ASQ and Sydney Dance Company win major US music award

Australian String Quartet and Sydney Dance Company on stage

The Australian String Quartet’s co-commissioned work with the Sydney Dance Company takes out the top award for Best Classical Record in the world’s largest independent music celebration, The Libera Awards.

Grammy Award winning composer Bryce Dessner, the Australian String Quartet and Sydney Dance Company, have won the 2022 Libera Award for Best Classical Record for their release under independent label 37d03d of Impermanence/Disintegration.

Co-commissioned by the Sydney Dance Company and the Australian String Quartet, contemporary composer Bryce Dessner (founding member of iconic American rock band The National) created this score for choreographer Rafael Bonachela’s critically acclaimed work Impermanence, which premiered in 2021 and is currently touring Australia.


“I am honoured and humbled to be recognised alongside the incomparable Bryce Dessner and the extraordinary Australian String Quartet with this award. Bryce’s emotionally powerful score was originally co-commissioned by Sydney Dance Company and the Australian String Quartet for my work Impermanence, and to receive this award is a tremendous thrill.”

Organised by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), the Libera Awards was established in 2012 as the centrepiece of ‘Indie Week’ – the organisation’s annual music business conference. The annual awards show recognizes labels and artists who are free from traditional corporate control.

“It is an honour to have received this award in recognition of our collaboration with Bryce Dessner and the Sydney Dance Company. We are indebted to Rafael Bonachela, Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company, for his vision in bringing this project to life and to Bryce for his exhilarating score.”

In taking out this award Dessner, the Australian String Quartet and Sydney Dance Company join a phenomenal list of boundary-breaking artists including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Courtney Barnett, Elliott Smith, Badbadnotgood, Pixies, The National, Amyl and The Sniffers, Erik Hall, Jean-Michel Blais, Mavis Staples, Beth Gibbons, Orville Peck, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Perfume Genius, Charles Bradley, FKA twigs and more.


The award-winning Impermanence/Disintegration features music from Impermanence, a work by Rafael Bonachela, featuring Bryce Dessner’s composition, Impermanence, commissioned by Sydney Dance Company and Australian String Quartet (by arrangement with Chester Music Ltd, Wise Music Group).

Impermanence was commissioned with assistance from the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, commissioning partners, and generous supporters, as follows:  The Neilson Foundation Antoinette Albert, Don & Veronica Aldridge, The Berg Family Foundation, Paul Brady & Christine Yip, Jillian Broadbent AC & Olev Rahn, Jane & Andrew Clifford, Manuela Darling, Chum Darvall AM & Sonja Woodwell, Susie Dickson & Martin Dickson AM, Helen Pagnin & Angie Ellis, Bahar Etminan & Herbert Appleroth, John Griffiths & Beth Jackson, Janet & Michael Hayes, Alicia K Kemp, Joan Lyons, Jules Maxwell, In memory of Nola McCullagh, Janet McLachlan, Didy McLaurin, Catriona Mordant AM & Simon Mordant AO, Paris Neilson & Todd Buncombe, Rebel Penfold-Russell OAM & Ian Low, Dominique Robinson, Bernard Ryan & Michael Rowe, Jeanette Sandford-Morgan OAM, Penelope Seidler AM, Ezekiel Solomon AM, Allegra Spender & Mark Capps, Bianca Spender & Sam McGuinness, The Ian Wallace Family Bequest, Kathy White and Carla Zampatti Foundation. Commissioning Partners: The Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Araluen Arts Centre, Art House Wyong, Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Canberra Theatre Centre, Capitol Theatre Tamworth, Civic Theatre (City of Newcastle), Darwin Entertainment Centre, Frankston Arts Centre, Glasshouse Port Macquarie, Griffith Regional Theatre, Lighthouse TheatreWarrnambool, Mildura Arts Centre, Orange Civic Theatre, Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Theatre Royal Hobart & Ulumbarra Theatre (Bendigo Venues & Events).

Special Thanks
Thank you to Dale Barltrop, Francesca Hiew, Christopher Cartlidge, Stephen King, Michael Dahlenburg, Rachael Tobin, Anohni, David Chalmin, Bob Scott, Dodgy Sound, Stephen Snelleman, Kobalt Music Publishing, Antony and The Johnsons, Rough Trade 2008 and Remote Control Records.

Sydney Dance Company