Young Composer Award

2023 Award winner

Congratulations to Klearhos Murphy, the winner of the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composer’s Award for 2023!

The world premiere performance of his composition will take place on Saturday 20 May at 7pm and Sunday 21 Sunday, 2023 at 2pm by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra during their concert Dedications. The concert is to be conducted by their acclaimed Associate Conductor Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith.

Young Composer Award ~ Klearhos Murphy - Prayer for Makronissos
Highly Commended Award ~ Paul Nicolaou - and those of us so small beneath the stars
Encouragement Award ~ Alexander Maltas - He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Young Composer Award

The Young Composer Award is an annual national competition providing young Australian composers the rare opportunity to compose for a full orchestra then have their new work performed, and recorded live, by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra.

This prestigious award is in its 19th year and has been a springboard for a generation of composers. In addition to prize money, the recipient gains valuable experience and contacts refining their original score alongside a respected conductor and accomplished orchestra.

The only award of its kind in Australia, it’s hosted by Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and the orchestra gratefully acknowledges benefactor Mark Wakely’s generous support of the award in memory of Steven Alward.

The Young Composer Award winner will receive:

  • A cash prize of $5,000
  • Two premiere performances of the winning composition with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra.

There will also be awarded a

  • A Highly Commended Award receiving  $1500  (without a performance)
  • An Encouragement Award receiving $500  (without a performance)

Cash prizes are not transferable.


To enter, applicants must be:

  • Under the age of 30 (born on or after 1 January 1993)
  • An Australian citizen
  • Currently residing in Australia

Entry deadline

Entries for the 2023 Young Composer Competition have now closed.

Enquiries regarding entry or conditions should be directed to or by phoning 02 9777 7634