Prize details

Lilburn Trust NZSM Composition Award


The value of the awards offered is at the discretion of the jury, and may vary from year to year.

Closing date:

No application required


A jury of three experts in the field of composition and performance will choose the winners from amongst the works presented at the annual Lilburn Trust NZSM Composers Competition Concert, usually held in September/October. The jury will be present at the concert and will collectively select the winners immediately following the concert. The winners will be announced at a ceremony following the concert.


History or background of award

This award is funded by an annual grant from the Lilburn Trust, which was established by Douglas Lilburn in 1984. Five New Zealand universities (Auckland, Waikato, Victoria, Canterbury and Otago) receive a grant that is disbursed to winners of an annual composition competition, in order to celebrate excellence in composition at the respective institutions.

Purpose of award

To reward excellence in composition and sonic arts at the New Zealand School of Music. Awards for best performance of a student work may also be given, at the discretion of the jury.

Value of award

The value of the awards offered is at the discretion of the jury, in consultation with the NZSM's Programme Director of Composition (or a delegate), based on a division of the total prize grant offered by the Lilburn Trust (which may vary from year to year).

Number of awards offered

The number of awards (typically 3-6 per annum) is at the discretion of the jury.

Tenure of award


Decision makers

A jury of three experts in the field of composition and performance, appointed by the Programme Director of Composition at the New Zealand School of Music, which may include the current Composer-in-Residence, a member of the Composition programme, and a member of the Performance programme. The jury must arrive at the number and amount of awards through a collective decision, in consultation with the Programme Director of Composition.

How and when do students learn of the decision?

The winners are announced on the night of the Lilburn Trust NZSM Composers Competition.

What conditions are attached to acceptance of this award?


Additional information

Students are expected to write a thank you letter to the Lilburn Trust, to express their gratitude for receiving the award.

Who else has information about this award?

The Lilburn Trust and The Scholarships Office.

For more information about this award, contact:
The Scholarships Office
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
New Zealand

Phone: (04) 463 5113 or (04) 463 5557