Adolph Spivakovsky Scholarship for Composition of Music


Through the generous bequest of Paula Spivakovsky, the Adolph Spivakovsky Scholarship for Composition of Music is provided to promote, encourage and stimulate the art of musical composition in Australia, and offers a cash prize for the composer and a public performance of the winner's work.

In 2017, composers are invited to write a commercially accessible style song/work for voice and 2-3 electronic instruments, submitting a score and recording purpose composed for the scholarship. The total duration for the submitted work should be approximately 7 minutes. The work could be comprised of smaller works that present as a total 7 minutes.

The work must be original. If the work employs copyrighted or previous published material such as samples, lyrics or other music taken from other copyright holders, it must be formally cleared by the candidate prior to submitting.


The total value of the scholarships offered will be approximately $3000.

Open and closing dates

Applications for this scholarship are now open.  This award will close on Monday 25th September, 11:59pm.

Criteria and eligibility

This scholarship is open for award to students who:

  1. have satisfactorily completed first year of a bachelor of Music degree anywhere in Australia; and
  2. are enrolled anywhere in Australia, as a Principal Study Composition student, in a bachelor or higher degree in music performance.

Selection process

The composition requirements for the 2016 round were as follows (this will change for the 2017 round): 

1. Eligible persons are invited to submit a new ensemble work for electronic instruments, submitting a piece purpose-written for the scholarship for a duration of approximately 7 minutes and comprised of between 3-5 individual parts. The work will be performed by an ensemble from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in 2017. Applicants will be required to submit:

  • A sample recording of the work outlined above;
  • A matching performance score for the work. This may include graphic and indeterminate notation but should be clear and include all necessary details for a successful performance of the work; and
  • A brief curriculum vitae including an overview of commissions, publications and performances.

2. The panel will consider the following criteria when making the award:

  • Excellence in compositional craft
  • Suitability of composition for tertiary student performances
  • Innovation and accessibility

The Dean, on the recommendation of the selection committee, will approve the recipient.

Additional requirements

To accept this scholarship, successful recipients are required to write a letter of thanks and provide an artistic biography for the donors or trustees. On occasion recipients will be contacted to provide a progress report.

The 2017 winning composer's work will be performed at a public performance in 2018 by an ensemble from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

How to apply

Refer to the Open and Closing Dates section above for the application link. The link will only be visible during the application period.

You will be required to submit:

  • your CV, and 
  • a purpose written score and matching recording.