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SOUNZ Contemporary Award

The SOUNZ Contemporary Award, presented in collaboration with APRA AMCOS NZ, has been awarded since 1998, recognising New Zealand compositions that demonstrate outstanding levels of creativity and inspiration.

Composers who are members of APRA are annually invited to enter up to two works which have been premiered in the previous year. Pieces may have been premiered publicly, recorded for radio broadcast or by a recognised recording label for distribution, or performed by a professional orchestra in a professional development situation. SOUNZ may in its absolute discretion accept an entry outside the eligibility period because of special circumstances. For example when a composition is completed and professionally recorded but not made available for reasons beyond the composer’s control this may qualify as a special circumstance.

The works can be for solo, chamber, ensemble, choral, opera, orchestral, electro-acoustic or any combination of these.

SOUNZ Centre for NZ Music convenes a jury to select three finalists whose entry shows outstanding compositional excellence and inspiration.

The award, consisting of a trophy and cash prize (currently $3,000), is presented each year at the APRA Silver Scroll awards ceremony. The trophy for the SOUNZ Contemporary Award has been designed and made by Auckland sculptor Sarah Smuts Kennedy and depicts a bronze fern frond mounted on a shaped oak and ebony base.

Winners and finalists of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award

2016 Salina Fisher: Rainphase
2015 Chris Watsonsing songs self  
2014 Michael Norris:  Inner Phases    
2013 Karlo Margetic: Lightbox    
2012 Alex Taylor: [inner]    
2011 Lyell Cresswell: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra    
2010 Chris Cree Brown: Inner Bellow    
2009 Ross Harris: Symphony No. 3    
2008  Chris Gendall: Wax Lyrical    
2007 Eve de Castro-Robinson: These arms to hold you    
2006 Ross Harris: Symphony No. 2    
2005 Ross Harris: Labyrinth for Tuba and Orchestra    
2004 John Psathas: Three Psalms    
2003 Gillian Whitehead: Alice    
2002 John Psathas: View from Olympus    
2001 Gillian Whitehead: the improbable ordered dance    
2000 Ross Harris: To the Memory of I.S. Totzka    
1999 Gillian Whitehead: Outrageous Fortune      

1998 Eve De Castro-Robinson: Chaos of Delight III