2021 Limelight Artists of the Year

Last year, with the global pandemic decimating the arts industry in Australia and around the world, we decided not to hold our annual Artists of the Year awards. Although COVID is still with us, and restrictions and lockdowns have wreaked havoc on the arts during 2021, artists have managed to be inventive and resilient, creating exciting, innovative work for digital platforms as well as performing live (when health regulations have allowed) while also continuing to record. And so we felt that as a sign of support for the wonderful work that artists have been able to create, we would celebrate the Limelight Australian and International Artists of the Year, despite the cancellations, postponements and heartache caused by the coronavirus.

Once again, we are presenting Critics’ and People’s Choice Awards rather than amalgamating the votes as we used to do in times past. Our critics created a shortlist of 40 outstanding artists and ensembles – 20 from Australia and 20 from overseas. And what an impressive line-up it was of performers, composers, conductors, directors, artistic directors and ensembles, working in music, opera and theatre.

So who did you and our critics choose as the 2021 Artists of the Year? Read on to find out…

People’s Choice: Australian Artist of the Year
Melbourne Digital Concert Hall

People’s Choice: International Artist of the Year

Critics’ Choice: Australian Artist of the Year
William Barton

Critics’ Choice: International Artist of the Year
Igor Levit