The  winners of the 2018 Art Music Awards, which celebrate excellence and innovation in contemporary Australian art music, have been announced, with both newcomers and past winners honoured at the ceremony in Melbourne.

Mary Finsterer’s opera Biographica , a work inspired by the life and writings of Renaissance physician and mathematician Gerolamo Cardano, has won best Vocal/Choral Work. The composer’s first opera, it has a libretto by Tom Wright and received its world premiere at Carriageworks as part of 2017’s Sydney Festival, performed by Sydney Chamber Opera and Ensemble Offspring, with Jack Symonds conducting.

Mary Finsterer. Photo © Dean Golja, Image United

Instrumental Work of the Year was awarded to Lisa Illean for Cantor (after Willa Cather). An Ensemble Offspring commission, the work for large ensemble was funded through the APRA Art Music Fund and has since been performed internationally. Cantordraws on three of Cather’s poems, and is inspired by vocal traditions introduced by transatlantic immigration to Nebraska in the 1890s.

Lisa Illean

Paul Stanhope’s Concerto for Trombone and Orchestrahas won Orchestral Work of the Year. Written for and performed by the West...