Rules and Guidelines

Application Process

  • Entrants must submit a five minute audition video via YouTube and complete the online entry form on this website.
  • The audition piece can but does not need to be part of the proposed final concert performance work. It must demonstrate the entrants' ability to perform key sections of the concerto.
  • Soloists, collaborators and ensembles (maximum of 4 people) can enter.
  • There is no entry fee for this competition.
  • The application form is to be submitted online. Confirmation of application will be sent to the applicant via email.


The following materials must accompany each online application:

  1. Prospective soloists/ensembles entering in a section of the Historical Category must submit unedited audition video of a concerto movement or equivalent, representative of the   section the applicant wishes to enter. This may include the proposed concerto. Maximum duration 5 minutes.
  2. Prospective soloists/ensembles/collaborators / innovators entering the Innovative category must submit a show reel of past work highlighting their ability to successfully perform their proposed piece.
  3. Entrants of in the Innovation Category may need to supply supporting documentation including musical sketches, scores and recordings to show proof of concept.
  4. Proof of past or present enrolment in a tertiary institution must be made available to the concerto committee on request.


  • The application period is from May 1 to July 1, 2012.
  • Late applications will not be accepted
  • Applicants can enter more than one section of the competition. A separate application is required for each section.
  • There are no age restrictions.
  • Incomplete applications or applications without necessary enclosures will not be considered.
  • All applications will be reviewed by the organising committee.
  • All applicants will be notified if they have been accepted to appear in the finals within one month of the applications closing.
  • Selection of finalists for the two concerts by the selection organising committee’s selection panel is final.
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  • For this competition, the organising committee defines a concerto as being any work for solo (or ensemble) with orchestral accompaniment.
  • Any concerto movement, or equivalent, such as a Rhapsody or 20th century work for ensemble and soloist, is allowable but must be no more than 15 minutes.
  • A movement from a concerto, or equivalent, longer than 15 minutes must be edited by the applicant to fit within the time limit.
  • Smaller movements in duration can be included, such as a number of movements from a Baroque or a Classical concerto, however total performance time must be no more than 15 minutes.
  • The Historical Category can involve any fully notated concerto composed between 1600 and the 1990s and adhering to the definitions outlined in Sections A, B & C.
  • The Innovative Category includes a concerto or equivalent composed since the 1990s and adhering to the definitions outlined in Sections D, E & F. It may be an original work.
  • Proposed works for the Innovative category must be accompanied with support material to indicate the nature of the work to be performed. This could be examples, score sketches, audio excerpts, video, software required or technological support.
  • Works from the late Romantic repertoire must satisfy the orchestration for early Romantic orchestra. Later Romantic works can be arranged to suit the early Romantic instrumentation.
  • A finalist cannot change the proposed repertoire unless permission is sought from the organising committee.
  • The applicant will sign an agreement to accept the decision of the organising committee and judging panel.
  • Up to eight finalists will be chosen to perform in the two concert finals. Concert 1 will be held on November 30, 2012. Concert 2 will be held on December 2, 2012.
  • Selection will be based on availability of the concerto score, copyright and performance right issues, practicality of proposed original composition, size of orchestra, availability of instruments and resources required for those works using technology.
  • The applicant is responsible for all copyright clearances for any work from the Historical or Innnovative Category.
  • The organising committee has the right to withdraw a work from the competition should that work not be ready for final performance, or be deemed unacceptable in standard when compared with the other selected finalists' works.
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    Rehearsals, Finals Concerts and Judging

  • Total prize money for the competition is AUD$50,000 from which there will be four prizes: $15,000 for the Historical categories; $15,000 for the Innovative categories; $10,000 for Peoples Choice; and a $10,000 Vice Chancellor Award.
  • Finalists may be a soloist or a group. (Maximum of 4 people).
  • Any work selected for the Innovative Category will be required to conform to milestones after selection in order to ensure final delivery for rehearsal and performance
  • Any finalist selected for Section F from the Innovative Category will be required to attend a weekly telematic rehearsal in the six weeks leading up to the final concert.
  • All finalists for Sections A,B,C,D & E will be provided with return economy class air tickets and accommodation to attend the finals concert and rehearsal period (26th Nov- 3rd Dec) in Newcastle.
  • Should competitors choose to arrive before November 26, 2012, the cost of accommodation and all other expenses will be their own responsibility.
  • Rehearsals and concerts for Sections A to E and the Australian component of Section F will be held at the Newcastle Conservatorium Concert Hall, University of Newcastle, corner of Auckland and Laman Streets, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Rehearsal space and accompanist or technological support are provided for all finalists.
  • Successful applicants must provide a properly prepared and bound score for the accompanist.
  • Playing from memory is optional.
  • The finalists for the second concert (December 2) will be provided with practice time in a number of rehearsal facilities and the opportunity to rehearse on stage with the orchestra prior to the final concert.
  • Photography and video recordings are not permitted during competition performances due to venue, copyright and privacy laws.
  • The organising committee has the right to broadcast and webcast live the competition finals or record and videotape for subsequent broadcast, video, or audio recording use. Parts or all of the competition will be made available on the internet. Applicants will be required to sign a release form yielding all rights on such materials to the organising committee, its assignees or licensees. Neither the organising committee nor its assignees or licensees may be held liable for any payments to competitors arising out of materials derived from competition performances.
  • Competitors may not contact or speak with any member of the Jury as long as they continue to participate in the competition. Any violation of this rule may disqualify the competitor.
  • Finalists will be required to provide a biography of no more than 100 words, suitable for publication in the program.
  • Voting will be done collectively and in consultation with the main donor for the competition, Jennie Thomas.
  • Winners for the various sections of the competition will be announced at the second finals concert on December 2, 2012 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
  • The decisions of the judging panel and for the people’s choice winner are final and not subject to appeal.
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