Announcing the 2011 APRA NZ Professional Development Award recipients

Wednesday 9 March 2011, 7:27AM

The Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are a permanent fixture on the APRA cultural calendar. From the beginning the awards have been met with such enormous enthusiasm and interest that APRA now offer eleven PDAs across New Zealand and Australia to promising music writers and composers.

APRA NZ presents the PDAs biennially recognising excellence in three compositional genres: Classical, Pop Contemporary and Film & TV. The recipients each receive $12,000 cash to achieve their professional development and advance their careers.

“It’s a pleasure to encourage our writers to make bold and exciting plans and then invest in making those plans happen”, says APRA’s Director of NZ Operations, Anthony Healey.

The assessment of each PDA submission is completed by an independent committee, who were again impressed by the high level of the applicants this year.

“Each of the recipients is uniquely talented, and has immense potential for the future,” says Anthony Healey. “We look forward to seeing this potential develop.”

APRA NZ congratulates its 2011 Professional Development Award winners:

  • Stephen Gallagher (Film & TV), Miriam Clancy (Pop/Contemporary) and Simon Eastwood (Classical)

Film & TV: Stephen Gallagher (
"...Stephen has proven his talent in the area of film/television composition and the PDA will allow him to gain invaluable practical experience and skills, to advance his career even further..."

Stephen Gallagher is an award winning composer, music and sound editor. He works on feature and short films, commercials, documentaries, theatre, dance and television. His feature film credits include Music Editor for Neill Blomkamp’s ‘District 9’, Sound Designer for Manuel Huerga's documentary film ‘Son & Moon’, and worked as Supervising Music Editor for Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lovely Bones’. He holds an honours degree in Composition from Victoria University of Wellington where he studied under composers John Psathas, Jack Body and Ross Harris. For his professional development, Stephen is to work with and be mentored by Nancy Allen, who is one of the best music editors working in film today. Whilst working with Nancy, Stephen will also have the opportunity to directly work with composers of a high calibre, whilst being mentored for the role as music editor, providing a real world insight into the process of film scoring at all stages.

Pop Contemporary: Miriam Clancy (

"...Miriam works within a hard-to-define genre of music and is an accomplished songwriter. She is ‘magic’ and has the potential to be a true international talent..."

Hailing from Foxton, indie songstress Miriam Clancy has been quietly winning fans after unanimous critical acclaim for her debut release Lucky One. But it's her second album Magnetic that lit a fire beneath her underground following, gaining highly coveted 4 & 5 star reviews and elbowing its way into a number of ‘Best Music Of The Year’ lists by industry critics. Currently working towards her 3rd record and having been recently hand-picked to work with renowned international composer Mario Grigorov (‘Precious’) on a NZ film soundtrack, Miriam Clancy has plans afoot and is indeed one to watch. The PDA win will allow Miriam to travel to the USA. This will include collaborating with Chicago-based John Sirratt from Grammy award winning band Wilco, and his own project The Autumn Defense. Miriam has also been offered the opportunity to work with a Chicago organisation called Art Work Projects, who work in conjunction with established humanitarian and human-rights advocacy organisations. The project will involve creating new works for the organisation, co-writing with Mario Grigorov.

Classical: Simon Eastwood (

"... Simon is a gifted composer. Completing the programme at the Academy is the perfect environment for Simon to hone his craft and to develop his future career as a composer...”

Simon is a composer and bass player from Wellington. He picked up the double bass in his last year of high school, initially as an extension to playing bass guitar in rock and jazz bands. Three months after he first received lessons in classical bass from NZSO sub-principal Vicki Jones he was accepted into the performance programme at Victoria University. He went on to complete a Bmus in Performance Double Bass and Composition in 2006, and then a Bmus with first class honours in Composition in the following year. Simon has had compositions performed by a range of well known performers, including Dutch percussionist Arnold Marinissen and the New Zealand String Quartet, and has won numerous awards for composition. Simon will utilise the PDA support to finish his master’s programme at the Royal Academy of Music in London. This programme provides numerous collaborative projects and opportunities, as well as local and international commissions. The Academy is widely regarded as one of the best specialist institutions in the UK, with many graduates continuing to become very important composers of the future.

The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) collects and distributes licence fees for the public performance and communication (including broadcast) of its members’ musical works. Public performances of music include music used in pubs, clubs, fitness centres, shops, cinemas, festivals, whether performed live, on CDs or played on the radio or television. Communication of music covers music used for music on hold, music accessed over the internet or used by television or radio broadcasters.

The Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) collects and distributes ‘mechanical’ royalties for the reproduction of its members’ musical works for many different purposes. These include the manufacture of CDs, music videos and DVDs, the sale of mobile phone ringtones and digital downloads; the use of production music and the making of radio and television programmes. Since 1997, APRA has managed the day-to-day operations of the AMCOS business.

APRA’s and AMCOS’ joint objective is to secure the fairest and highest level of payments for our members, provide the strongest defence possible of their rights and the best customer service for both our members and our licensees.