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Paul Lowin Prizes

2013 Paul Lowin Prizes - winners announced

Elliott Gyger and Nigel Westlake with their award certificates

The winners of 2013 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on Monday evening 28 October in a special ceremony at APRA headquarters in Sydney. Nigel Westlake won the Orchestral Prize ($25,000) with his powerful Missa Solis - Requiem for Eli (2010) for symphony orchestra, chorus and male treble solo. Elliott Gyger’s winning work in the Song Cycle Prize ($15,000) category was giving voice (2012), a cycle of eight songs for mezzo-soprano and ensemble, based on Australian female poets’ words about early childhood and parenthood.

The 2013 Paul Lowin Prizes attracted the highest-ever number of entries in both categories, with 55 entries for the Orchestral category, and 48 for the Song Cycle category. The judging panels found the overall standard of works extremely high. In addition to Westlake’s work, finalists for the Orchestral Prize included works by Brett Dean, Andrew Ford and Mark Isaacs. The Song Cycle Prize finalists were Elliott Gyger, Ross Edwards and Andrew Ford.

Image: Elliott Gyger and Nigel Westlake. Photo © Matt Barber/APRA

2013 Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize

WINNER: Nigel Westlake: Missa Solis - Requiem for Eli (2010) for symphony orchestra, SATB chorus and male treble solo
FINALISTS: Brett Dean: The Last Days of Socrates (2012) for bass-baritone, SATB chorus and orchestra; Andrew Ford: Blitz (2011) for full orchestra with prerecorded sound; Mark Isaacs: Invocations (2011) for cello and orchestra

2013 Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize

WINNER: Elliott Gyger: giving voice (2012) for mezzo-soprano and ensemble
FINALISTS: Ross Edwards: Five Senses - five poems of Judith Wright (2012) for soprano and piano; Andrew Ford: Willow Songs - six poems of Anne Stevenson (2009) for soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto flute/piccolo, clarinet in A/bass clarinet, percussion, piano.

The Paul Lowin Prizes, held every second or third year, are presented by Perpetual as Trustee for the Paul Lowin Trust, and administered by the Australian Music Centre. Independent juries are convened from representatives of the Australian music community, and include composers, performers, artistic directors, conductors, and critics. The judges in 2013 were Nigel Butterley, Brett Kelly and Peter McCallum in the Orchestral category, and John McCaughey, Roland Peelman and Sally Whitwell in the Song Cycle category. Both panels were chaired by Gwen Bennett.

'Paul Lowin's generosity and foresight in establishing a trust in perpetuity will continue to encourage musical composition in Australia - ensuring Australian composers give expression to Paul's passion for generations to come. I would also like to express my appreciation to the judges who undertake the extremely difficult task of assessing the many applications. Without their efforts these awards would not be possible'. stated Andrew Baker, State Manager NSW & ACT for Perpetual Private.

Since their establishment in 1990, the Paul Lowin Prizes have awarded over $370,000 in prizes. Anyone can nominate a work for the Paul Lowin Prizes, including publishers, composers and the general public.


> Guidelines and conditions of entry (pdf) for 2013 are available here for reference purposes only.

History of the Paul Lowin Prizes

After immigrating to Australia in 1939, Czechoslovakian Paul Lowin worked as a wholesale dealer of cloth and dry goods, establishing the Swedish Handweaving Co. on George Street. Although a successful businessman, his work was never a main preoccupation. Mrs L Krips, a neighbour often visited by Lowin, wrote 'We never found out what he was doing for a living, as nothing seemed to him important enough to talk about if he could talk about music'.

Lowin's passion for music was manifest in the hand-written will found when, shortly after returning to Vienna in 1959, Lowin died of a heart attack. The will outlined his dream of encouraging excellence in music composition and his wish to establish a competition for works by living Australian composers.

It took thirty years for an appropriate scheme to be approved by the Chief Justice of NSW but eventually, in 1990, one of Australia's richest prizes for music composition was established. The competition was initially held every three years, but in 1995 further changes by the court enabled the competition to be held every two or three years. Since the first prizes in 1991, over $330,000 has been awarded. Since 1999, the prizes have been presented in collaboration with Perpetual Trustee Company Limited as trustee for The Paul Lowin Trust and the Australian Music Centre.

Perpetual logo with text Funded by the Paul Lowin Trust, managed by Perpetual

Recent Awards

2009 Paul Lowin Prizes

The winners of the 2009 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on 30 October 2009 at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House.

2006 Paul Lowin Prizes

The winners of the 2006 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on October 5 at a special ceremony at The Mint, Sydney.

2004 Paul Lowin Prizes

The 2004 Paul Lowin Prize ceremony was held at Government House, Sydney on 3 November 2004.

2001 Paul Lowin Prizes

The 2001 Paul Lowin Prize ceremony, hosted by Radio National’s Alan Saunders, was held at Customs house, Sydney on 22 October 2001.

1999 Paul Lowin Prizes

The winners of the 1999 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced at the Australian Music Centre Awards, at the Sydney Opera House, on 20 September 1999.