The annual championship will give secondary school students from all
over Australia the opportunity to experience the joy of making chamber
music. Open to ensembles of between three and eight performers, the
competition will enable 12 groups representing at least six states and
territories to travel to Victoria for a finals weekend livestreamed from
Melbourne Recital Centre from4 – 6 September 2020.
A national teachers’ conference running alongside the finals weekend in partnership withaMuse will focus on inspiring and relevant ways to support music in teaching practice.
Victorian Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley,
said, ‘The Victorian Government is proud to support the National
Chamber Music Championship, which will foster Australia’s next
generation of music talent and support music teachers from across the
‘The Championship, which will bring talent from across the nation to
Melbourne, is yet another demonstration of Victoria’s vibrant music
culture and our reputation as the creative state.’
‘In choosing to celebrate Musica Viva’s 75th year with the National
Chamber Music Championship and encouraging young people to engage with
this rewarding artform, we affirm our commitment to making Australia a
more musical place,’ adds Musica Viva CEO, Hywel Sims.
‘We are dedicated to bringing the joy of chamber music to everyone and
supporting the musicians and audiences who will make chamber music
flourish for the next 75 years.’
At the core of NCMC is an emphasis on the lifelong enrichment,
personal satisfaction and social connections created by chamber music. A
unique feature of the championship is also the encouragement of broad
participation. Ensembles of any configuration are encouraged to apply,
including one-to-a-part vocal groups, ensuring opportunities for those
without access to instruments and specialist teachers.
Renowned violinist, chamber musician, teacher and former Melbourne Symphony Orchestra concertmaster,Wilma Smith,
continues as Musica Viva’s Artistic Director of Competitions after the
successful delivery of the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music
‘I hope we will attract groups of many kinds, hopefully some of the
standard formations such as string quartets, piano trios, quartets and
quintets, wind quintets, brass quintets, but also more eclectic
combinations and some unusual instruments,’ says Smith.
‘I hope students of any level will have a go. We have designed this
competition to be as accessible as possible, including through travel
subsidies for those who need help to get to Melbourne. Chamber music
doesn’t have to be just for the elite, although I hope we attract plenty
of those with professional aspirations too.’
These measures to tackle geographical disadvantage are central to the
development of the new championship. First round video auditions,
performed in front of a live audience, as well as help with finding
appropriate equipment, venues and local supporting organisations will
ensure both regional and metropolitan groups can participate.
Melbourne Recital Centre CEO Euan Murdoch says,
‘Providing a stage for talented musicians of all ages is in the Centre’s
DNA. Complementing the Centre’s concerts, masterclasses and learning
programs, the National Chamber Music Championship provides more
transformative performance opportunities for Australia’s young
musicians, including playing in Australia’s premier live music venue,
Melbourne Recital Centre. We’re delighted to nurture Australian talent
and bring passionate young artists and audiences together.’
Alongside cash prizes for first ($5,000), second
($4,000) and third ($2,500) place during the finals weekend, additional
prizes will be awarded to deserving applicants of all levels, including
those that do not reach the semi-final stage.
The ANAM prize for a deserving string quartet entrant will offer a
week’s worth of coaching at the institution and a performance in their
unique portable venue, Quartetthaus, including travel costs.
‘ANAM is delighted to partner with Musica Viva Australia and
Melbourne Recital Centre in delivering the National Chamber Music
Championship,’ saysNick Bailey, General Manager of ANAM.
‘We’re excited to meet next year’s crop of chamber music champions and
we applaud Creative Victoria and Musica Viva for their commitment to
sharing the benefits of music with young Australians everywhere.’
‘Long term, I’d love to see hundreds of groups entering every year;
kids of all abilities and levels getting together to play in live,
local, first rounds all around the country, and then in regional finals
before the national finals, so the championship is like a popular
sport,’ effuses Smith.
‘Looking forward decades into the future, generations of kids will
have grown up with a love and knowledge of chamber music. Many will
still be playing and socialising regularly as amateurs and some as
professionals. Most of them will be avid audience members too!’