Paul Lowin Prizes
2019 Paul Lowin Prizes now open for applications
The 2019 Paul Lowin Prizes are now open for applications. Nominations for the Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize ($25,000) and the Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize ($15,000) are accepted from anyone, including composers, publishers and the general public. Entries should be lodged online by 5pm AESTon Sunday 30 June 2019. Shortlisted works will be revealed in mid-July, with a date to be confirmed for the Awards ceremony later in 2019.
Among the most significant composition prizes in Australia, the Paul Lowin Prizes were held for the first time in 1991. Since 1999 the Prizes have been presented every 2-3 years in collaboration between the Australian Music Centre (AMC) and Perpetual, as Trustee of the Paul Lowin Prizes.
Compositions must have been completed not earlier than the closing date for entries in the previous competition (30 June 2016). To preserve anonymity in the judging process, any proper names in the title or other materials which may identify the composer or librettist (where applicable) should be deleted.
For full details and guidelines, please see the 2019 Paul Lowin Prize guidelines.
Applications for the 2019 Paul Lowin Prizes are submitted online. If you have questions about the application process, please send us email.
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 $440,000 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.
Winners of the Paul Lowin Prizes 1991-2016
The winners of 2016 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on 6 December 2016 at APRA AMCOS building in Sydney.
The winners of 2013 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on 28 October 2013 at APRA headquarters in Sydney.
The winners of the 2009 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on 30 October 2009 at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House.
The winners of the 2006 Paul Lowin Prizes were announced on October 5 at a special ceremony at The Mint, Sydney.
The 2004 Paul Lowin Prize ceremony was held at Government House, Sydney on 3 November 2004.
The 2001 Paul Lowin Prize ceremony, hosted by Radio National’s Alan Saunders, was held at Customs house, Sydney on 22 October 2001.
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.