Australian composer and conductor Nigel Westlake will receive the Distinguished Service to the Australian Screen Awards at the 2022 Screen Music Awards ceremony.
Celebrated for scoring some of the most iconic film music including Babe, Antarctica and Miss Potter, as well as for his contributions to music in concert halls, Westlake has received multiple awards in the past, including 11 APRA Awards and two ARIA Awards. He is one of Australia’s best-known living composers with a career spanning more than four decades.
Westlake was humbled by the news of the award, saying, “Working in film has enriched my life in so many ways and I feel blessed to love what I do and do what I love.”
APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston said: “Nigel Westlake is a national treasure. His evocative scores and compositions fill screens and auditoriums, creating a third dimension of magic and richness in a uniquely Australian way.”
Born in 1958 into a musical family in Perth, Westlake has been composing, performing and touring since a young age.
In 1987 Westlake was ABC’s composer-in-residence, writing for both TV series and radio. His composition The Kudmirah Fanfare won him a gold medal at the New York International Radio Festival and is currently the theme music for ABC Classics. Lunchtime concert.
In 2008, Westlake founded the Smugglers of Light Foundation with his family in memory of his son Eli, to promote cultural awareness and empowerment through music and film in Indigenous communities.
Westlake’s most recent screen work has seen him team up with director, producer and screenwriter Robert Connolly for the feature film Blueback, based on Tim Winton’s short story. Connolly will present the “honour” to Westlake at the 2022 Screen Music Awards, presented by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC). The awards ceremony will be held on November 15, 2022 at the Forum in Melbourne.