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10 September 2020

MOMENTUM III Sue W - COVID-19 Special Commissions

MOMENTUM III  Sue W - COVID-19 Special Commissions

MOMENTUM III - Sue W COVID-19 Special Commissions is a new opportunity for female composers and partnership between the Australian Music Centre and Sydney Conservatorium of Music, generously sponsored by Mrs Sue Willgoss and Associate Professor Richard Willgoss.

In the midst of the restrictiveness of a WW2 prison camp, a composer responded by writing a work that he and three other inmates could play together on instruments that just happened to be available. They made music nonetheless and astounded the other admiring inmates with such uplifting action. The composer was Olivier Messiaen and the work was called Quartet for the End of Time (1941). Today it is now COVID-19 restrictions upon our freedoms that move us to reflect on how we might respond.

The Australian Music Centre has been working hard recently to provide income for composers through new schemes generically called MOMENTUM. Also, as part of the initiative to support female composers in their career aspirations, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney normally offers an annual Sue W composition prize. The prize is sponsored by Mrs Sue Willgoss and Associate Professor Richard Willgoss who support creative art music composition in Australia.

This year, both institutions are working together to offer composition prizes valued up to $10,000 in the form of three commissions of $3,200 each to compose and broadcast new works online. The awards this year are conditioned by restrictions of operating in the COVID-19 pandemic environment. Deliberations will be conducted almost entirely online.

Proposals are invited for composing a new work of duration five to six minutes with a reflection upon the COVID-19 pandemic. The work must be for a group of between two and eight players and for non-wind musical instruments; for the purposes of this Competition, voice is a wind instrument and not to be used. The commissions are for acoustic works only. No electronics, amplification or non-acoustic sound alteration is to be used.

The composition needs to reflect the feasibility of getting the group together to rehearse and perform the new work under COVID-19 safe conditions. We thereby invite submission of one work by composers that best reflects their achievements and ability to compose chamber music for a small group of instruments. It should be a pre-existing piece that has been composed and performed within the last five years. It should indicate the ability to write for such a grouping as they propose.

The proposal must also include a project outline of of no more than 200 words.

The winners of the commissions will compose the music, get it performed and make a video of the performance. That video will then become part of an online concert presentation in which all three winners will be briefly interviewed alongside the videos of their performed new works.

Applicants for these commissions must identify as women and be Australian citizens or permanent residents.

> For full details and a link to online application form, see the MOMENTUM subpage.

Please note that the MOMENTUM II opportunity for early-career artists has a separate selection and application process and an earlier deadline.


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