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23 September 2009

Paul Lowin Prizes 2009 - finalists

David Chisholm's work is shortlisted in the Song Cycle category of the 2009 Paul Lowin Prizes Image: David Chisholm's work is shortlisted in the Song Cycle category of the 2009 Paul Lowin Prizes  

[Updated 8 October - titles of shortlisted works and review links added]

The shortlists for the 2009 Paul Lowin Prizes have been announced: Carl Vine's Symphony No. 7 Scenes from Daily Life, Julian Yu's Sinfonia Chaconnissima and Mary Finsterer's In Praise of Darkness have been shortlisted in the Orchestral category, and Nigel Butterley 's Orphei Mysteria, Andrew Schultz's To the Evening Star and David Chisholm's The beginning and the end of snow made the list in the Song Cycle category. The winners will be announced in a special ceremony on Friday 30 October 2009 at The Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, Sydney.

The judging panels found that the overall standard of works for 2009 was extremely high. Long and ambitious pieces for large instrumental ensembles contrasted with works for smaller forces in an impressive array of current Australian composition. One panellist described a work as being 'a breath of fresh air, unpretentious and without artifice...'

The Paul Lowin Prizes, held every two to three years, award two outstanding Australian music compositions. The Orchestral Prize ($25,000) is 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. Highly Commended works now also receive $500 (1.) and $300 (2.) in each category.

Czechoslovakian-born Paul Lowin was a successful businessman who moved to Australia in 1939 and worked as a wholesale dealer of cloth and dry goods, establishing the Swedish Handweaving Co. on George Street. His 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. 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.

Further links

Paul Lowin Prizes (Australian Music Centre)
Media release: Paul Lowin Prizes 2009 - finalists (pdf)
Review of Chisholm's The beginning and the end of snow on Resonate
Review of Butterley's Orphei Mysteria on Resonate
Carl Vine's Symphony No. 7 - review 1 (Perth) & review 2 (Adelaide) on Resonate

The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.


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