Callum O’Reilly has been announced as the recipient of the 2019 Fine Music 102.5 and Willoughby Symphony Young Composer Award, which comes with a prize purse of $5000. The 22-year-old from Western Australia will also see his Winter Suite for Solo Trumpet and Orchestra premiered by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra in June, with the performances to be recorded for future broadcast by Fine Music 102.5. Supported by Fine Music 102.5, Willoughby City Council and APRA AMCOS, O’Reilly beat 18 composers to take home the top prize.

Callum O’Reilly. Photo supplied

“I’m excited and humbled to have been selected from such a strong field across Australia. Hopefully in this performance I can communicate something special to the audience through my music,” O’Reilly said. “I knew for sure that I wanted to compose orchestral music after listening to Mahler’s Second Symphony. There is something about the sound of the orchestra and the concert hall atmosphere which makes me feel at home.”

Dedicated to his two close friends, O’Reilly’s Winter Suite for Solo Trumpet and Orchestra takes its influence from 70s jazz, hip-hop, minimalism and classical music. In three sections, the composer has said the structure represents his three favourite aspects of winter: wind through leaves, rain, and warmth from friends.

“I am pretty spiritual about my music and I believe it’s a great way to explore things deep within myself that I can’t express using words.”

O’Reilly was one of four composers to take part in West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s prestigious Composition Project in 2018. He is currently writing his honours thesis at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and is co-arranging music by The Doors for an upcoming Perth Symphony Orchestra concert.

Melbourne composer Daniel Riley received the $500 APRA Encouragement Award as this year’s runner up. The Young Composer of the Year Award, the only national award of its kind in Australia, is now in its 14th year.

O’Reilly’s Winter Suite for Solo Trumpet and Orchestra will be performed by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra as part of its Pastoral concert on June 1 and 2