Monash International Women’s Day Composition Commission Prize

Some of the women staff at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music. From left: Professor Deborah Cheetham AO, Dr Nicole Canham, Dr Anna McMichael, Ms Judith Dodsworth, Professor Cat Hope, Ms Aura Go and Dr Louise Devenish.

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music is pleased to announce the inaugural Monash International Women's Day Composition Commission.

The Monash International Women's Day Commission is an annual AUD $10,000 prize providing an opportunity for a female composer anywhere in the world to create a work for a Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music ensemble of their choosing. It is the first prize of its kind in Australia, and women of any age, musical style and background can apply for the commission.

The recipient will compose a work to be performed by some of the leading student musicians in Australia and the school’s internationally renowned staff as part of a Monash University music ensemble.

The composer can choose from the Monash Academy Orchestra, Monash Art Ensemble, Monash Singers, Monash Big Band, String Sinfonia, Gospel Choir or a range of small ensembles and chamber groups.

Head of School Professor Cat Hope said it is a wonderful opportunity for students to engage with leading women composers around the world.

“Not only does this commissioning prize provide equitable opportunities for female composers in the industry, but it also provides our students with the opportunity to learn about and experience first-hand the creative process of today’s living women composers,” Professor Hope said.

“Women remain underrepresented as composers worldwide. This prize seeks to support women composers by offering an opportunity to write music for any one of a large range of stylistically diverse music ensembles.

“It builds on our commitment to women in music as epitomised in our KeyChange pledge.

Find out more about the Monash International Women's Day Composition Commission.

We are pleased to announce the 2020 winner of our Inaugural International Women's Day Composition Commission is Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh, a Taiwanese/Australian composer currently based in the USA. Echo Chamber is a new work for percussionist Louise Devenish and the Monash Sinfonia that will be developed next semester with a premiere planned for International Women's Day in March 2021.

Join Professor Cat Hope and Professor Deborah Cheetham AO as they announce the inaugural Monash International Women's Day Composition Commission and share personal and professional insights into the importance of elevating and empowering women in music.