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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
music & performance AUSTRALIAN AWARD WINNERS The Veronicas The Veronicas comprise two savvy sisters who are an international pop success with their own clothing line. They have won the Channel V Australian Artist of the Year twice, in 2006 and 2007, won the best Australian artist at the MTV Australia Awards in 2008 and were nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award in 2009. The Vines The Vines featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 2002 with the words "rock is back". Their first album debuted at number three in the UK, and sold almost two million copies. They have performed at festivals in the UK including Reading and Leeds. The Whitlams The Whitlams are a Sydney-based pop band that have been entertaining audiences for almost 20 years. Their last album debuted at number one in Australia and was their third album in a row to sell one million copies. Famous songs released by the group include No Aphrodisiac and I Make Hamburgers. Delta Goodrem At 25 years of age, Delta Goodrem is one of Australia's most loved female singers. One in every 20 Australians owns a copy of Goodrem's first album, Innocent Eyes, which was top of the Australian charts for 29 weeks. Keith Urban The Australian-raised musician has influenced the Nashville country music scene and become an international star with millions of album sales. Kylie Minogue After a stint on the TV show Neighbours, Kylie Minogue has had a hugely successful music career. Locomotion was the highest selling single of the 1980s. She now has a loyal fan base in Australia and the UK. Silverchair Silverchair have had more number one albums than any other band in Australia. They won the MTV International Viewer's choice award twice and a World Music Award in 1996 for being the world's highest selling Australian group. The Wiggles The red, yellow, purple and blue Wiggles have a cult following and are part of children's lives around the world. Since releasing their first album in 1991, the Wiggles have sold 23 million DVDs and seven million CDs worldwide. ABC Classic FM's live music director, John Crawford, says Australia's classical music scene is among the best in the world. "For a small country outside the traditional geographic centres of classical music, Australia is immensely successful," he says. "Australia has about 3000 composers active, and many devote themselves entirely to earning a living this way. It is a compositional environment quite extraordinary in its size, breadth of scope, age range and stylistic variety." Australia also has many successful classical musicians who are recognised on the world stage. Violist, conductor and composer Brett Dean is an award-winner. Sydney-born and London Royal College of Music trained Richard Bonynge conducts opera around the world. Composer David Hirschfelder won a BAFTA for best original score for Strictly Ballroom, and was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his score for Shine. "Australians populate the classical music industry across the globe," Crawford says. Australia has six professional symphony orchestras, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra which has toured Europe, Japan and the US to acclaim, and the Richard Tognetti headed Chamber Orchestra, described by The New York Times as "musical bliss'. Its opera company, Opera Australia, is ranked the second busiest in the world. According to Crawford, Australia's "freedom of thinking and capacity to innovate makes us the envy of more traditional centres". Marion Rannard e greatest Australian pub rock band, however, has been too big for any pub for several decades now. AC/DC is undoubtedly the biggest rock band in the world and even today, as their individual ages circle 60, they ll stadiums around the world with a sound that refuses extravagance or adornment (although guitarist Angus Young still performs in the cheeky schoolboy uniform he's long favoured). Let ere Be Rock is one of their signature hits, and it's a mo o they've always adhered to. It's helped them sell a phenomenal 200 million albums worldwide over the last 35 years. Whatever the genre, there are several unifying qualities shared by Australian musicians. One of the most it's rare that they celebrate themselves in music. Even in hip-hop, a style in America dominated by self- aggrandisement, Australian acts such as market leaders Hilltop Hoods reject ostentatious boasting for verses about everyday struggles. Interestingly, this common touch is why Australia lags behind in pop music, especially for the teenage audience. Australians don't do the magical pop ideal of incandescent celebrity well. at's why Australia's most successful pop artist, singer Kylie Minogue, lives and works in London. She has an Australian work ethic and determination, but this country doesn't have the pop infrastructure -- songwriters, stylists, remixers -- that she makes such good use of. Globalisation will reduce the distance between Australian music and the rest of the world, but it will never be fully bridged. As only Australia could have produced a gure as darkly invigorating as Nick Cave, the rock 'n' roll hellion scouring the Bible for stories of damnation who's become an international icon, it's the same with the next generation. Empire of the Sun, for example, have found something serene in that vast Australian space, drawing utopian images out of their electro-pop songs. Wolfmother, by contrast, make bracing rock 'n' roll, taking the original British heavy metal sound and remaking it from the Southern Hemisphere. Receptive international audiences will never be able to narrow down what the Australian sound exactly is, but they're always going to know it when they hear it. CLASSICAL TRADITION interesting is the perceived lack of arrogance -- Australia is a utilitarian nation and local bands give o that air internationally, they come across to audiences as approachable gures. ey don't distance themselves from fans and Australian Chamber Orchestra violinist Aiko Goto. Getty Images Getty Images