About the Competition

It's a concerto competition - but not as we know it


The University of Newcastle is proud to present 'The International Space Time Concerto Competition' – a concerto competition with a difference.

The Space Time Concerto Competition celebrates not only the historical form of the concerto but also showcases exciting, contemporary interpretations encompassing the latest digital technology. Through the inclusion of Historical and Innovative categories this unique competition seeks to reshape traditional perceptions of the concerto. It will recognise and reward both excellent musicianship and cutting-edge creativity.The finals concerts will be held at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music Concert Hall on 30 November and 2 December, 2012. Eleven finalists will play with specially selected musicians in two orchestras formed for the event, as well as an internet-linked ensemble spanning five countries.

The lucrative competition offers more than $50,000 in prize money and has been made possible through the generosity of long-time University benefactor Jennie Thomas with further donations from Friends of the University. The prizes are:
• $15,000 Winner of the Historical Category
• $15,000 Winner of the Innovative Category
• $10,000 Peoples' Choice Prize
• $10,000 Vice Chancellor's Prize 

The size of the prize pool and the original nature of the competition has drawn international attention and attracted entrants of the highest calibre.

Entrants compete in two categories, Historical and Innovative.

The Historical Category, for solo entrants only, features music from the Romantic (1820 - 1900) and Modern/Postmodern eras (1900 - 1990).

The Innovative Category (1990 - 2012), open to solo and group entries, encourages musicians to demonstrate creativity in performance, visualisation and the use of digital resources. This includes modern remixes of traditional compositions, the use of non-traditional instrumentation and mixing of musical genres.

In keeping with the contemporary theme of the event, entries for the competition and auditions for the orchestras were submitted online via YouTube or through the competition website. Entries opened on 1 April 2012 and closed on the 1 July 2012. 

Why call it Space Time?


The celebrated composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein was right when he said "any great work of art readapts time and space." The International Space Time Concerto Competition does exactly that. Music exists in time and sounds in a space, be it real or virtual. The competition will showcase the evolution of approaches to space and time in the concerto form. The placement of the audience is crucial to these approaches. The spatialisation of musicians has always been a feature of the visually engaging concerto form. Think of the juxtaposition of soloist against choir, ensemble against ensemble or instrumentalist against orchestra. In each of these, the visual and sonic focus of the audience oscillates from one to the other. Now, with the advent of the internet, this facet of performance can extend beyond the stage, beyond the concert hall, to link musicians and artists in disparate venues – even in different countries. The interaction of time and space in the concerto throws up an incredible number of artistic possibilities and the International Space Time Concerto Competition invites entrants to explore these new avenues for dynamic, cutting-edge presentation. It is a celebration of the concerto form – both as we have known it and as we imagine it might be in the future.