EO wins Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, March 11: Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards at Templestowe Park Tennis Club on March 11, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Fiona Hamilton/)

On a balmy Wednesday night in Melbourne at Cranlana, Ensemble Offspring was named the 2019 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award winner for a Group.

The other winners were the amazing Richard Watts for all his works behind the scenes with Arts Hub and 3RRR (Facilitator’s Prize) and the legendary Berlin based director Barrie Kosky (Individual Prize). Thank you to outgoing Chair Carrillo Gantner AC (pictured above with Claire) and the whole Myer Family and Foundation for this award and their commitment to the arts in Australia.

We’d like to thank all of our staunch supporter’s over the years, our board and staff and of course our phenomenal musicians – also past Artistic Director Damien Ricketson and all of the composers and collaborators we have been fortunate enough to work with over the past 25 years. We can’t wait to keep making great art and we look forward to seeing you at our outdoor event where audiences will be able to stay Corona-free at Fever Pitch on 5 April!

“In bestowing this award the judges recognised the intelligent, accessible and uplifting contribution that Claire and the ensemble have made to Australia’s cultural landscape for more than two decades.” Read the Limelight article here.

“Given the list of past recipients as well as the esteem in which the Myer family is held in Australia for their deep commitment to the arts, it is both humbling and exciting beyond words, to win this award. The fact that our work and deep commitment to the innovative Australian art music scene over the past 25 years has been recognised in this way feels pretty amazing, given how tirelessly our musicians and our whole team work to make it all happen day to day on a shoestring budget.

In these strange times where art making is most important but getting harder and harder to realise, it can’t be underestimated how significant the addition of $90,000 is to our program budget. As with all arts companies who are continually reaching and dreaming, we have several initiatives which were on the back burner which we are now able to be realised in 2020 and 2021. These include several new work commissions, a new local series in Sydney fostering collaborations with emerging and touring artists, and the further development and production of a new opera by Cathy Milliken in collaboration with Sydney Chamber Opera – as well as just generally taking the pressure off for a bit. From our musicians, staff, board and collaborators, we thank the Sidney Myer Fund and the Myer Foundation from the bottom of our hearts – for a sense of artistic lightness which we can now experience – a lightness which is especially valued in these uncertain times.”