2019 Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship

The Australia Ensemble aims to foster greater engagement in and recognition of composition and chamber music activities at UNSW. Support from Emeritus Professor Roger Layton AM and Merrilyn Layton have facilitated a UNSW composition fellowship to be offered for the second time in 2019, valued at $10,000 for one year, for an Emerging Composer to write chamber music works as part of the Australia Ensemble’s outreach program.

Terms of Fellowship

The Fellowship will have a value of $10,000 for one year to be paid as a stipend and will be awarded in 2019. The fellowship will engage a selected emerging composer to write two works across the course of a 12-month period – inclusive of one piece for a small ensemble and one piece for a large ensemble, as determined by UNSW.

The Emerging Composer will also be eligible for mentoring sessions with a Composition staff member from the UNSW School of the Arts and Media, member/s of the Australia Ensemble, and an external composition mentor. The Emerging Composer’s works will feature in at least one workshop that will be made available to current UNSW students, UNSW staff and members of the public.

How to Apply

The Fellowship will be appointed to a permanent resident or Australian citizen and still in an early career stage (defined as being within the first 7 years of creative practice). Each applicant will be assessed on a submitted portfolio of least three pieces (scores and audio) two of which must be purely instrumental (ie, no voices), one of which must be for chamber ensemble (up to 6 players), and one of which must be from the last three years. Please refer to the Conditions of Entry

1. Complete the Application Form including all Applicant details.

2. Submit a portfolio of works sent with the Application form, including a CV and short biography to:

Sonia Maddock
Head of Cultural Networks & Communities
Music Performance Unit
UNSW Sydney NSW 2052

OR Digital applications should be sent to: australia.ensemble@unsw.edu.au

Applications will be accepted between Monday December 17, 2018 and Sunday February 17, 2019.

Please note that the Music Performance Unit will be closed from December 20, 2018 until January 2, 2019 so no email correspondence will take place.


The recipient of the Fellowship shall be decided upon by a selection panel which will be made up of persons holding the following positions, or persons who in UNSW’s opinion are their successors or hold equivalent positions or their nominee.

  • Artistic Chair of Australia Ensemble, or nominee of the Australia Ensemble
  • Composition staff member from the UNSW School of the Arts and Media
  • Invited external chamber music expert, as appropriate

UNSW may prescribe rules for the conduct of meetings and the making of decisions by the selection panel.

The selection panel may decline to apply money if it considers that there are no candidates who are suitable or of sufficient merit.

Please refer to the Conditions of Entry for complete Selection criteria and process.

  • Submission Deadline: Sunday February 17, 2019
  • Please ensure you include a completed Application form with your submission
  • Audio submissions may be sent via links to australia.ensemble@unsw.edu.au (Dropbox, Soundcloud or similar) or in hard copy


Our congratulations to composer Nicole Murphy, who was awarded the Australia Ensemble Emerging Composer Fellowship for 2018!

Nicole Murphy’s music has been described as “exquisite and sensitive” (Sydney Morning Herald), “strong and compelling” (Loudmouth) and “full of exhilarating tension” (Arts Knoxville). She has been commissioned by eminent arts organisations including the Australian Ballet, the Royal Academy of Dance (London), Experiments in Opera/Symphony Space (New York), the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Wild Rumpus (San Francisco), Chamber Sounds (Singapore), and the Definiens Project (Los Angeles).

Nicole is the recipient of various awards, including the ICEBERG International Call for Scores (2017), Nief Norf International Call for Scores (2016), the MAFB International Commissioning Prize (2015), the Theodore Front International Orchestral Prize (2013), and the Definiens C3 International Composer’s Award (2011). She was chosen as the young composer to represent Australia at the 30th Asian Composers League Festival in Tel Aviv (2012).

Nicole is the Composer-in-Residence at the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries. She holds a PhD from the University of Queensland (2017), and a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music (Hons I) from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.



Photos below from the Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship 2018 workshop session with Nicole Murphy, composition panel Dr Paul Stanhope and Dr John Peterson, and members of the Australia Ensemble @UNSW Geoffrey Collins, flute; David Griffiths, clarinet; and Ian Munro, piano; with guest artists Airena Nakamura, violin, and Paul Stender, cello

Photography by Keith Saunders 2018