It is with great delight that Musica Viva Australia presents Strike A Chord for its fourth iteration in 2024. Returning after a year’s hiatus following the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the national chamber music competition forms an integral part of Musica Viva Australia’s education and emerging artist pipelines. Strike A Chord encourages school-aged musicians to discover and develop the joy of playing in small ensembles, with all levels of experience welcomed. Interested groups of 3 to 8 musicians from far corners of Australia can submit their entries online, with applicants also able to apply for a free one-hour coaching session with one of Musica Viva Australia’s expert chamber musicians.

Many past participants and prize winners of Strike A Chord continue to delight and wow audiences around the nation, using the competition to springboard their emerging artistic careers. Beatrice Colombis, part of the winning ensemble for the inaugural 2020 Competition along with her brother and cousins, is currently studying violin at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Professor Goetz Richter. After winning the Sydney Conservatorium String Concerto Competition in 2022, Beatrice performed the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra last year and will be joining the Australian Chamber Orchestra as an Emerging Artist for a second time in 2024.

Beatrice reflected on the impact Strike A Chord had on her musical aspirations:

'I grew up playing with Dylan, Hanna and Jamie. Coming together [as Cousin Quartet] for Strike A Chord was the first time we played together as a quartet, and my first serious quartet experience. Preparing for Strike A Chord and all the opportunities that emerged afterwards have absolutely fuelled my love of chamber music - I’ve since played in many string quartets with various groups, and I would say that it is my favourite thing to do as a violinist and has developed my musicianship more than anything else.'

To any budding participants for this year’s competition, Beatrice has the following words of wisdom:

'Performance opportunities are so valuable to young musicians and chamber music competitions are not a common occurrence in Australia so I would encourage people to make the most of it! Even the process of putting together an audition is a really great experience. More than anything, remember that chamber music at its heart is fun and a wonderful chance to make music with your friends!'

'It's so heartening to see our Strike A Chord alumni going on to other exciting musical achievements like specialist tertiary studies, success in competitions, and development programs like AYO, ACO and others. We are thrilled that Musica Viva Australia's Strike A Chord has played a part in so many students' musical journeys, and hope that this inspires future participants to reach for the (musical) stars!'  

Wilma Smith, Artistic Director of Competitions, Musica Viva Australia

It is through the generosity of our benefactors that Musica Viva Australia can continue to inspire and reward excellence, enthusiasm, and engagement in the chamber music space for school students in Australia. If you are interested in supporting Strike A Chord, or making a more general gift toward our work, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact Strike A Chord Competitions Lead Irene Ryder at for more information.

Your support makes this possible. Thank you.