To administer the first national awards system embracing all musical styles, which focuses on nurturing, supporting and rewarding the wealth of violin playing, performance and composing talent in Australia and New Zealand.
For players, composers and teachers of classical, folk, rock, jazz, punk, Celtic, country, alternative and bluegrass violin.
Why do we need awards for fiddlers?
In the words of top Australian fiddler and one of the masterminds of the Golden Fiddle Award, Marcus Holden, Australia is undergoing a quiet revolution in fiddle playing.
In an age where more hawkish pursuits demand media attention, Marcus and other fiddle fanatics, fellow player Andrew Clermont and fiddle manufacturer Mark Mitchell, decided to set up an awards system focused on nurturing, supporting and rewarding the wealth of talent that exists in Australia and New Zealand.
Fiddlers of all ages and styles, composers, teachers and groups, are invited annually to contest eight categories.
“We want to embrace all musical styles and in so doing we will endeavour to unite fiddlers of all persuasions in one great common bond,” says Marcus.
The growing popularity of violin playing in Australasia 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 about 12 years ago, and they have really taken off since we introduced our electric range to the Tamworth audience,” recalls Mark.
“The five-string Epoch professional is now being played on stage by many of the country’s leading performers and this is helping to drive many young people towards the sheer fun of fiddling, with instruments which are easier to play that the traditional violin, and which make an individual fashion statement at the same time.
“We’ve been involved in the No Holds Barred Fiddle Contest in Tamworth for several years and are now delighted to join forces with these great fiddlers to do something inspiring for Australian music,” Mark added.
Entry forms are available on this website and entries close at the end of November each year.
The first Golden Fiddle Awards were presented in Tamworth at the Tamworth Diggers RSL on Wednesday 19 January 2005, during the Fiddlers Festival Concert. The annual Golden Fiddle show now commands a 600 plus audience at the stately old Tamworth Town Hall and is now an established main attraction of the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Board of Directors
|Marcus began studying the violin at the age of eight and his formative years where spent playing classical music as a member of the Canberra Youth Orchestra. From the age of 11 he toured and recorded with choirs, groups and the CYO culminating in a tour of Europe. In his late teens his interest in rock, jazz and blues was sparked by the newly amplified
violin and his career as a soloist began. Moving to Sydney in 1979 to study jazz at the NSW Con, Marcus quickly became the city’s premier fiddle session player, recording well over
400 award winning records, films and jingles working with such luminaries as Jimmy Barnes, Ross Wilson, Diesel, Mark Hunter, Ross Ryan, John Williamson, Richard Clapton, Daryl
Braithwaite and many others.
He is an accomplished composer, producer and recording engineer. Along with three other legendary fiddlers (The Late Ray Schloeffel, Pixie Jenkins, and Andrew Clermont) Marcus formed a loose group of lunatics which eventually became known as the Fiddlers Festival, which is now the most widely recognised fiddle band in Australia.
The band has toured for the Playing Australia Touring Program, NARPACA and Queenslan Arts Council Touring program, were guests of the Brisbane City council for their 150 year
|Andrew is one of Australia’s leading musicians and Bluegrss exponents – a virtuoso on instrument as diverse as the fiddle, the mandolin and the didgeridoo. He has toured extensively around the world and played alongside the top names in music.
He is a three-time National Bluegrass Flatpick Guitar Champion and he shared in the Golden Guitar for ‘Losin’ My Blues Tonight’ in 1987. Andrew’s International Supper Club in Tamworth has grown into a musical institution, and he sources world-class talent from his many world tours.
He has starred around the world with the Fiddlers Festival, the nationally awarded group Dya Singh, Totally Gourdgeous, Terra Australis bush band, Celtic Conundrums and The Borderers.
He has been recognised by his peers, having been granted the Musicianship Award at the new Frances Folk Festival.
Chairman of Directors
|Through a friendship with a leading Tasmanian engineer and inventor, David Sugden, and encouraged by rave reviews from serious world class violinists, Mark took on the development and marketing of the Epoch violin, now recognised as the first major improvement in strings technology in 400 years.
He has showcased the technology at the big music exhibitions in the USA, Italy and Australia and now, with the input from an elite team of R & D specialists, sound engineers and craftsmen, his small factory in Southport Queensland produces a dazzling array of strings, from the quarter size student acoustic violin to the now famed five string professional electric, the viola, cello and double bass, with its multiple sound outputs to suit different playing styles. Most of Australia’s top stage players now recognise Epoch as the most inspiring and stable stage instrument because of its robust construction and bold sound reproduction.
In his other life, Mark and his SuperCool Group of Companies import refrigeration and automotive air conditioning parts and technologies and wholesale throughout Australia. He is a recognised expert in vehicle air conditioning and sits on several national boards which administer and influence governments on skills programs, refrigerant and environmental legislation.