Entries are now open for the ABC Young Performers Awards. The prestigious awards – which began in 1944 and have launched the careers of Australian artists such as Roger Woodward, Simon Tedeschi, Claire Edwardes, Diana Doherty, Amy Dickson and Tamara-Anna Cislowska – are now managed by the philanthropic organisation Music & Opera Singers Trust, who stepped in after Symphony Australia announced in 2015 that they would no longer be continuing the awards.

There are some changes to the awards in their new format, which will no longer include a chamber music round. In addition to significant cash prizes – including a scholarship to study overseas sponsored by the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust valued at $25,000 per year for two years, and the $30,000 Sheila Walker Scholarship – the musician awarded Young Performer of the Year will also be named ABC Classic FM Artist-in-Residence, a position which will provide them with opportunities for recording and broadcast. The Young Performer of the Year will also receive a limited-edition work by renowned sculptor Drago Marin Cherina.

There are also significant prizes and opportunities on offer for finalists, including performance opportunities with the Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, as well as performance opportunities at City Recital Hall in Sydney, Melbourne Recital Centre and the UKARIA Cultural Centre in South Australia.

While past auditions have been held at locations across Australia, in the new competition, entrants are invited to upload video entries before March 6, 2018, when I judging panel led by former SSO concertmaster Dene Olding AM will select 12 semi-finalists.

“These Awards have a unique ability to shine a light on the classical performers of tomorrow” said MOST’s Chairman Roland Gridiger. “We know that opening the competition to digital entry will enable young performers from all over Australia to enter and we look forward to the range and quality of entries.”

The semi-finalists will then perform in public concerts at City Recital Hall on July 16 and 17 next year, before three finalists are selected to perform with the SSO at the Sydney Opera House on July 24. All concerts will be broadcast by ABC Classic FM.

“Awards play a crucial role in developing and supporting the careers of the next generation of Australia’s finest musical talent,” said Richard Buckham, ABC Classic FM’s Content Manager. “We are pleased that we can once more bring this competition to a national audience.”

Entries for the ABC Young Performers Awards are open until March 6, 2018.