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IMPROVISATION MASTER WINS LEADING MUSIC PRIZE

Eminent Australian jazz pianist and composer Dr Tony Gould AM will be awarded Australia’s most valuable individual music prize – the Australia Council for the Arts’ Don Banks Music Award.

The Australia Council will present Dr Gould with the $60,000 award at a ceremony celebrating his rich contribution to Australian music, to be held tonight in Melbourne.

Australia Council chief executive officer Kathy Keele said that Dr Gould’s achievements placed him at the forefront of Australian jazz and improvised music.

‘Dr Gould has made a stellar contribution to Australia’s cultural life as an outstanding pianist, composer and music educator,’ she said.

‘His work combining improvisation with classical music traditions has been key to his enormous impact on Australian music, and especially on his many students. He has been at the vanguard of improvised music and helped craft a distinctive Australian musical voice

Dr Tony Gould’s career stretches over more than 30 years of achievement. He has more 13 original recordings under his belt, including collaborations with some of Australia’s most eminent jazz musicians including John Sangster and David Jones, and has supported some of the biggest names in jazz, from Dave Brubeck to Oscar Peterson. His full orchestral version of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood was premiered by the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra.

As an educator, Tony held the positions at the Victorian College of the Arts as head of the improvisation department for more than 20 years and head of music of five years.

‘I am honoured to receive the Don Banks Award and join this group that have had such a profound impact on Australian music,’ Dr Gould said.

The Don Banks Music Award is one of the highest accolades in Australian music. It is awarded annually to a distinguished artist who has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to music in Australia

Past recipients include composers Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE and Richard Meale AO MBE, music educator John Curro AM MBE, singer/songwriter Bunna Lawrie, conductor and music educator Richard Gill OAM and jazz musicians Bernie McGann and Bob Sedergreen.

Media enquires:

Victoria Haschka communication adviser, 02 9215 9176, 0410 322 431

email v.haschka@australiacouncil.gov.au

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Brianna Roberts

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