The acclaimed Yorta Yorta soprano, composer and Artistic Director of
Short Black Opera, Cheetham was awarded prestigious prize for her
outstanding work demonstrating exceptional musicianship, skill and
It comes after Cheetham and the MSO’s
critically and publically acclaimed symphonic premiere of herEumeralla,
a war requiem for peace in June, 2019. Written and composed by
Cheetham,Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace is sung entirely in the
dialects of the Gunditjmara people, sung by a cast of Indigenous and
MSO Managing Director Sophie Galaise congratulated Cheetham on receiving the award.
“We are exceptionally proud of Deborah’s achievements; this prize couldn’t be more deserved,” Ms Galaise.
“Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace was a major highlight of the MSO’s 2019 season and we’re honoured to have Deborah as part of MSO’s Artistic Family in 2020.
“We look forward to creating many more extraordinary musical experiences with her.”
The MSO will premiere a number of new
works by Cheetham has part of her residency in 2020; herDutala
(Star-Filled Sky) at Season Opening Gala on 22 February,Yirramboi
(Tomorrow) at Mid-Season Gala on 25 July and the Melbourne Ensemble will
premiere herWoven Song: Above Knowing on 22 March.
Cheetham’s Long Time Living Here, a musical acknowledgement of country in 11 different languages, has premiered on-country throughout the MSO’s 2019 regional tour. The Boon Wurrung acknowledgement will receive its on-country premiere at the MSO’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl performance on 8 February.
The award announcement was made at a ceremony at Federation Square
on Wednesday 13 November by a judging panel consisting of some of
Australia’s most respected music identities, including MSO
Director of Artistic Planning, Melissa King, alongside Kate
Miller-Heidke, Kutcha Edwards, Professor Paul Grabowsky AO, Professor
Liza Lim and Helen Marcou AM.
Other award winners include:
• Composer, Improviser and Performer Erkki Veltheim – Distinguished Musicians Fellowship 2019
• Vocalist, Songwriter, Musician Mojo Juju – Development Award 2019
• Pianist and Composer Andrea Keller – Beleura Emerging Composers Award 2019
ABC Classic will air a repeat broadcast of the MSO’s performance of Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace this Saturday 16 November at 1pm.