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The Sue W Composition Prize

The Sue W Chamber Music Composition Prize for 2019-2020

Supporting female composers
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music offers an annual composition prize of $7,000 to support a female composer in their career aspirations.

As part of the initiative to support female composers in their career aspirations, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at The University of Sydney offers an annual composition prize. The prize is sponsored by Mrs Sue Willgoss and Associate Professor Richard Willgoss who support creative art music composition in Australia. The 2019 winner was Samantha Wolf.

The Competition

We invite submission of two works by the composer that best reflect their achievements and ability to compose chamber music for cello and piano. These should be pre-existing pieces. They need not be works for cello and piano, but should indicate the ability to write for such a combination.

Value of the award

There is one financial award to be granted to the value of $7000, half of which will be paid to the winning composer upon notification of the prize, and the other half upon the commissioned work’s completion.  The piece must be completed by 31 May 2020. It will be performed at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra in July 2020 as part of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s Australian Series.

Selection process

Applicants for the Sue W Chamber Music Composition Prize must identify as women and be Australian citizens or permanent residents. Applicants must submit two compositions (or two movements of a composition) for consideration. The scores and recordings must be anonymized.

If the judging panel is of the opinion that the works submitted do not indicate sufficient merit to warrant a commission being offered to any applicant, then the University of Sydney may refrain from making the award.

Permanent staff members of the University of Sydney are not eligible to apply for this competition. The Judging Panel’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding any aspect of the judging process or result. The competition is offered according to the laws of New South Wales.

How to apply

Please complete the online Sue W Chamber Music Composition Prize application form.

Applicants must supply the below, as part of their submission:

  • Scores in PDF format with matching audio recordings in MP3 format of two recently composed works that best illustrate possible writing for cello and piano.

Important note

You must remove all reference to yourself from both the scores and the audio recordings. Any identifying features denoting the composer’s name will result in disqualification.

Closing date: 3pm, Thursday 1 August 2019 AEDST. No late entries will be accepted.


The judging panel will comprise of four members. The panel’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding any aspect of the judging process or result.

The judging panel reserves the right to ask for proof of Australian citizenship or residency from applicants.


The winner of the Sue W Chamber Music Composition Prize will be announced 1 November 2019.

Further information

For assistance with submitting your application or other questions, please contact:
Professor Matthew Hindson
Deputy Head of School and Deputy Dean; Associate Dean (Education)
Sydney Conservatorium of Music