[Press Release by APRA]

The 2008 APRA–AGSC Screen Music Awards was held last night November 3, at the City Recital Hall in Sydney and revealed two multi-award winners; composers whose music reflected the light and shade of society.

It was a brilliant night for Sydney based composer MICHAEL YEZERSKI. A former recipient of the APRA Professional Development Award in 2001, (a grant designed to identify and invest in the talents of emerging composers) the music composer for the uplifting Australian feature film The Black Balloon has received two nods at the 2008 APRA – AGSC Screen Music Awards in the category of BEST SOUNDTRACK ALBUM (The Black Balloon) and BEST ORIGINAL SONG COMPOSED FOR THE SCREEN, an award he shares with co-composer JOSH PYKE for the song "When We Get There".

It was also a stellar night for scores from the darker side. Seasoned composer BURKHARD DALLWITZ has also received two Screen Music Awards for his work on the gritty, hit television series Underbelly. He has taken out the categories of BEST TELEVISION THEME for the suspenseful Underbelly. He has also received the APRA – AGSC Screen Music Award for Underbelly – Episode 5 in the category of BEST MUSIC FOR A TELEVISION SERIES OR SERIAL.

The annual celebration, which is the only event to recognise and celebrate the efforts of the often-unacknowledged Australian screen composers, also delivered another award for internationally renowned composer DAVID HIRSCHFELDER. His work on the critically acclaimed movie Children of the Silk Road has seen him receive the award for BEST FEATURE FILM SCORE. With his most recent screen music project (Baz Luhrmann’s Australia) bound to attract plenty of attention, this is DAVID HIRSCHFELDER’s 7th Screen Music Award and the 5th he has received in the category of BEST FEATURE FILM SCORE.

The evening’s musical director CEZARY SKUBISZEWESKI received the Screen Music Award in the category of BEST MUSIC FOR A DOCUMENTARY for his beautiful orchestral work on Night.

The award for BEST MUSIC FOR A SHORT FILM has gone to first time winner, composer GEOFFREY RUSSELL for Noir Drive a short film about a private investigator who is shanghaied into a web of lies and deceit following the murder of a wealthy businessman. ELLIOTT WHEELER has again proven himself to be a dynamo in the field of composing for advertisements taking out the category of BEST MUSIC FOR AN ADVERTISEMENT for the original ad Herringbone ‘Hands’. He last won an APRA – AGSC Screen Music Award in this category in 2006.

The multitalented CHRISTOPHER ELVES has won the award for BEST MUSIC FOR CHILDREN’S TELEVISION for the animated kid’s television series Animalia. He received the award for the episode, "Butterfly Winter’. This is his 5th Screen Music Award and his 2nd in the category of music for children’s television.

RICHARD PLEASANCE has received the award for BEST MUSIC FOR A MINI SERIES OR TELEMOVIE. The former member of Boom Crash Opera and record producer has emerged as one of Australia’s most versatile composers, and was recognised in 1999 by AGSC for his work on SeaChange. He receives this APRA AGSC award in 2008 for his work on the Channel Ten drama Emerald Falls.

Prolific composer, legendary jazz keyboardist, music manager, record label creator and recipient of this Award in 2006 and 2007 JAY STEWART was named the MOST PERFORMED COMPOSER – AUSTRALIA, while NEIL SUTHERLAND was given the award for MOST PERFORMED COMPOSER – OVERSEAS. Well known for his work on television shows such as Getaway, Dancing with the Stars and MythBusters, Neil Sutherland took out the Most Performed Composer – Australia in 2005, and Best Television Theme in the same year.

The prestigious INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD was handed to the successful composing duo of GARRY McDONALD and LAURIE STONE for their achievements in screen composition abroad.

The 2008 APRA – AGSC SCREEN MUSIC AWARDS were held on Monday November 3rd at City Recital Hall in Sydney.

Special guest presenters on the evening were DAVID HIRSCHFELDER, NADINE GARNER, FERGUS LINEHAN, TODD SAMPSON, MARTIN ARMIGER, LEAH PURCELL, BARRY OTTO, THE HONORABLE PETER GARRETT MP and RHYS MULDOON.

Nominee JOSH PYKE performed the winning song “When We Get There” from the Australian feature film The Black Balloon. The performance was accompanied by a live ensemble that included Harry Angus from The Cat Empire and was conducted by highly regarded composer (and Screen Music Awards winner) CEZARY SKUBISZEWSKI.

The winners joined 500 friends and industry luminaries at a black tie dinner at The Ivy Room following the Awards Ceremony.

The 2008 Screen Music Award winners were:

International Achievement Award
Garry McDonald and Laurie Stone

Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia
Jay Stewart

Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas
Neil Sutherland

Feature Film Score of the Year
Children of the Silk Road
Composer David Hirschfelder

Best Music for a Documentary
Night
Composer Cezary Skubiszewski
Publisher J Albert and Son Pty Ltd

Best Music for a Short Film
Noir Drive
Composer Geoffrey Russell

Best Music for a Television Series or Serial
Underbelly – Episode 5
Composer Burkhard Dallwitz

Best Music for an Advertisement
Herringbone ‘Hands’
Composer Elliott Wheeler
Publisher Nylon Publishing Pty Ltd

Best Soundtrack Album
The Black Balloon
Composer Michael Yezerski
Publisher inSync Music Publishing

Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie
Emerald Falls
Composer Richard Pleasance
Publisher Mushroom Music Pty Ltd

Best Original Song Composed for the Screen
When We Get There – The Black Balloon
Composers Josh Pyke* and Michael Yezerski^
Publishers Ivy League Music/Mushroom Music Pty Ltd* and inSync Music Publishing^

Best Television Theme
Underbelly
Composer Burkhard Dallwitz

Best Music for Children’s Television
Animalia: "Butterfly Winter"
Composer Christopher Elves
Publisher Fintage Publishing and Collection Australia on behalf of Animalia Productions Pty Ltd

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