The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra has announced a brand new composition prize, named for its outgoing Managing Director of 17 years, Nicholas Heyward. The Heyward Prize celebrates Heyward’s contribution to furthering Australian composition across his tenure.

“The TSO is proud to honour Nicholas with the Heyward Prize,” the orchestra’s Outreach and Education Executive Jenny Compton said. “It is our hope that the impetus and excitement this opportunity generates may reflect the enthusiasm, optimism and love for all things Tasmanian that Nicholas shares with us all, every day.”

Nicholas Heyward, Heyward Prize, TSO, Tasmanian Symphony OrchestraTSO Managing Director Nicholas Heyward. Photo: supplied

Applications are now open to composers of any age who are Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents, are currently residing in Tasmania and have been a resident of Tasmania for at least one full year, from May 26, 2017. Applications close April 1, 2019.

The competition brief specifies a work between three and eight minutes long that must be “bright and uplifting” in character and “suitable for education and community concerts, as well as mainstream subscription concerts.” The work must be acoustic only and “not included extended, difficult solos or concerto type structures.”

Up to three works may be selected for a closed reading rehearsal by the orchestra to take place between August and October next year. The winner will be selected by the musicians of the TSO through a confidential voting process and the winning work will be announced late 2019 by composer Maria Grenfell, who heads the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music.

The winning work will be programmed for performance by the TSO within three years of announcement, and the winner will receive a cash prize of $3,000 as well as a professional quality recording by the TSO.

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