The award recognises the significant achievements of leading Australian artists, whose practices contribute to the artistic and cultural vibrancy of the nation.
The award was one of eight presented to leading artists during a ceremony at Carriageworks on Tuesday 6 March. Australia Council CEO Tony Grybowski described the award recipients as leaders in their respective fields.
“These national awards are a critical way for the Australia Council to recognise the remarkable achievements of individual Australian artists, as well as highlighting the broader contribution of all our artists to enhancing the lives of Australians,” he said.
Liza’s work has been performed by some of the world’s leading ensembles and orchestras, and featured at festivals throughout the world. She has been described as one of the leading composers of her generation and is also a prominent spokesperson for equality in the music industry.
“I’m the 5th woman to be awarded the Don Banks Music prize out of 32 awardees of the prize since 1984, and the first Asian person. For context, Archie Roach in 2015 was the first Aboriginal musician to be awarded the prize. It’s a slow process of inclusion,” Liza said.
“I’m happy to use the privilege of this prize to make a contribution to shifting some of those barriers that women in particular face, both through the art I make and the teaching and mentoring I will do. As with all artists, a prize is the opportunity to do more work!”
Liza leads the Composing Women program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, providing mentoring and career opportunities to four exceptional women composers. This year Liza’s opera Tree of Codes will be presented in the US as part of the Spoleto Festival, while a new work looking at ecological fragility will premiere in Witten and Vienna. Another new work, titled Atlas of the Sky, will premiere in Melbourne with Speak Percussion in June, before travelling to Germany.
Read more about the 2018 Australia Council Awards.