Willgoss Choral Composition Prize

Long-term member of the choral program, Dr Richard Willgoss, and his wife Sue have generously provided support for prize, 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 to 10 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 to SSATBB) with no further division of any 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 October 2020. 

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 (16-18), mostly (but not exclusively) undergraduate music students, and sings challenging, unaccompanied pieces of music.

There will be only one winner of the Prize awarded. 

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. 

Previous winners:

2019-20 | Philip Eames - The Great Unrain

2018-19 | Ronan Apcar - Preludes

2017-18 | Owen Elsleythe stars

2016-17 | Matthew OrlovichSonnet, to the comet of 1825

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Eames BW Photo

The Willgoss Choral Composition Prize is aimed at encouraging and promoting the creation of an original work for unaccompanied choir, in support of a...


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We are thrilled to announce that young composer Ronan Apcar is the winner of the 2019 Willgoss Choral Composition Prize!


Our congratulations to composer Owen Elsley, who has been awarded the Willgoss Choral Composition Prize for 2018!


The inaugural Willgoss Choral Composition Prize was awarded earlier this year to outstanding choral composer Matthew Orlovich, for his work Sonnet, to...

Matthew Orlovich

Entries for the inaugural Willgoss Choral Composition competition ...


We are thrilled to announce that today marks the opening of the Willgoss Choral Composition Prize, a new prize in support of UNSW's thriving choral program.