Contrary to popular belief I don’t actually wake up cranky looking for targets to give a good kicking to.
But sometimes I have questions, and I find asking them here gets me further than official inquiries.
What has me asking questions is CityNews announcing that “the livewire” Nicole Canham has been named “Artist of the Year” at a CityNews ceremony with Chief Minister Jon Stanhope.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m sure Ms Canham is a lovely person and absolutely deserving of sunshine and puppies. But for what artistic work has she received this honour?
- A graduate of the ANU School of Music and the Conservatoire Nationale de Region de Versailles, Canham, a livewire on the music scene, became director of the Canberra International Chamber Music Festival in late 2004 and steered the event from 2005 to 2007 then into its new stage as the Canberra International Music Festival this year.
During her groundbreaking directorship, audience numbers have risen from 1800 to 17,000, including the 10,000 schoolchildren who packed into concerts this year [And presumably had no say in the matter]. The 2008 event saw eight world premieres and 14 Australian premiere performances and featured almost 80 events.
A “left-of-field” thinker about classical music, Canham was responsible for proposing and commissioning “The Cat’s Cabaret”, which featured music inspired by the Australian-born film character Felix the Cat; performed with text and archival film at the Film and Sound Archive; “The Canberra Cantata” by Peter J. Casey; “Yes Ma’am”, a Mother’s Day concert by the New RMC Steamboat Stompers; the Young Composer competition and “The Keating Tangos”, combining music by Elena Kats-Chernin and words on leadership by four speakers. She negotiated national publicity through the ABC’s “Limelight” magazine, which has since been nominated in the 2008 Limelight Awards.
As an individual artist, Canham led her group Clarity Clarinet Quartet, devised a music work about democracy for Quantum Leap Choreographic Ensemble, performed as a soloist with symphony, pops and opera orchestras and helped devise the theatre-clarinet work “6 Memos”.
So, with little to go on but the award conveyor’s summary, she mostly organises the artistic work of others?
It’s not exactly what I was thinking of when I heard we were going to have an “Artist of the Year”. How about you?
Jorian FTW next year on this basis?