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ABC MUSIC scores 22 ARIA nominations, wins 4 Fine Art ARIAs and 1 Artisan ARIA!


ABC Music has once again scored multiple ARIA nominations across categories ranging from Classical and Jazz to World, Country, Blues and Roots, Children’s and Comedy.

With 22 nominations secured across 10 categories, the nominee list for this year’s ARIA Awards, announced in Sydney today (Tuesday, 15 October 2013), has once again confirmed the diversity and quality of the ABC Music catalogue.

ABC Music was awarded all four of the ARIA Fine Arts awards: Best Classical Album (Sally Whitwell’s All Imperfect Things), Best Jazz Album (The Idea of North’s Smile), Best World Music Album (Joseph Tawadros’ Chameleons of the White Shadow) and Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Album (Paul Kelly, Genevieve Lacey, James Ledger and ANAM’s Conversations with Ghosts).

General Manager of ABC Music, Natalie Waller, congratulated all the nominees and winning ABC artists: ‘We are so thrilled to have won all four Fine Arts ARIAs this year. Our artists work so hard in their respective specialist fields, and I offer my heartfelt congratulations on behalf of ABC Music. We are particularly proud of Virginia Read, who has taken out the ARIA for Engineer of the Year in the Artisan category – the first time a woman has won this award.

‘We wish our nominees in the remaining categories all the very best of luck in the forthcoming awards to be announced on December 1st.’

Director ABC Commercial, Robert Patterson, added ‘the ABC’s enduring support of the performing arts in Australia is second to none. Winning all 4 Fine Arts ARIA Awards is a wonderful recognition of this support and an important acknowledgement of the quality of our Artists. I also congratulate Virginia Read, a world class producer/engineer  who has brought  the highest standards to the recordings of ABC Classics over many years.’

The 22 nominations were:


Amy Dickson, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra – Catch Me If You Can

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Nigel Westlake–- Missa Solis: Requiem for Eli

Sally Whitwell – All Imperfect Things: Solo Piano Music of Michael Nyman (winner)


The Idea Of North – Smile (winner)


Joseph Tawadros – Chameleons of the White Shadow (winner)

Rasa Duende – Improvisations

Shellie Morris & The Borroloola Songwomen – Together We Are Strong: Ngambala Wiji Li-Wununga The Song Peoples Sessions


Paul Kelly, James Ledger, Genevieve Lacey, ANAM Musicians – Conversations with Ghosts (winner)

Various – triple j's One Night Stand


Virginia Read – Sally Whitwell, All Imperfect Things: Solo Piano Music of Michael Nyman


Nicky Bomba, Robin Mai – Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Melbourne Ska Orchestra

Virginia Read – Sally Whitwell, All Imperfect Things: Solo Piano Music of Michael Nyman (winner)


Melbourne Ska Orchestra – Melbourne Ska Orchestra


Tom & Alex – The Bits We’re Least Ashamed Of

Colin Buchanan – THE TGIF Songs of Colin Buchanan


Giggle and Hoot – Claw Tapping Tunes

Jay Laga’aia – Ten in the Bed

Justine Clarke – A Little Day Out with Justine Clarke

The Wiggles – Taking Off!


Jasmine Rae – If I Want to

Lee Kernaghan – Beautiful Noise

Sara Storer – Lovegrass


In the Best Classical Album category, pianist Sally Whitwell’s All Imperfect Things was the winner – the 25th time that an ABC Classics album has won in the 27 years of the awards. Whitwell’s moody album features a collection of piano works from great British film composer Michael Nyman. The soundtrack brings back haunting memories of images and sounds from movies such as The PianoThe Draughtsman's Contract and The Diary of Anne Frank, as well as the cult computer game Enemy Zero. Known for ‘Keeping Classical Music Friendly’, Sally recently performed with Philip Glass and Maki Namekawa in The Complete Piano Etudes of Philip Glass for the 2013 Perth International Arts Festival. Her show Once upon a Time: Ten Tiny Dancers, a mix of piano recital and cabaret, premiered in March this year at The Famous Spiegeltent.

In the Best Jazz Album category, The Idea of North won with Smile. Celebrating the ensemble’s 20th anniversary, the album marks another crucial milestone – their tenth album release.

James Morrison reflects: ‘The Idea of North is such a rare group of talented, passionate people. They live to sing a cappella and they have been doing it together for twenty years. This album is not a special project, or a one-off coming together of great artists, it is a snapshot taken on the epic journey that is the career of The Idea of North. A journey they have been on for decades, and one I hope will continue for many more.’

The Best World Music Album was taken out by ten-times ARIA nominee and last year’s winner of the category, Joseph Tawadros, with his impressive album release Chameleons of the White Shadow. The album yet again showcases Joseph’s incredible instrumental skill and an impressive array of musical accomplices including Béla Fleck, Richard Bona, Roy Ayers and Joey DeFrancesco. Joseph is also joined once again by his brother, percussionist extraordinaire James Tawadros, on Req and Bendir.

At just 29 years of age, Egyptian-born Australian Joseph Tawadros has established himself as one of the world’s leading Oud performers and composers. A virtuoso of amazing diversity and sensitivity, he performs in concert halls worldwide, dazzling audiences with his brilliant technique, his passionate musicianship and joyous style of performance. A resident of Australia since 1986, Joseph Tawadros has been responsible for raising the Oud’s profile in the Western world, and has also been recognised in the Arab world with invitations to adjudicate international Oud competitions in Damascus and Istanbul.

The Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Album was awarded to Paul Kelly, James Ledger, Genevieve Lacey and ANAM Musicians for Conversations with Ghosts.

The pieces were co-written by Paul Kelly and James Ledger, based on poems by Les Murray, W.B. Yeats, Judith Wright, Alfred Lord Tennyson and others as well as some new lyrics from Paul. Together they have created a rich and atmospheric 12-track work that touches on the theme of death and mortality.

Paul Kelly said of working with ANAM musicians: ‘It’s been a privilege to work with young musicians of such calibre who bring a pure energy to the pieces,’ and of working with Genevieve Lacey: ‘I think of Genevieve’s recorder as our guide throughout, a kind of Ariel, coming and going, warning and leading, sometimes playing tricks on us but with our best interests at heart.’ James Ledger said of working with Paul Kelly: ‘When the opportunity arose to work with a songwriter – a real songwriter who is so spectacularly good with words – I jumped at the chance and we hit a groove almost immediately in the way we worked.’

In a major coup for ABC Music, it was announced that Virginia Read has taken out the Engineer of the Year ARIA Award. Virginia first started working for ABC Classics, acknowledged as Australia’s foremost classical music production house, in 2000, where she has established herself as the label’s Recordings Manager, overseeing the production of all releases as well as single-handedly creating many of the label’s major albums. Her career began with a composition degree at the Canberra School of Music, after which she moved to Montreal in Canada where she studied music recording at the prestigious McGill University. After graduating with a Tonmeister degree she was offered a position at the legendary Classic Sound Inc. in New York, where she was involved with many of the industry’s awardwinning engineers, producers and artists including Evgeny Kissin, Sarah Chang, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Billy Joel.

This is the first time this award has been won by a female.

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