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The finalists in one of Australia’s most valuable music prizes, the Melbourne Prize for Music 2016 and Awards, have been announced today. This year‟s finalists represent the abundant musical talent in Victoria across a range of genres. The Melbourne Prize for Music 2016 and Awards provide recognition and opportunities for Victorian musicians. Melbourne is one of the world‟s most celebrated musical cities, widely acknowledged as the music capital of the southern hemisphere.

The $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Music 2016 will be awarded to a Victorian musician, or group of musicians, who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian music and has enriched cultural and public life. This award is supported by principal partner, The Vera Moore Foundation.

The finalists are:
David Bridie
Joe Camilleri
Kutcha Edwards
Liza Lim
Adalita Srsen

The $30,000 (plus $2,500 Qantas travel voucher) Outstanding Musicians Award 2016 will be presented to a Victorian musician, or group of musicians for recent work representing an outstanding example of creativity and skill. This award is supported by Dr. Ron Benson.

The finalists are:
Lior Attar
Sophia Brous
Biddy Connor
James Hullick
Gareth Liddiard
Kate Miller-Heidke
Eric Moore/King Gizzard
Monica Curro/PLEXUS
Scott Tinkler

The NEW $25,000 Beleura Award for Composition 2016 is for a composition of outstanding musicianship, skill and creativity. All genres of composition are eligible. This award is supported by The Tallis Foundation in memory of John Tallis (1911-1996).

The finalists are:
Chris Dench
Mary Finsterer
Andrea Keller
Kate Neal
Anthony Pateras

The $16,000 Development Award 2016 will be presented to an emerging musician or group of musicians, aged 30 years and under, who demonstrate outstanding musical talent with the potential to develop their professional career. The Award consists of a $6,000 music instrument and equipment grant supported by Yamaha Music Australia and $10,000 cash supported by The William Buckland Foundation.

The finalists are:
Sophia Exiner
Rory Burnside/Rudely Interrupted
Gabriella Cohen
Matthias Schack-Arnott
Tilman Robinson

A finalist, across all the awards categories, will be selected for the NEW $20,000 Distinguished Musicians Fellowship 2016, which will be announced on November 9. They will receive a commercial engagement, generously provided by the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley MP said the Melbourne Prize for Music recognises the pre-eminent place that Melbourne and Victoria hold as the nation‟s music heartland. “In celebrating the creativity and contribution of our musicians across a range of genres, this Prize plays a significant role in providing opportunities for local music makers and inspiring the next generation.”

Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle, said Melbourne was one of the world‟s great music cities. “Melbourne is a city that loves its music and the Melbourne Prize celebrates the best of musical talent in our city,” said the Lord Mayor. “I would like to congratulate the finalists and thank them for their contribution to our city‟s thriving music scene.”

Celebrating 12 years of supporting Victorian sculptors, writers and musicians, Melbourne Prize Trust Executive Director, Mr Simon Warrender said that he is delighted with the strong response to this year‟s Melbourne Prize for Music 2016 & Awards.
“Interest in this year‟s Prize has been considerable and I would like to thank all entrants in what was a record-breaking year for the total number entries received,” said Mr Warrender. “Finalists have been chosen from an immensely strong field from across all genres and career stages. The finalists in this year‟s Melbourne Prize for Music 2016 and Awards are a testament to Melbourne and Victoria‟s dynamic and diverse music scene.

“On behalf of the Melbourne Prize Trust I would like to thank our principal partner, The Vera Moore Foundation, Founding Partners, new award partners, The Tallis Foundation, the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and all 2016 partners and patrons for their generous support in making this year‟s Melbourne Prize and Awards possible,” he added.

In addition to the Melbourne Prize for Music 2016 and Awards, one finalist, with the highest number of public votes, will be the recipient of the $4,000 Civic Choice Award 2016. This award is generously supported by Readings. Online voting commences today at and will continue during the Federation Square finalist exhibition, to be held from 7 to 21 November in the Atrium. Voters will go into the running to win an overnight stay at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins, Melbourne’s hotel for the arts and Corporate Partner of the Melbourne Prize Trust.

Winners in all categories will be announced on November 9th

For further information and for all announcements this year visit

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