Nerida Tyson-Chew.

Composer, orchestrator and conductor Nerida Tyson-Chew will receive the 2020 Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen Award at the Screen Music Awards in December.

The prize, presented by the APRA AMCOS board of directors, will recognise Tyson-Chew’s 35 year career, blazing a path for female composers, and her diverse and extensive portfolio of work, spanning feature films, television dramas, children’s productions, documentaries and wildlife films.

Tyson-Chew’s recent credits include H is for Happiness, for which she is currently nominated for an AACTA, as well as the BAFTA-nominated animated series The Deep, Rescue – Special Ops, Batman – The Animated Series and Taboo.

Other projects include 2004 blockbuster Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, children’s series Tracey McBean and 1995’s Hotel Sorrento, which won her an AFI Award.

Tyson-Chew told IF she was delighted with the honour, noting that film scoring was the “ultimate collaborative art”.

“Our storytelling skills, as creators of music for the screen, ensure that the viewer in an unguarded moment is transported emotionally and experiences the story, even if they close their eyes,” she says.

“Beyond setting an atmosphere, a time and a sense of place, we provide another layer of narrative. We depict the unseen and unsaid, through feelings, and subliminally. We create on demand to a brief, underscoring the dialogue, to the timings of the edit, on a deadline and within a budget. We also ensure that the music can be performed with ease and expression on sight-reading, while remaining inventive, evolving with the technological advances in our field.”

Hosting this year’s Screen Music Awards with the previously announced Justine Clarke will be actor and producer Claudia Karvan and actor, writer and artist Meyne Wyatt.

Leading this year’s 46 nominees are Antony Partos for his work on Operation Buffalo, Maralinga Tjarutja and Total Control; Cornel Wilczek for Glitch and Stateless, and Antonio Gambale for Netflix’s Orthodox.

As well as her honour, Tyson-Chew is nominated for Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas against Jed Kurzel, Michael Yezerski and Neil Sutherland.

The Screen Music Awards are jointly held by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers. Due to COVID-19, the ceremony will be held virtually December 1, 7:00PM AEDT on YouTube Premiere. RVSP here, and see the full list of nominees here.

Join the Conversation


  1. Nerida’s musical talents are matched only by her qualities as a gorgeous generous human. A treat to work with always – this is so deserved clever Nerida.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *