Indigenous soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham AO has won the prestigious Melbourne Prize for Music, a $60,000 prize for work that “demonstrates exceptional musicianship, skill and creativity,” according to the judging panel.

Winner of the Melbourne Prize for Music, Deborah Cheetham AO.

Winner of the Melbourne Prize for Music, Deborah Cheetham AO.Credit:

At an awards ceremony in Melbourne on Wednesday night, Cheetham, who is also artistic director of Short Black Opera, became the fifth winner of the Melbourne Prize for Music following Kutcha Edwards in 2016, Brett Dean (2013), David Jones (2010) and Paul Grabowsky AO (2007).

Her work, including Pecan Summer, Dhungala Choral Connection Song Book and Eumeralla, has also created opportunities for Indigenous singers and audiences to engage with classical music.

“Victoria stands proud as a hub for music and this year’s finalists represent the talent of our local industry,” said Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley. “Congratulations to Deborah Cheetham and all of this year’s nominated artists on this well-deserved recognition.”

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