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5 March 2018

Liza Lim wins the Don Banks Music Award

Liza Lim at the 2017 Art Music Awards Image: Liza Lim at the 2017 Art Music Awards  
© Tony Mott

Composer Liza Lim has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Australia Council Don Banks Music Award, as part of the Australia Council Awards that will be presented to eight recipients in a ceremony at Sydney's Carriageworks on Tuesday evening. Among recipients is also sound artist and sculptor Nigel Helyer, who will receive his Award in the category for Emerging and Experimental Arts.

Liza Lim's contribution over a career of more than 30 years centres around her unique output as a composer. Her work has been performed at major international festivals and venues, by some of the world's most famous orchestras and ensembles. Commissioners of Lim's music include the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Ecstatic Architecture for the opening season of L.A.'s Walt Disney Concert Hall), the Sydney Symphony (composer in residence in 2005-2007); BBC Symphony, several of Germany's major radio orchestras, Ensemble MusikFabrik, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern and the Arditti String Quartet, among many others. Her large-scale works include her opera The Navigator (to a libretto by Patricia Sykes), premiered by her long-term collaborating ensemble ELISION in Australia in 2008, with a subsequent international tour, and her fourth opera Tree of Codes, premiered in Germany in 2016. Lim has received several Art Music Awards, most recently two Work of the Year Awards in 2017, for How forests think and Tree of Codes.

Liza Lim is also an influential teacher and academic. Professor of Composition at the University of Huddersfield, UK, and Professor at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, she has shown leadership particularly in the areas of gender and music, and in mentoring new generations of composers.

Previous winners of the Don Banks Music Award include Lyn Williams (2017), Brett Dean (2016), Archie Roach (2015), Mike Nock (2014), Kev Carmody (2013), Jon Rose (2012), Belinda Webster (2011) and Warren Fahey (2010).

Nominated by industry peers, the winners of the Australia Council Awards demonstrate an extraordinary range of outstanding and sustained achievement across music, literature, community arts and cultural development, emerging and experimental arts, visual arts, theatre, and dance. Australia Council CEO Tony Grybowski stressed the important role art plays in society by building communities and by enhancing the life of Australians.

'These national awards are a critical way for the Australia Council to recognise the remarkable achievements of individual Australian artists, as well as highlighting the broader contribution of all our artists to enhancing the lives of Australians. The recipients of the 2018 awards are leaders in their respective fields. They have individually and collectively made highly significant contributions to the development of artistic practice and to challenging existing ways of exploring how we express identity and how we connect with one another,' he said.

The recipients of Australia Council Awards for 2018 are: Bruce Pascoe (Lifetime Achievement in Literature); Liza Lim (Don Banks Music Award); Pat Brassington (Visual Arts); Nigel Helyer (Emerging & Experimental Arts); Phillip Adams (Dance); Liz Jones (Theatre); Christian (Bong) Ramilo (Ros Bower Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development) and Edwin Kemp Attrill (Kirk Robson Award for Community Arts and Cultural Development).

> Media release on the Australia Council for the Arts website (5 March 2018)

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