2021-22 Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship Winner Announced

Elizabeth Younan Headshot
Elizabeth Younan, winner of the 2021-22 Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship

The winner of the 2021-22 Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship is Sydney-based composer Elizabeth Younan.

This comes after Younan was joint winner of UNSW's Willgoss Ensemble Composition Prize in 2020, selected through a completely independent adjudication process.

Younan was the clear and unanimous winner of the Fellowship, taking the top spot across a high standard of submissions. Her work was described as “imaginative and technically accomplished in all ways” and “appealing and rewarding to perform, as well as listen to” by the selection panel.

“I am honoured to be the 2021-22 Layton Emerging Composer.” Younan said. “It is the generosity of Emeritus Professor and Mrs Layton and the Australia Ensemble UNSW which makes the creation of new works—the enriching continuation of the Australian musical landscape—an exciting reality. I am thrilled to work with such eminent musicians, and as always, I am excited to learn and grow with every opportunity.”

The Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship is valued at $10,000 for one year, for an Emerging Composer to write two works across the course of a 12-month period.

The objective of the Fellowship is to foster greater engagement in and recognition of composition and chamber music activities at UNSW, and is made possible by the generous support of Emeritus Professor Roger Layton AM and Merrilyn Layton.

As the 2021-22 Layton Emerging Composer Fellow, Younan will undertake mentoring sessions with a leading Australian composer, members of the Australia Ensemble UNSW and the Australia Ensemble Artistic Chair Dr Paul Stanhope. Younan’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.

More Information: Alex Siegers, E a.siegers@unsw.edu.au P 02 9385 5243


About The Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship

The Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship is open to early career composers (defined as being within the first 5-7 years of creative practice).

Applicants were required to submit a portfolio of scores of at least three pieces of music, showcasing 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; with audio material supporting the portfolio of submitted music scores.

Applications were assessed in terms of their musical creativity, originality, and personality, and the demonstration of a high level of craft, technical competence; care and professionalism in the presentation of Scores in the portfolio.


About Elizabeth Younan

Elizabeth Younan (1994) is a composer of Lebanese descent from Sydney. She was a featured Australian composer of Musica Viva’s 2020 and 2018 International Concert Seasons, where her String Quartet No. 2 (2020) and her Piano Sonata (2018) received their worldwide premieres. Accolades include an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2021), two Willgoss Prizes (UNSW and USYD, 2020), and the Watermark Prize as part of the Australian National Kendall Violin Competition (2020).

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition with First Class Honours (2015) and a Master of Music (2018) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she studied with composer Carl Vine AO 
as a recipient of the prestigious Australian Postgraduate Award. As a recent graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music (attended by all students under full scholarship), Elizabeth received the Charles Miller “Alfredo Casella Award” for excellence in composition. She studied with Dr. Jennifer Higdon, Dr. David Ludwig, and Dr. Richard Danielpour as the first Australian composer in history to be admitted to Curtis.

Elizabeth is one of the commissioned composers of both the Sydney Symphony orchestra’s 50 Fanfares project and the ANAM Set. She is also the composer for the new Lost Women of Science podcast, produced in partnership with PRX and Scientific American.  


About Australia Ensemble UNSW

The Australia Ensemble, resident at The University of New South Wales, was founded in 1980 following a proposal put to the University by Roger Covell and Murray Khouri. The group has long been widely recognised as this country's finest chamber music ensemble. Consisting of seven of Australia's leading instrumentalists, the Ensemble is able to engage other outstanding musicians to enable it to present some highly unusual and varied groupings of performers as well as the standard chamber music repertoire. The core activities of the Australia Ensemble UNSW are the annual subscription season and free concert and workshop series at UNSW, although it also frequently appears elsewhere for music societies and other organisations.

The Australia Ensemble UNSW has extensive experience in touring throughout Australia and overseas. It has appeared in every state of Australia for Musica Viva and other entrepreneurs and frequently appears in national music and chamber music festivals. The Ensemble has regularly toured internationally since 1982 and has performed in the USA, the UK, the Soviet Union, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, China, India, South America, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand.