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Paul Lowin Prizes

2016 Paul Lowin Prizes

The nominations for the 2016 Paul Lowin Prizes are now closed.

The Paul Lowin Prizes are among Australia's richest prizes for music composition and a continuing testament to the power of philanthropy in fostering and encouraging new creative works of music. The Paul Lowin Prizes are managed by Perpetual and presented in collaboration with the Australian Music Centre. Nominations are accepted from anyone, including publishers, composers and the general public.

The Orchestral Prize ($25,000) is awarded for a work for modern chamber or symphony orchestra of at least 30 players and 15 independent lines. The work may include instrumental or vocal soloists and/or choral, electronically produced or pre-recorded elements. The Song Cycle Prize ($15,000) will be awarded to a work suitable for chamber performance, using no more than 1-8 independent vocal lines, accompanied by up to 10 instrumental players. At the discretion of the jury, highly commended works may receive a $400 prize.

2016 Paul Lowin Prizes guidelines 



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 $370,000 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.



Recent Awards

2013 Paul Lowin Prizes

The winners of 2013 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on 28 October 2013 at APRA headquarters in Sydney.

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.