23 October 2019

Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize

By: admin Category: Uncategorized

Nigel Westlake has won the Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize of $25,000 for his Oboe Concerto Spirit of the Wild, composed for Diana Doherty and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Spirit of the Wild, performed by Doherty and the Sydney Symphony was recorded by ABC Classicand has been a finalist for a number of awards, including Best Classical Album in the 2019 ARIA Awards.

The prize jury said of Westlake’s concerto: “This captivating work was the clear winner for the judges, transporting the listener for the full 20 minutes, transcending technicality and going straight to the heart … a temporal experience.” Westlake also won the Prize in 2013 for his Missa Solis – Requiem for Eli.

The Paul Lowin Prize, which includes an Orchestral and a Song Cycle award, is one of the richest composition awards in Australia. The 2019 awards were presented in a ceremony at the Melbourne Recital Centre on the evening of Tuesday 22 October 2019.

Almost 100 pieces competed for the Paul Lowin Prizes in 2019. Finalists included Brett Dean and Lachlan Skipworth for the Orchestral Prize, and Elliott Gyger and Luke Styles for the Song Cycle Prize.

The $15,000 Song Cycle Prize went to Katy Abbott for a festival piece composed for The Song Company and Melbourne’s Syzygy Ensemble. Hidden Thoughts 1 set to music “secret thoughts” by anonymous women

The Prize was established based on the hand-written will of Paul Lowin which indicated his wish to establish a competition for works by living Australian composers in a “modern but not too modern” style. It took 30 years to establish the Prize due to the lack of clarity in Lowin’s will, but the competition has run every two to three years since 1991.

Diana Doherty performs the premiere of Spirit of the Wild with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Robertson at the Sydney Opera House Feb, 2017.