Winners announced for Johnny Dennis

Music Awards 2019

The four 2019 winners of the Johnny Dennis Music Awards, which acknowledges great achievement in Australian music composition and endeavour have been selected, with each winner sharing in $20,000 prize money and receiving $5,000 each for their projects.  


The winners are composers Larissa Agosti, Nat Bartsch, Alex Crook and Pru Montin.

The Awards are named for Dennis John Mole, known as Johnny Dennis, an English-born entertainer who migrated to Australia and spent his life performing music to entertain people.  They celebrate light music and give the recipients the creative and financial freedom to work on a project of their choice.


Australian Guild of Screen Composers president, Caitlin Yeo, said “We are so pleased that these four composers have been selected as the 2019 recipients of the Johnny Dennis Music Awards. The winners demonstrated a wonderful diversity and application of craft, and I am excited to see their projects come to light.  We wish them every success in their proposals, and look forward to hearing about future developments of their work, and sharing those achievements with our wider community.”

The chosen projects and their composers encompass a diverse range of creative light musical work.  Composer Larissa Agosti will travel to New York to develop her compositional work.

The Award will allow composer Nat Bartsch to tour her Lullaby project across Australia – an album of lullabies for children and parents as well as contribute to a digital and traditional media campaign to promote the tour to a family demographic. A delighted Bartsch said of her win: “I’m thrilled and honoured!!!! How exciting…. what a great way to end the year.”

Singer/Songwriter Alex Crook’s project centres on production and mastering of a 5 track EP of songs, extending his existing repertoire and utilising studio time to film and produce acoustic versions of the songs.

Pru Montin, no stranger to Awards after winning this years’ APRA AMCOS Professional Development Award for Film and Television, has chosen to film music workshops that will inspire young female voices and generate new compositional work.   Currently based in Los Angeles, Montin said “I am so excited. I can’t wait to get that project underway”.

The Awards have run for many years and have helped numerous composers and musicians to develop works that fit the Award criteria and give their projects a public outcome and are administered by the AGSC.



The Johnny Dennis Music Awards were established in perpetuity through the will of Dennis John Mole. The English-born entertainer, known as Johnny Dennis, migrated to Australia in the 1940s and spent his life entertaining and playing music. He bequeathed his entire estate to a suitable trust for the purposes of achieving appropriate recognition for composers of light music. As executor of his will, the late Trustee Mr Malcolm Harrison founded the trust in 1989 and appointed Perpetual Limited as co-trustee. Perpetual Trustee Company Limited are now sole trustee of the awards.