One of Australia’s richest composition prizes has attracted an international field of talented composers, following the successful inaugural competition last year.
The winners of the 2016 Isabel Menton Composition Awards will be honoured, along with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Poetry Prize winners, at a ceremony in Melbourne on Thursday 1 September where ACU Melbourne Student Choir will perform pieces from last year’s award.
The choral composition award was set up to recognise the life of Sister Isabel Menton of the Sisters of St Joseph, an outstanding choral musician and teacher.
Composer D. Donald Cervone of Massachusetts has taken away the $4,000 top prize for his new choral work ‘Missa Brevis - Miserere’.
Judges said Cervone produced “a successful work with very good choral writing and formal design, and interesting use of harmonic language. A mature and sophisticated choral work, a cappella or accompanied.”
Sydney’s Owen Elsley won the $2,000 prize for a choral work that can function in a Catholic Liturgical setting with ‘O Sacrum Convivium’, and young Brisbane musician Ross Walker took out the $1,000 prize open to any student enrolled at ACU in 2016 with his work ‘Anthem for Evensong’.
Brisbane’s Melody Thomas-Young so impressed the judges with her work ‘How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place’ she is receiving a special merit award. The winning works enter the repertoire of ACU’s network of student choirs.
With the theme of ‘mercy’, the award attracted 50 international applications from Armenia, Canada, China, Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US in addition to many from Australia.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Anne Cummins will present prizes to the winners and support ACU’s commitment to fostering excellence in the creative arts.