Allan Zavod Performers’ Award

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance at Monash University is pleased to continue the Allan Zavod Performers’ Award in 2021 for an outstanding performance of an original composition that fuses classical and improvisatory performance and compositional elements. The work must be composed by the performer. A cash prize of $5000 will be awarded to the musician who demonstrates considerable skill performing in both the classical style as well as a style of music that embodies improvisation in its practice. A runner-up will receive a cash prize of $1000.

Entry and judging criteria

This prestigious award is open to all tertiary music students enrolled in an Australian University who have been a resident in Australia for a minimum of two years at the closing date. Applications can be solo performers or perform with up to four (4) additional artists.

The Award will be judged on the quality of the performance, which is to be delivered by video, with the ultimate goal being that the performer-composer demonstrates elements of classical performance as well as performance in a style of music that embodies improvisation (for example jazz, world music or contemporary art music). Video submissions must be unedited and presented in one continuous take of the performance.

The three finalists’ video submissions will be presented online as part of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance Lunchtime Concert Series, on Thursday 16th September 2021. A winner and runner-up will be announced at the end of the online presentation. The judging panel will consist of Professor Cat Hope, Zac Zavod and Dr Paul Williamson. The decision of the judges is final, and the panel reserve the right not to award the prize(s).

Submission requirements

Applicants are invited to submit three (3) document materials that showcase the performance and composition of the original work, plus a descriptive blurb.

  1. Video of performance of the original work (.mp4 or .mov)
  2. Score of the original work (.pdf)
  3. No more than 250 words describing the original work (via the google form)

Submission deadline

Applications are now closed. Three finalists will be announced no later than Friday 10th September 2021.  


The Allan Zavod Performers’ Award was created by Dr Allan Zavod and is generously supported by Mr Noel O’Brien and Mr Brendan O’Brien. We would also like to thank Christine Zavod for her ongoing support and generosity in the provision of this prestigious award.


Applications are now closed.