Kutcha Edwards. Image supplied.

Kutcha Edwards awarded the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Music Distinguished Musicians Fellowship

Indigenous Australian singer and songwriter Kutcha Edwards has been awarded the Faculty of VCA & MCM’s inaugural Distinguished Musicians Fellowship Award at the 2016 Melbourne Prize for Music awards ceremony held in Melbourne last night.

The Fellowship provides the winner with a commercial engagement with the Faculty to the value of $20,000 to teach, lecture or hold concerts. The winner was selected by the Melbourne Prize 2016 judging panel from the winners and finalists of the four main prize categories.

Edwards, a Mutti Mutti man, was also the recipient of the 2016 Melbourne Prize for Music, valued at $60,000, awarded to a Victorian musician whose work has “made an outstanding contribution to Australian music and has enriched cultural and public life”.

“I honour all musicians that have given me the insight into my responsibility as a singer and songwriter,” said Edwards as he accepted the Fellowship. “My job is to pass on what I know in this game that we play called music, and I’ll endeavour to do that until my very last day.”

Professor Barry Conyngham, Dean of the Faculty of VCA & MCM, was delighted to present the award to Edwards.

“To be able to offer a fellowship to someone who we believe can contribute to the education of our up and coming musicians is a great opportunity for the Conservatorium,” said Professor Conyngham. “I thank the Melbourne Prize board for selecting someone who we all believe can develop, increase and enhance the activities they will be involved in over the coming years.”

Tw Faculty alumni were also award winners on the night. Composer Kate Neal (BMusPerf 1996) was awarded the inaugural Beleura Award for Composition 2016, worth $25,000, which recognises a composition of outstanding musicianship, skill and creativity.

Matthias Schack-Arnott (BMusPerf 2011) received the $16,000 Development Award, awarded to an emerging musician, aged 30 years and under, who demontrates outstanding musical talent early in their career.

Visit the Melbourne Prize for music website for more information about the 2016 awards and winners.

Banner image: Kutcha Edwards. Image supplied.