Melbourne Recital Centre is thrilled to announce the July to December 2015 Contemporary Masters Award has been awarded to Melbourne ensemble Melbourne Guitar Quartet.

The members of Melbourne Guitar Quartet, Ben Dix, Tonié Field, Jeremy Tottenham and Dan McKay, performed their winning interpretation of News from Nowhere by Philip Houghton on 17 September in the Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre.

The award is supported by pianist Stephen McIntyre AM and friends who established the award in honour of Stephen’s birthday. It enables Melbourne Recital Centre to recognise the finest performances of repertoire from the 20th and 21st centuries. The Contemporary Masters Performance Award is open to all artists (individuals and ensembles) who perform at Melbourne Recital Centre throughout the year.

Melbourne Recital Centre’s Director of Artistic Planning, Marshall McGuire says: “Melbourne Recital Centre prides itself on presenting the widest range of musical styles possible, from the renaissance to the current day. This enlightened support, from friends and supporters of Australia’s great pianist Stephen McIntyre, enables us to celebrate some of the outstanding performances of twentieth and twenty-first century music performed by Melbourne’s leading performers. In a rich field, the Melbourne Guitar Quartet stood out for a performance that captured the spirit of the work, entranced the audience and displayed once again their mastery of their instruments.”

Nominees for the July to December 2015 round included Benaud Trio, Melbourne Art Song Collective, Trio Anima Mundi, Syzygy Ensemble, Inventi Ensemble, Plexus, Markiyan Melnychenko, Sutherland Trio and Grigoryan Brothers. The panel, consisting of Colin Golvan QC, Mary Doumany, Mary Vallentine and Marshall McGuire awarded Melbourne Guitar Quartet the prize based on judging criteria covering technique and intonation, musicianship, ensemble work, ability to engage the audience and complexity and difficulty of the piece. Melbourne Guitar Quartet has been awarded a $1000 cash prize.

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