Music publishing veteran Bob Aird has another prize for his trophy cabinet.

At a recent gathering in Sydney hosted by the Australian Music Publishers Assn. board of directors, Aird was presented with the AMPAL Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Publishing. 

The accolade recognizes Aird’s commitment to the publishing sector Down Under, his work on behalf of songwriters and composers over many years and for his service to the AMPAL board, which he joined in 1986.

The former Universal Music Publishing Australia managing director announced his retirement from the industry in April 2016, after a decorated career spanning some 40 years. 

Aird is just the third recipient of the AMPAL award, following the presentation in 2016 to legendary music company Alberts, now part of BMG, and in 2018 to Brett Cottle, former CEO of APRA AMCOS.

Fellow music publishers paid tribute to Aird. “It has been an honor to have worked with Bob both as a colleague and board member over many years,” said AMPAL deputy chair and managing director of Perfect Pitch Publishing Clive Hodson. “Bob has been at the forefront of the enormous changes that we’ve seen in music publishing, and particularly in copyright protection for publishers and songwriters. His leadership in this area is undeniable”. 

AMPAL GM Matthew O’Sullivan said the association was “grateful for Bob’s vast contribution” and for his “dedication to Australian and New Zealand music publishers, and their songwriter and composer partners. Bob’s retirement will be a great loss to AMPAL and the industry more broadly”. 

Aird held management positions at PolyGram Records prior to helming Rondor Music Publishing Australia. When UMPG acquired Rondor Music from Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in 2000, he became head of UMP Australia and he stayed in charge following UMPG’s 2007 acquisition of BMG. 

The Sydney-based exec is credited with signing and helping nurture the careers of some of Australia’s leading songwriters and artists, from Don Walker (Cold Chisel) to Joe Camilleri (Black Sorrows), Paul Kelly, Potbelleez, Wolfmother, Jet, Lee Kernaghan, and many others. 

Aird will step down from the AMPAL board at the next annual general meeting, due to take place in November.

“It has been a privilege to be part of the AMPAL board which has been so successful in promoting and protecting the rights of Australian and New Zealand music publishers, and the songwriters and composers they represent,” comments Aird. “We really have made a difference. Long may it continue.”

AMPA was formed in 1956 and today boasts more than 55 music publisher members, collectively representing in excess of 90% of the economic value of the music publishing sector.

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