Published 15 Aug, 2021

Musica Viva Australia have announced Amogus Trio as the winners of Strike A Chord 2021. Hailing from Queensland, the ensemble has been awarded the Robert Salzer Prize, worth $5,000.

Strike A Chord is a national chamber music championship for secondary school ensembles. The competition was created to encourage the next generation of Australian musicians to experience the life-changing possibilities of chamber music, giving students the opportunity to explore their potential and discover the joy of making music with friends.

This year’s competition was presented online to ensure all ensembles across Australia were able to compete amid border closures and travel restrictions. Twelve ensembles competed in the Grand Final, with ensembles performing live in their home states where restrictions allowed.

The 2021 jury was comprised of Melbourne Recital Centre CEO, Euan Murdoch; Professor in Violin and Head of Strings at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Michele Walsh; Ensemble Offspring’s Claire Edwardes; mezzo Dimity Shepherd; and pianist and composer Ian Munro.

Musica Viva Australia’s Artistic Director of Competitions Wilma Smith said, “Today’s Grand Final demonstrated that the future of Australian music is in safe hands. Congratulations to all our young musicians for their wonderful performances. Accomplished and inspirational music-making across the board made the jury’s job extremely difficult and signals a bright future for Australian music. The performance from the winning ensemble, the Amogus Trio, demonstrated an incredible level of maturity and sophistication for a student group. We will be watching out for these brilliant young musicians as they go on to forge their careers”.

The winners of the 2021 Strike A Chord Grand Final are:

  • FIRST PRIZE ($5,000) The Robert Salzer Prize
    Amogus Trio, QLD
  • SECOND PRIZE ($4,000) The Paul Morawetz Prize
    JPMS Ensemble Spirito, QLD
  • THIRD PRIZE ($2,500) The Laura Brown Prize
    False Relations, NSW
  • AUDIENCE PRIZE ($2,000) The Peter Druce Prize
    JPMS Ensemble Spirito, QLD

Also presented at the Final was the Gandel Australian Music Prize. Awarded to False Relations from Sydney, for the best performance of an Australian work, this prize recognises the importance of supporting Australian composition.

More than one hundred ensembles across Australia entered Strike A Chord in 2021, with 15 groups competing in the new Yamaha Novice Section, open to groups whose members are playing at a maximum of AMEB Grade 4 level (or equivalent).

Please read the full list of Strike A Chord prize winners here.

CEO of Musica Viva Australia, Hywel Sims, said, “In such challenging times, it’s an inspiration to see the versatility, hard work and sheer talent that has gone into these outstanding performances. Particularly thanks to the teachers, parents and all who have supported these young musicians to take on this challenge.”

Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson MP, said, “I applaud the work that the Musica Viva Australia team, and their many collaborators, have done to ensure that Strike A Chord reached as many students as possible, and to continually adapt to changing circumstances and deliver it flexibly as needed. It is also a testament to the tenacity and resilience of the students and all who’ve supported them.”

Strike A Chord is underpinned by support from Principal Partner Creative Victoria, Strategic Partners Melbourne Recital Centre and the Australian National Academy of Music, Key Philanthropic Partners Gandel Philanthropy, The Robert Salzer Foundation and Yamaha Music Australia.


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