Willgoss Ensemble Composition Prize

Dr Richard Willgoss, and his wife Sue have generously provided support for this prize, offered as a way of supporting and inspiring composers of Ensemble composition of the highest standard, with a focus on creativity and excellence. 

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

Richard’s keen interest in composition and long-held passion for music has resulted in this special one-off Ensemble Composition Prize. This 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.


How To Apply

Please see full Terms and Conditions, which detail that applicants must submit:

(a) a digital portfolio of scores of at least two and no more than three pieces of music composed by the entrant, one of which is demonstrably related in instrumentation to the nominated ensemble as indicated on the application form, and one of which must be from the last three years; and

(b) submit audio material if available supporting the digital portfolio of submitted music scores, by hard copy or links. Material may be recordings or MIDI representations of the works

With your portfolio, submit a completed Application Form, which includes providing:

1) 150-250 word biography that may be used in program notes, concert programs or other publicity.

2) A short outline of the creative idea for the new work for the nominated ensemble (<150 words).

3) A description of what specific elements of your compositional voice you are keen to develop in this new work.

The winning applicant will be commissioned to compose a short, new original work for either: SATB choir with piano or organ; String ensemble; Brass and percussion ensemble; or Woodwind ensemble, as outlined in the Terms and Conditions, for which they will receive a cash prize of $AUD2,500 in addition to the opportunity to have their score performed in 2021.


  • There will be only one winner of the Prize awarded.
  • Applications open on July 1, 2020 and close on August 2, 2020.
  • A winner will be announced by August 23, 2020, following a selection process decided by a panel (as in the Terms and Conditions):
  • The winner will need to be available to compose this new work and deliver all parts and scores in PDF to the Music Performance Unit by Sunday January 10, 2021.

How the Winner is Chosen

The winning applicant will be decided by a selection panel of three members 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:

• Head of Cultural Networks & Communities, or nominee;

• Staff member from the UNSW School of the Arts and Media, or nominee;

• Invited external music expert, as appropriate.