Our mission is to administer the first national awards system for string players embracing all musical styles for players, composers and teachers of classical, folk, rock, jazz, punk, celtic, country, alternative and bluegrass.
So why do we need awards for fiddlers? Australasia has for some years undergone a quiet revolution in fiddle playing. Leading fiddle fanatics Andrew Clermont, Pixie Jenkins and Ian Cooper with the enthusiastic support of fiddle manufacturer Mark Mitchell conduct an annual awards system that focuses on nurturing, supporting and rewarding the wealth of talent that can be found throughout Australia and New Zealand. Fiddlers of all ages and styles, composers, teachers and groups are invited to contest nine categories.
The growing popularity of violin playing in Australia is in keeping with an international trend, which has not gone unnoticed by managing director of Epoch Musical Instruments, Mark Mitchell. ‘We designed and manufactured our range of coloured instruments during the 1990s and they have become popular with a range of players, from schoolchildren through to professional stage performers,’ says Mark. ‘Our four and five string Epoch professionals are being played by leading performers here and in the US, and this is helping to drive many young people towards the sheer fun of fiddling, with instruments which are easier to play than the traditional violin, and which make an individual fashion statement at the same time,’ he added.
The first Golden Fiddle Awards were presented in Tamworth on Wednesday 19 January 2005, and the annual Awards show has now become a regular alternative main event in the stately old Tamworth Town Hall every year on the last Thursday of the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Entry forms are downloadable from this website usually by March or April each year, with entries closing at the end of October each year. The awards are presented on stage during the Golden Fiddle Show, which usually features a surprise top-line artist.