Prizes awarded during the 2021 Grand Final

First Prize - The Robert Salzer Prize $5,000

Awarded by the Robert Salzer Foundation who are long-term supporters of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and who have been instrumental in helping to shape the first two years of Strike A Chord. In awarding this prize, Musica Viva also recognises the Robert Salzer Foundation’s ongoing commitment to this important initiative and their desire to provide meaningful opportunities for young musicians in Australia.

Winner: Amogus Trio

Second Prize - The Paul Morawetz Prize $4,000

This prize is supported by the Morawetz family in memory of Paul Morawetz who was one of the founding figures of Musica Viva in Melbourne. It acknowledges the importance of nurturing young talent and a generation of concert artists.

Winner: JPMS Ensemble Spirito

Third Prize - The Laura Brown Prize $2,500 - In memory of Laura Brown

The Laura Brown Prize is supported by Beth Brown and the late Tom Bruce AM in memory of Beth’s mother.

Winner: False Relations

Audience Prize - The Peter Druce Prize $2,000

This generous prize of $2,000 cash is provided by the Druce family in memory of the late Peter Druce. Peter was a Melbourne lawyer and Arts patron with a particular interest in music and supporting young artists. 

Winner: JPMS Ensemble Spirito

Australian National Academy of Music Prize

This prize is awarded to an outstanding string quartet that ANAM faculty believe will benefit from an intensive residency at the institution.

The winning ensemble will receive 1 week’s coaching at ANAM in 2022, culminating in a performance opportunity. The prize will also include travel and accommodation in Melbourne for the residency week.

Winner: Piccolo String Quartet 

ANAM have very generously decided to give an additional Encouragement Award this year, comprising a tutorial and performance in one of their chamber music classes.

Encouragement Award - James Campbell String Quartet

All groups that do not receive 1st, 2nd or 3rd place prizes will receive a Finalist Award certificate plus $500 cash.


3MBS Prize
Awarded by the Jury to the top two groups from Victoria. A live to air performance on 3MBS for the winning ensembles in one of their concert programs at a date suitable for both parties, including streaming + interview + social media. Ensembles will also receive a copy of their performance recording.

Winners: Trio Finifugal and VDub

Galston Concerts Prizes

Up to two ensembles will be chosen from Strike A Chord 2021 Finalist and/or Reserve Finalist Ensembles from the Greater Sydney Area, based on availability and in consultation with The Galston Concerts management. Performances will take place at the 2021 Galston Gala on November 21*. Winning ensembles will be offered a performance fee of $200 per player with a maximum fee payable of $1,000 per ensemble.

*Should COVID-19 events and/or restrictions impact the Galston Concerts Gala in 2021, reasonable attempts will be made to reschedule the performances in 2022

Winners: Bartholdy Trio and Piccolo String Quartet 

Bendigo Chamber Music Festival Prize
Awarded by the Jury, in consultation with BCMF Artistic Administration, the winning group/groups will be invited to give a 45min performance as part of the 2022 Bendigo Chamber Music Festival (travel and accommodation provided). In addition to the performance, the group/s will have opportunities to engage with professional artists in an educational context including participation in masterclasses and attendance at other Festival concerts.

Winners: Amogus Trio and Piccolo String Quartet 

Sutherland Trio Mentorship Prize
A 12 month mentorship with the Sutherland Trio, awarded by the Jury in consultation with Sutherland Trio to a piano trio that shows commitment and potential to take their ensemble to the next level.

The prize includes 8 x 1-hour coaching sessions, Unlimited access to any Sutherland Trio rehearsals, and a collaborative performance with Sutherland Trio to be held at Melbourne Digital Concert Hall. Travel to Melbourne may be subsidised where required.

Winner: Amogus Trio

Flinders Quartet Mentorship Prize
Awarded to a string quartet that shows commitment and potential to take their ensemble to the next level. The prize includes mentorship sessions with Flinders Quartet members; sessions on group development, career planning and concert presentation; performance in a Flinders Quartet concert; travel to and accommodation in Melbourne if required; and the opportunity to observe the Flinders Quartet in rehearsal throughout the year.

Winner: Piruli String Quartet

Gandel Australian Music Prize
Generously supported by Gandel Philanthropy, this prize is awarded for the best performance of an Australian work, which may include student compositions. In addition to receiving $2,000 cash, if the winner of this prize is not already in the final, the group will be invited to give a special performance at an appropriate time during the finals event. Travel to Melbourne will be subsidised where required.

Winner: False Relations


First Round Prize Winners

Melbourne Recital Centre Regional Prize
For a deserving group that resides outside one of the major capital cities.

Winner: Shearwater Trio – NSW

AMEB Emerging Ensemble Encouragement Award
$1,000 worth of sheet music for a group that shows a need for additional resources.

Winner: Bellissimo Flute Ensemble - QLD

Innovation Award
$500 cash for the ensemble who throws the most interesting light on what chamber music can be. 

Winner: Baroque Ensemble - SA

The Spirit of Chamber Music Prize
$200 cash Generously provided by Elizabeth Sellars, in memory of John and Lesley Sellars. For a group who the jury feels in some way touches upon the essential character and/or spirituality of a work, and does not progress to the Semi Finals.

Winner: MLC School Vocal Consort - NSW

At the discretion of the Artistic Director, one or more prizes may be awarded in each of the following categories. $200 cash each prize: 

Keyboard Prize (Sponsored by Yamaha Music Australia)
The Open School Piano Quartet - ACT
MLC 40 Fingers - NSW
Fraser Piano Trio - QLD
Bradford Trio - VIC
Triola Trio - VIC

Woodwind Prize (Sponsored by Yamaha Music Australia)
The Dented Crooks - ACT
Sydney Grammar School Double Reed Trio - NSW
The King's School Clarinet Quartet - NSW
The Klezmer Trio - NSW

Brass Prize (Sponsored by Yamaha Music Australia)
St.George Brass Band Junior Quintet - NSW
Darwin High School Brass Trio - NT
Adelaide Trombone Quartet - SA

String Prize (Sponsored by AUSTA)
Lam Quartet - NSW
Tetivo Trio - NSW
Von Einem String Quartet - NSW
Dragon Brothers - NSW

Percussion Prize
JPMS Ensemble Ritmico - QLD
JPMS Ensemble Vivo - QLD

Vocal Prize
The 'Illegal' Choir - NSW
MLC School Vocal Consort - NSW

Mixed Ensemble Prize
The MLC School Trio - NSW

Junior Prize
Finesse Strings - WA
Year 6/7 String Quartet - NSW
Scotch College Two Pianos Junior Ensemble - VIC
100 Strings - WA


Yamaha novice section winners 

Yamaha First Prize - $400
Ensemble Fontegara - QLD

Yamaha Second Prize - $250
Darwin High School Saxophone Ensemble - NT

Yamaha Third Prize - $150
Spinifex Senior String Ensemble - QLD

Honourable Mentions
Amethyst String Quartet - QLD
Sapphire String Quartet - QLD
Blackburn High School Vocal Ensemble B - VIC
Winter Harps - VIC
Allegro String Quartet - NSW