UNSW inaugurates $5000 national music composition prize

Entries have opened for UNSW’s inaugural Jonathan Blakeman National Composition Prize to encourage and reward music composition at the highest national standard.

Australia Ensemble

The Australia Ensemble will perform the winning piece. Image Quentin Jones.

Entries have opened for UNSW’s inaugural Jonathan Blakeman National Composition Prize to encourage and reward music composition at the highest national standard.

Many Australian composers lead a precarious existence, says leading composer and UNSW Professor of Music Andrew Schultz.

“Prizes such as this offer recognition and financial support for composers in an incredibly competitive field,” says Professor Schultz.

“We hope that it will become an award of great status and recognition for the successful composers.”

The prize was created by an endowment in 2013 from UNSW’s former vice-president of finance and operations, Jonathan Blakeman, who died last year.

Professor Schultz said Mr Blakeman had a passion for new music and was deeply interested in music of technical and aesthetic complexity.

The biennial $5000 prize has no age limit and is open to all Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Finalists will be shortlisted and invited to participate and share their compositions in an Australia Ensemble workshop, next year. The winning piece will be performed by the Australia Ensemble in its 2017 concert series.

The endowment also covers a music composition prize for UNSW students that will be offered in alternate years, starting in 2017.

Applications for next year’s prize close in March, 2016.

For more information visit the website.