Nominees for the 2024 AIR Awards have been announced. Presented by the Australian Independent Record Labels Association, the winners will be announced at a ceremony held at the Queen’s Theatre in Adelaide on 1 August.

This year, two more awards are added into the mix: Independent Music Video of the Year, and Independent Producer of the Year.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra: Chopin and the Mendelssohns. Photo © Nic Walker

“The Malinauskas Government is proud to support the AIR Awards and Indie-Con Australia Conference. It is fantastic to be hosting the awards here in Adelaide again – Australia’s only UNESCO City of Music – and I congratulate all of the nominees,” said Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to recognise the work the independent music industry does in providing talented and emerging artists and music businesses with a platform to share their art with a wider audience.”

In the running for this year’s Best Independent Classical Album or EP is the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti for Beethoven Symphonies 1, 2 & 3 ‘Eroica’. Recorded at City Recital Hall in 2020, the album is the first Australian recording of these symphonies on original instruments. String players from the Australian National Academy of Music also perform on the track, among them Harry Ward, James Morley and Ruby Shirres.

Karen Jacobson’s pop-orchestral album Misogyny Opus has also been nominated. The work sets Julia Gillard’s 2012 speech, which resonated around the world, to music.

Guitarist Slava Grigoryan’s Gratitudes was recorded for the Hush Foundation, an organisation that engages with the performing arts in order to support sick children and their families. Each of the works is a “note of thanks” for healthcare workers who worked through the pandemic.

Signs of Lifea collaboration between renowned English author Neil Gaiman and Fourplay String Quartet, was nominated for a 2023 ARIA Award for Best Classical Album.

Russell Morris’s live album The Real Thing: Symphonic Concert was recorded at Hamer Hall on 4 July, 2023, and offers arrangements of some of his greatest hits for orchestra as arranged by David Hirschfelder.

The Fourplay String Quartet. Photo © Jordan Munns

Best Independent Jazz Album Or EP nominees include Lance Gurisik‘s Cull Portal, featuring Jeremy Rose on tenor saxophone. Devised during the 2021 COVID lockdown, live instruments were recorded remotely.

Mike Nock‘s ARIA-nominated album Hearing is the veteran jazz pianist’s first solo album since 1993’s Touch. Across his career, he has recorded over 35 discs with various collaborators.

Five-piece Perth band Grievous Bodily Calm, noted for fusing jazz improv with electronic production, has been nominated for its  Cascades.

Feed the Fire, by Melbourne-based quintet The Rookies, was nominated for PBS FM’s top 10 albums for 2023. It’s the group’s first full-length original record.

The final nominee is Elixir for its fourth studio album, A Small Shy Truth. Elixir is a trio comprising vocalist Katie Noonan, saxophonist Zac Hurren and guitarist Benjamin Hauptmann.

Other notable nominations include Kate Ceberano’My Life is a Symphony for Best Independent Pop Album or EP. In 2023, Ceberano performed the album live around the country, backed by orchestras including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Perth Symphony Orchestra.

The full list of nominees can be found here.

Get Limelight's free weekly round-up of music, arts and culture.