2019 was a momentous year for Deborah Cheetham. The singer and composer won the Melbourne Prize for Music and Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial, and she delivered the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address. Canberra Symphony Orchestra premiered her work, Gulaga, a very personal piece for flute, clarinet and oboe, which Limelight describedas “an extraordinary work”.

Deborah Cheetham Deborah Cheetham. Photo © Jorge de Araujo

Another landmark work was Eumeralla: a war requiem for peace , a work which on many levels epitomises her unique and extraordinary contribution to Australian society. This powerful work not only harnesses Cheetham’s vocal and compositional talents, but affords the performers (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) an opportunity to engage in a moving act of reconciliation. After all this and much more, the year has culminated in her being awarded the LimelightCritic’s Choice  Australian Artist of the Year.

Asked how she felt about receiving this award, Cheetham said:

Elated. It is truly an honour to receive this recognition.

While last year was a big, it seems that 2020 will be even bigger. The breadth and depth of her forthcoming collaborations is truly impressive. One...