APRA AMCOS and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC) will honor composer and conductor Nigel Westlake’s four-decade career at the Screen Music Awards next month, presenting him with a Distinguished Service Award at the Australian Screen Awards.
Born in Perth, Westlake began touring the world at age 17 as a freelance clarinetist, bass clarinetist and saxophonist with ballet companies, a circus troupe, chamber music ensembles, fusion bands and orchestras.
In 1984, he was appointed composer-in-residence for ABC Radio National and in 1989 would compose his first film score – for James Ricketson. Candy Regentag. His big break on screen would come through 1995 babeAmong his other film credits Babe: Big in the city, Ali’s Wedding, Paper Planes, Miss Potter, Children of the Revolution And nugget, As well as IMAX films Antarctica, edge, imagine And Solarmax. In television, Westlake’s work includes documentaries, telemovies, news themes and station identities.
Most recently, Westlake scored Robert Connolly’s goal BluebackAlong with writers, directors and producers to present the composer in his honor at the Screen Music Awards.
Westlake’s numerous accolades include a gold medal at the New York International Radio Festival, 11 APRA Awards, two ARIA Awards and five AGSC Awards. He is a two-time winner of the prestigious Paul Lovin Orchestral Prize and was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by the University of NSW in 2013.
In 2008, Nigel 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 Aboriginal communities.
“For more than three decades I have been part of an inspiring community of free-thinking storytellers who share a passion for bringing Australian stories to the screen,” Westlake said.
“Working in films has enriched my life in many ways and I feel blessed to love what I do and do what I love. I am deeply humbled to receive the 2022 Distinguished Service to Australian Screen Awards and would like to express my sincere gratitude to the APRA Board of Directors and the AGSC for considering me a worthy recipient.”
APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston described Westlake as 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 – he is a master. Nigel’s generosity of spirit is matched only by his humility. He is a passionate collaborator, a huge supporter of the screen and wider composing community and committed to philanthropy through the wonderful work of the Smugglers of Light Foundation,” he said.
“As a previous APRA board member, and from a long time ago, Nigel’s impact and influence is far-reaching. We are extremely grateful for Nigel’s decades of service to music and his contribution to Australia’s rapidly evolving reputation as a leading music-making nation.”
APRA AMCOS and AGSC today announced that actor Aaron Pedersen will join Akina Edmonds and Ann Edmonds as hosts of the Screen Music Awards. The event will include feature interpretations of the four scores nominated for Feature Film Score of the Year (Bosch & Rockit, A Stitch in Time, Interceptor And Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly JohnsonPerformed live by the Screen Awards Orchestra and led by Jessica Wells, the event’s musical director.
The Screen Music Awards will be held at the Forum Melbourne on November 15.