The Limelight Artists of the Year for 2021

After a hiatus in 2020, we once again asked our reviewers and readers to vote for the Australian and International Artists of the Year. We are thrilled to announce our 2021 winners.

Artists of the Year 2021

Critics' Choice

William Barton

Australian Artist of the Year

William Barton
William Barton. Photo © Keith Saunders

Runners-Up

William Barton, our Critics' Choice for Limelight Australian Artist of the Year
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In 2021, not only did William Barton receive the Australia Council's Don Banks Music Award, but also saw the premiere of several works that feel as if they point towards an important new direction for his creative practice.

Critics' Choice

Igor Levit

International Artist of the Year

Igor Levit
Igor Levit. Photo © Felix Broede, Sony Classical

Runners-Up

Igor Levit, Critics' Choice for Limelight International Artist of the Year
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The Russian-born German pianist is an artist who paints on a broad canvas; one whose place in the world informs his art; and one who is unafraid to speak his mind, whether on music or on politics.

People's Choice

Melbourne Digital Concert Hall

Australian Artist of the Year

Melbourne Digital Concert Hall Co-Directors Chris Howlett and Adele Schonhardt. Photo © Albert Comper

Runners-Up

Chris Howlett and Adele Schonhardt, co-directors of Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, voted People's Choice for Limelight Australian Artist of the Year
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Melbourne Digital Concert Hall proved a lifesaver during the pandemic, raising money for artists and keeping audiences connected with the music they loved. It shows how deep the connections they established that they have been voted the Peoples' Choice in our 2021 awards.

People's Choice

VOCES8

International Artist of the Year

VOCES8
VOCES8. Photo © Andy Staples

Runners-Up

Voces8, voted People's Choice in Limelight International Artist of the Year
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In response to the pandemic, VOCES8 reinvented themselves as stage managers, camera technicians and, crucially, impresarios, they produced a highly successful series of online events watched by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

Nominees

2021

Past winners

2019

Deborah Cheetham
Australian Artist of the Year

Alondra de la Parra
Australian Artist of the Year – People’s Choice

Víkingur Ólafsson
International Artist of the Year

Jessye Norman
International Artist of the Year – People’s Choice

2018

Simone Young
Australian Artist of the Year

Benjamin Northey
Australian Artist of the Year – People’s Choice

Jordi Savall
International Artist of the Year

Anne-Sophie Mutter
International Artist of the Year – People’s Choice

2017

Brett Dean
Australian Artist of the Year

Jonas Kaufmann
International Artist of the Year

2016

Emma Matthews
Australian Artist of the Year

Stephen Hough
International Artist of the Year

2015

Greta Bradman
Australian Artist of the Year

Sir Simon Rattle
International Artist of the Year