Composition Competition

Submissions for the 2022 composition competition have now closed.

The Sydney University Symphony Orchestra is hosting a competition for composers of all kinds currently enrolled in composition-based courses at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The competition at hand presents one talented composer with the opportunity to have their new, original piece performed and professionally recorded by SUSO live in concert.

The top three applicants will be given a chance to hear their pieces workshopped by SUSO, and given valuable feedback from a live ensemble, which has been hard to come by over the last two years.

The Composition Competition Award winner will receive:

  • A voucher (value TBD)
  • A minimum of 2 rehearsals with SUSO, where continuous feedback will be provided
  • A performance of the work in question, recorded for distribution
  • An invaluable experience and a great time!

Two Runners Up will receive:

  • One rehearsal with SUSO, to workshop their piece
  • An opportunity to work in conjunction with Luke Spicer at the podium
  • Notated parts from each section leader with constructive feedback


To enter, applicants must be:

  • Current enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University of Sydney.
  • Currently residing in Australia.


A new, original composition never before performed, workshopped or published.


Between 5-7 minutes in length.

The 5-7 minutes is allowed to be split up into multiple movements, but they must be coherent as a set and as individual movements, which is up to the composer's discretion.


Full standard orchestra - Vln 1, Vln 2, Vla, Celli, Bass, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, triple winds, and orchestral percussion.


"The depiction of old and new".


Suitable for an intermediate, community-based symphonic orchestra.

For example, In 2019 we played Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Haydn's Symphony no. 104, and Dvorak's Symphony no. 9 as a rough guide for technical proficiency. Don't go overboard with extended techniques - try to balance old and new techniques.

Judging Criteria

Compositions will be judged based on their thematic cohesion, how well the orchestra is employed and integrated, and how enjoyable they are to listen to.


PDF score + audio file (MIDI or MP3).

Key Dates

21st February, 2022

Submissions open.

11th April, 2022

Confirmation of interest due.

9th May, 2022

Submissions close.

20th May, 2022

Results announced.