The $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Music is awarded to a Victorian musician whose work has made an outstanding contribution to Australian music and has enriched cultural and public life.
Upon accepting the award Edwards spoke about how his songs are the songs and stories of his people and his land. He remarked, "Just because I wrote a song yesterday, doesn't make it a day old." With four acclaimed solo albums Cooinda, Hope, Blak & Blu and Beneath the Surface; two theatre productions Songlines of a Mutti Mutti Man and yuyukatha; and celebrated tours, Edwards has made an invaluable and enduring contribution to Victorian music culture.
His second award, the Distinguished Musicians Fellowship, will see Edwards undertaking a fellowship at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) to the value of $20,000.
Kate Neal received the Beleura Award for Composition for her work Semaphore. The $25,000 prize is awarded for a composition of outstanding musicianship, skill and creativity.
Matthias Schack-Arnott's submission Mapping the interior: In search of the inland sea saw him take home the $16,000 Development Award.
Trumpet player Simon Tinkler took home the $30,000 Outstanding Musicians Award. An outstanding example of creativity and skill, Tinkler received the prize for his recent work WHALE.
Launched in 2004, the Melbourne Prize Trust recognises and rewards creative excellence and talent, through the annual Melbourne Prize. The Melbourne Prize and Awards runs on a three-year cycle and rewards sculptors, writers and musicians in turn.
The current cycle is:
- Melbourne Prize for Music (2016)
- Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture (2017)
- Melbourne Prize for Literature (2018).
This year's depth and diversity of nominees marked a new era for the Melbourne Prize for Music and Awards, with the inclusion of a broad range of contemporary artists like Kutcha Edwards, Adalita Srsen, Briggs, Gareth Liddiard from the Drones, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard among others.
Creative Victoria has provided support for the following recipients
Kutcha Edwards' Tour of Inside Outside, a series of concerts with comedian Shiralee Hood in regional communities, alongside a program of workshops and concerts in regional jails, was backed by Creative Victoria in 2014.
The development and performance of Kate Neal's Semaphore at Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM)was funded by Creative Victoria.
Matthias Schack-Arnott's works entitled Fluvial and Anicca received Creative Victoria backing in 2013 and 2015.