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.



In accordance with the Conditions of Entry, the panel will select a shortlist of up to five applicants, who will be required to respond to some short questions relating to their experience and suitability for the Fellowship. The applicants selected for the shortlist will be notified by April 2019, and the successful 2019 Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship recipient will be decided and announced by Friday 10 May 2019.


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