ABC Radio’s Penny Lomax & Maureen Cooney to be honoured at Art Music Awards

Former Editor & Content Director

The founding producers of ABC Radio National’s iconic The Music Show will be presented with the Richard Gill Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music at the 2021 Art Music Awards later this month.

Penny Lomax and Maureen Cooney conceptualised The Music Show 30 years ago.

It ran as a nationwide, multi-genre equivalent of state-based classical programs already on air. For two hours each Saturday morning, musicians came on air to discuss their work and perform.

The Art Music Awards said the two producers were the program’s driving force, responsible for guest selection, researching interviews, pulling strings, editing out gaffes, making vital-on air decisions, and ensuring an emphasis on Australian music.

“The tight-knit power team had an instinctive understanding of the broadcast medium, of one another, and, above all, of music in all its forms. Under their guidance, the first presenter Christopher Lawrence and his successor, current host Andrew Ford, talked to thousands of musicians, from the ridiculously famous to the delightfully obscure, from street musicians to composers of operas. The Music Show pioneered an ecumenical approach, incorporating classical, jazz, traditional, pop, hip hop, music theatre and a myriad of other genres,” the Art Music Awards organisers said.

“It’s fair to say that there has never been a program quite like The Music Show anywhere in the world. For decades, the tireless efforts of these two women promoted new Australian music of all genres to increasingly international audiences.”

The duo said they were both chuffed and proud.

“We thank the APRA AMCOS & AMC boards for rewarding our efforts, and for recognising the contribution that public service broadcasting can make to Australian music and culture, and we thank our ABC colleagues and the myriad Australian musicians who helped us make it,” they said.

The awards take place virtually at 7pm (AEST) on Tuesday, August 24.

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