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Recipients of the 2021 Professional Development Awards

Story Published Wednesday 23 June 2021

Today, we are delighted to announce the 2021 recipients of the APRA Professional Development Awards: Emi Pogoni, Jolyon Mulholland, Lisa Crawley, Maree Sheehan, Phodiso Dintwe, and Valentine Nixon.


Every two years the Professional Development Awards are presented to New Zealand songwriters and composers who have demonstrated a passionate work ethic in their field alongside a commitment to their craft through discipline and motivation. A prize of $5000 is intended to help emerging artists engage in songwriting workshops, music education courses, composer seminars, participate in co-writing opportunities, and attend other relevant activities domestically or internationally.

Plans for this year's winners include local and international co-writing opportunities; songwriter camps; mentorships in advertising, vocal training, and orchestration; education and development in sound production; and guided research in technologies and artificial intelligence.

To determine the recipients, all applications are assessed by an anonymous industry panel. This year's recipients represent a diverse range of New Zealand songwriters and composers, reflecting the ever-growing output of high calibre music in Aotearoa.

"The overall standard of all the applications was really high and as a result, the decision-making process wasn't easy. It was particularly great to see how wide-ranging they were in terms of genre, and to see a strong community focus across a lot of people's plans." (Anonymous judge)

Due to post-COVID circumstances, we decided to make adjustments to the way the PDA awards are distributed. Instead of $30k being split between three disciplines: Pop/Contemporary, Screen/Film, and Classical - six winners were chosen by reflecting the diverse music industry with each recipient receiving $5k.

Recipient info