Strike A Chord is a new initiative developed by Musica Viva Australia for its 75th anniversary in 2020, with support from Creative Victoria and presented in partnership withMelbourne Recital Centreand theAustralian National Academy of Music (ANAM), together with major media partnerABC Classic.
Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley
said, ‘The Victorian Government is proud to support Strike A Chord,
which will bring Australia’s best young ensembles to the best place to
hear music – Melbourne Recital Centre.’
‘Hosting this national event is another reason why Victoria is the
creative state. We look forward to welcoming the next-generation in
music and giving emerging performers the platform to explore and develop
Secondary-school ensembles from across Australia are encouraged to apply by Thursday 21 May 2020.
Twelve aspiring groups will be chosen to perform for a live audience
and expert jury in the Melbourne Recital Centre during a Finals Weekend
from 4-6 September, competing for cash and development prizes.
The annual championship is open to ensembles of between three and
eight players in any vocal or instrumental combination performing music
that is ‘classical’ in style. Groups should be full-time secondary
school students (or home school equivalent) and have only one player or
singer per part, with no conductor.
To encourage students from every corner of the country to apply,
first-round auditions are via video submission, recorded in front of a
live audience of fifteen or more people. Chamber music specialists,Elizabeth Sellars(Sutherland Trio) and Stefan Cassomenos(PLEXUS) will select the twelve semi-finalists, from at least six states or territories.
‘We hope to hear groups of all kinds, from all over Australia,’ says Musica Viva’s Artistic Director, Competitions,Wilma Smith.
‘Young musicians at every level of musical development can enjoy the
challenge and satisfaction of fine-tuning a piece of music together and
performing it for their friends and family.’
There are major incentives to get involved. Cash prizes for First Prize – The Robert Salzer Prize ($5,000),Second Prize – The Paul Morawetz Prize ($4,000) andThird Prize ($2,500)
will be awarded at the conclusion of the Finals Weekend on 6 September.
The audience will also have a chance to vote for the winner of theAudience Prize ($2,000) throughout the Finals Weekend.
Created to encourage the next generation of Australian musicians to
experience the life-changing possibilities of chamber music, Strike A
Chord will give students the opportunity to explore their potential and
discover the joy in making music with friends, whatever their level of
The jury are looking forward to receiving entries from groups at all musical skill levels, with several encouragement and development prizes to be awarded during early rounds of the championship to promising entrants regardless of progression to the semi-finals.
The ANAM Prize, Melbourne Recital Centre Regional Prize, AMEB Emerging Ensemble Encouragement Award,Australian Composition Prize and Casio Prizewill
all offer entrants at various stages of the championship opportunities
to win coaching, music supplies, concert tickets and additional cash
Musica Viva are also thrilled to be partnering with ABC Classic
to broadcast the finals live on national radio, share the stories of
entrants from across Australia and provide further opportunities to the
winning group through Australia’s only national classical radio
‘The importance of music in the lives of young people is undeniable,
and so too is the inspiration we all take from witnessing the joy and
talent of aspiring performers,’ saysABC Classic Content Manager, Toby Chadd.
‘We’re delighted to be working with Musica Viva to both champion the
most brilliant of the new generation and encourage everyone to take part
‘Across the coming months, ABC Classic will come alive with the
performances and stories of young musicians from all over Australia, as
we bring their music-making to a national and international audience
both on the radio and online.’
For further information, including application criteria, visit: https://musicaviva.com.au/strikeachord/