Communications & Media

Tassie talent in spotlight on national stage

Two representatives from the University of Tasmania’s College of Arts, Law and Education (CALE) have received national recognition for their work in composition.

Adjunct Professor and CALE Creative Fellow Mary Finsterer, and Head of the Conservatorium of Music Dr Maria Grenfell, are recipients of 2018 Art Music Awards. The prestigious awards are presented annually and recognise musicians from across Australia in a number of categories.

Professor Finsterer’s critically-acclaimed opera Biographica, which sold out during its premiere season at last year’s Sydney Festival, was named Vocal/Choral Work of the Year.

Dr Grenfell’s composition Spirals, a one-movement double concerto for clarinet, bassoon and chamber orchestra, won the Tasmanian Award for Orchestral Work of the Year.

The pair were in Melbourne recently to receive their awards at the gala announcement event.

Professor Finsterer said she was proud to be recognised for her opera, a composition which had been 17 years in the making.

Biographica was inspired by the life and writings of 16th-century Italian inventor, philosopher and gambler Gerolamo Cardano,” Professor Finsterer said.

“The libretto and interlocking musical events in the opera capture the experience of a febrile moment in time; a time in our history when the world of fact and the world of the soul were intermeshed, when science meant leaps of faith, and leaps of faith held great terrors for the soul.

"It’s a terrific acknowledgement, a great honour to receive this award. The whole process of creating an opera is a complex one, especially as it relies on many different elements to come together. Biographica owes much to the creative and production team as well as the tremendous support I had from my patrons, particularly Julian Burnside AO QC.”.

Dr Grenfell said she was delighted to be recognised alongside other recipients with a Tasmanian connection.

“There are so many exciting things happening in the creative arts in Tasmania,” Dr Grenfell said.

“With a significant win also in the regional category for Big hART, the shortlisting for the Australian Art Orchestra program in Tarraleah, for my orchestral work for the TSO, and Mary Finsterer’s win in the Vocal/Choral category for her opera, it is clear that Tasmania features proudly on the national scene for music performance and composition.”

The complete recipient list of the 2018 Art Music Awards can be found on the APRA AMCOS website.

Published on: 30 Aug 2018 2:46pm