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.
Now in its 19th year this prestigious award is the only one of its kind. The award is 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 award has become 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.
And the winner is….
The YOUNG COMPOSER AWARD 2023 recipient is Klearhos Murphy whose new work will be performed by Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Choir. When Klearhos was told of his award he said “To be given the opportunity to write original music, and have it performed by such an accomplished orchestra and choir, is truly the opportunity of a lifetime. Willoughby Symphony has consistently been a beacon for young Australian composers through their generous award program, and I am forever grateful and uncontrollably excited to work with them and to have my music premiered by them.”
Klearhos Murphy is an Australian-Greek composer who has worked with a variety of national and international ensembles, such as WASO, PSO, WSO, SSSO, and the Marina Bay Sands Orchestra. His area of specialisation is composing and arranging music for symphonic and chamber music settings, drawing from Western Art, Byzantine and Greek-folk traditions.
When can we hear the winning composition?
The YOUNG COMPOSER AWARD winner’s new work will be performed at Willoughby Symphony’s concert in May which celebrates musical dedications.
DEDICATIONS with Associate Conductor Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith, is an opportunity to hear beloved Concertmaster Maria Lindsay perform Alla Pavlova’s lush Monolog – written as a tribute to Pavlova’s violinist father – alongside a dazzling performance of Australian jazz legend Tommy Tycho’s Violin Concerto, dedicated to Lindsay herself.
This exciting concert at The Concourse in Chatswood, NSW, on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May opens with Béla Bartok’s passionate Romanian Folk Dances and comes to a riveting close with Antonín Dvořák’s epic Hero’s Song.
As Dr Penicka-Smith says “Many composers dedicate their work to someone dear to them, and in ‘Dedications’ we have the very special opportunity to hear the dedicatee, Maria Lindsay, perform the music she inspired Maestro Tommy Tycho to write. We’ve paired his deliciously passionate violin concerto with Alla Pavlova’s haunting ‘Monolog’, which Alla wrote for her father. ‘Dedications’ is also your rare chance to hear Dvořak’s ‘Hero’s Song’, the last major symphonic work this Czech composer wrote. It’s intriguing that we don’t know who exactly the hero is – perhaps Dvořak himself? And of course, we have the world premiere of the Young Composer Award for 2023, a new piece written especially for the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Choir. I’m very excited to reveal what music the Willoughby Symphony has inspired!”