Musica Viva Australia has announced the launch of a National Chamber Music Championship in 2020, the organisation’s 75th birthday year. The Championship, launched with support from Creative Victoria and in partnership with Melbourne Recital Centre and the Australian National Academy of Music, will be open to secondary school students from all over Australia. Groups of three to eight will compete for thousands of dollars in prize money in a contest that culminates in a finals weekend at Melbourne Recital Centre next September.

Wilma Smith Wilma Smith. Photo supplied

Violinist and former Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Wilma Smith will continue as Musica Viva’s Artistic Director of Competitions, following the success of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2018, and will be Artistic Director of the new Championship. The Championship will run annually in the years between MICMC (which takes place every four years) with prizes of $5,000, $4,000 and $2,500 for first, second and third places respectively, as well as the ANAM Prize for a deserving string quartet entrant, which includes a week’s tutoring at ANAM, including travel costs. A national teachers’ conference, in partnership with aMuse, will run alongside the finals weekend.