Sony Music Australasia chairman and CEO Denis Handlin is this year’s recipient of the coveted Ted Albert award for outstanding services to Australian music.
The accolade, decided by the APRA board of writer and publisher directors, will be presented to Handlin next Tuesday (June 23) at the 2009 APRA Music Awards, to be held in Melbourne.
“I am truly humbled and honored by this recognition from APRA,” commented Handlin in a statement. “To be recognized by industry peers and in this case particularly from songwriters and music publishers, is very special indeed.”
Handlin embarked on his illustrious music industry career back in May 1970 with the Australian Record Company (now Sony Music), working in the company’s distribution division in his hometown, Brisbane. He quickly rose up through the ranks and in February 1996 was appointed chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and named to the international committee responsible for the music major’s global strategy.
With Handlin at the helm, Sony Music’s Australian company had international breakthroughs with a string of artists including Men at Work, Midnight Oil, Silverchair, Delta Goodrem and Tina Arena, and in more recent times has built a stable of hit artists such as Pete Murray, Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, Shannon Noll and Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
The Sony Music stalwart held the position as chairman of ARIA for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years, and has chaired the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia and the Australia Industry Chart Committee, and served as vice chairman of the Australian Recording Industry Association.
In the Australia Day 2005 Honours List, the executive was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his “service to the music industry, particularly through the promotion of Australian musicians, to professional organizations, and to the community through fundraising for charitable organizations.”
Handlin is also a founding member of the Sony Foundation Australia, which since 1999 has raised more than $12 million Australian ($9.6 million) since 1999 for youth-based charitable causes. His charitable and community work include fund-raising initiatives for the Children’s Hospital Westmead, Parkinson’s Syndrome Society and the 2009 Victorian Bushfire appeal.
In a statement, APRA CEO Brett Cottle said, “Denis’ name has been synonymous with the success of some of Australia’s best loved acts over the past 25 years. His driving leadership and unstinting support of Australian music artists has helped shape our modern music landscape.”
On the night, Handlin will join an elite group of Ted Albert award recipients, a list which includes promoter Michael Chugg, AC/DC founding members Angus and Malcolm Young and last year’s honoree, veteran artist manager Roger Davies.
The Ted Albert award is named in the memory of the late managing director of Albert Productions, whose conveyor belt of Aussie talent gave the world hits from such acts as AC/DC, the Easybeats and John Paul Young.