William Barton receives Distinguished Services Award

William Barton receives Distinguished Services Award
William Barton
© Keith Saunders

William Barton has received the Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music at the 2023 Art Music Awards.

Presented by APRA/AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre, the award recognises Australian musicians who have had a profound impact on the Australian music scene. William is the youngest ever recipient of the prestigious award.

“It’s a significant award from my peers, which makes it all the more special, to be acknowledged by my colleagues. I share this success with my Indigenous community, the Kalkadunga people and those abroad; always connected” Barton told Limelight magazine.

A heart-felt standing ovation greeted Barton as he took to the stage to accept his award, which he dedicated to his mother, Aunty Delmae. Barton spoke of his voice as a message stick, a sacred place from which to share connectedness across cultures. He recognised the many people with whom he has collaborated, saying they are a part of the journey - a symphony of stars in the universe.

William Barton’s strong and soulful presence was again felt on stage as he performed his new composition Marrapurtangkali with Veronique Serret, Aunty Delmae, Sam Anning, and Matthew Hoy, a co-composition with Veronique Serret which includes the words of Aunty Delmae. Once again, the audience was spell-bound.

From his early beginnings to his current status as highly sought after composer and performer, Barton‘s contribution was recognised and honoured. A common thread throughout has been Barton‘s  mission to integrate indigenous music with that of western and other cultures. His efforts have changed and enhanced our musical landscape.

Barton‘s compositional output spans from solo works, small and large ensembles through to full symphony orchestra. Some of his key commissions include Didge FusionBirdsong at DuskApii Thatini Mu MurtuOf the EarthPetrichor, and Gift-Our Breath of Life.

This award adds to William’s other achievements which include 2012 ARIA award winner for best Classical Album & 2023 QLD Australian of the Year.

Congratulations William Barton from all at Wise Music.