Blakeman National Composition Prize

Who will be the new musical composers, remembered in perpetuity? Will it be one of the students or scholars wandering through the UNSW corridors? Or will it be a member of the wider musical community who creates a concert experience that changes us all forever?

In the spirit of patron Jonathan Blakeman who was known for his ‘passion and logic’, the National Composition Prize will be awarded to the most outstanding composition.

The Blakeman National Composition Prize will encourage and reward music composition at the highest standard nationwide, it will be offered every two years. Applicants are to submit a 12-15 minute piece for Australia Ensemble instrumentation using at least four players.

The prize has no age limit and will be open to all Australian citizens and permanent residents. The finalists will be shortlisted and invited to participate and share their piece in an Australia Ensemble workshop mid-way throughout 2016. The workshops are presented by leading composers and musicologists and held several times a year. The winner will have the privilege of performing their piece at an evening Australia Ensemble Concert in the subscription series in 2017.


The value of the prize offered is $5,000 combined with the opportunity for the winner to perform their piece at an Australia Ensemble subscription series concert in 2017.

Opening Date

November 2015

Closing Date

31 March 2016

Criteria and eligibility

A jury of three will select the winner. The jury will comprise of School of the Arts and Media Head of School (or nominee) as Chair; one member of the School of the Arts & Media academic staff in composition; one member of the Australia Ensemble.

  • Only one first prize may be issued and this may not be shared.
  • One Highly Commended may be issued however there is no prize money attached

Additional requirements/information and selection process

Refer to the terms and conditions (PDF) [81 Kb]

Application form

Please apply using the application form