is to “to meet the needs of and acknowledge the ever-evolving art music sector”. It is unclear whether this is a reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“2020 has brought so much grief. Many of the world’s preoccupations are proving empty,” McAll said.

“We can take solace in the truthfulness of our art music, a music that has always reflected a battle for awareness and manifested a force for transformation and renewal. Massive change has now become imperative to our survival as a species. I am honoured to be part of a musical culture that can only become increasingly important as so much emptiness is spotlighted and amended.”

The categories for the 2020 Australian Art Music Awards are:

Work of the Year: Choral
Work of the Year: Large Ensemble
Work of the Year: Dramatic
Work of the Year: Electroacoustic / Sound Art
Work of the Year: Jazz
Work of the Year: Chamber Music
Performance of the Year: Notated Composition
Performance of the Year: Jazz / Improvised Music
Award for Excellence in Music Education
Award for Excellence in a Regional Area
Award for Excellence in Experimental Music
Luminary Award – Individual
Luminary Award – Organisation
Luminary Awards – State/Territory Awards
Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music