Willgoss Choral Composition Prize 2017-18

Following the success of the inaugural Willgoss Choral Composition Prize, long-term member of the choral program, Dr Richard Willgoss, and his wife Sue have generously provided support for two prizes for 2017-18, offered as a way of supporting and inspiring composers of choral composition of the highest standard, with a focus on creativity and excellence.  

The Willgoss Choral Composition Prize is aimed at encouraging and promoting the creation of an original work for unaccompanied choir, in support of a thriving choral program at UNSW Australia as represented by the Music Performance Unit.

Richard’s keen interest in composition and long-held passion for choral music have resulted in this prize to create a lasting contribution to choral composition in Australia. The Prize is open to all Australian citizens and permanent residents, of any age and offers an opportunity for the winning composer to have their composition come to life. Applicants must submit a Choral Score for an 8 to10 minute original work for unaccompanied mixed choir to be performed by the Burgundian Consort that must include 4 to 6 voice parts including soprano, alto, tenor and bass (SATB) and no more than one division of each vocal part. The Score must be the original work of the entrant and not copied from any other work and must not have been previously performed in public, recorded for public release or performance or rewarded in a previous composition competition or prize.

The winner of the Prize will receive a cash prize of $AUD3000 in addition to the opportunity to have his/her Score performed by the Burgundian Consort in its annual evening recital in September 2018. The jury will also award one ‘Highly Commended’ with prize money of $AUD1000 if a work is deemed suitable.

The Burgundian Consort is an elite arm of the Collegium Musicum Choir that was formed in 1985. It includes only a small number of singers (12-18), mostly (but not exclusively) undergraduate music students, and sings challenging, unaccompanied pieces of music.

There will be only one winner of the Prize, and one Highly Commended awarded.  The Prize opens on 17 July 2017 and closes on 31 January 2018 and applications must be submitted during this period of time.


How the Winner is Chosen

A jury of three will select the winner of the Prize.  The jury will comprise of the Choral Director of the Music Performance Unit (or nominee) as Chair; one member of the academic staff of the School of the Arts & Media (specialising in composition); and one leading choral director from an external organisation, by invitation. The jury may award one Highly Commended to be awarded $1000.

For additional requirements/information and details of the selection process, please refer to the Conditions of Entry. Please apply using the APPLICATION FORM

Richard Willgoss


CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2017-18 WINNER OF THE WILLGOSS CHORAL COMPOSITION PRIZE, OWEN ELSLEY! Owen's work, the stars, will be performed on Wednesday September 19 in the Burgundian Consort's evening recital entitled The Spheres.


Inaugural winner Matthew Orlovich enjoyed the premiere performance of his new work, Sonnet, to the comet of 1825 on Wednesday September 20 2017 in the evening recital of the Burgundian Consort, Musica Dei Donum. Congratulations to Matthew on his work, and for being part of the performance experience.