Prize details

NZSM Director's Awards


From $500, up to $2,000 per award. Awards over $1,000 will be paid in two instalments, one payment at the beginning of trimester 1 and one payment at the beginning of trimester two.

Closing date:

The main audition is held in September annually, with follow up auditions held in October/ November. The decision makers are the NZSM Scholarships Committee, which compromises academic representatives from NZSM.


As part of the auditions for entrance into the first year at NZSM, students will be ranked on their performance and top ranked students will receive prizes of approximately $2,000 per student. Additional scholarships of approximately $500 will be available for students experiencing financial hardship.


History and purpose

These awards are aimed at rewarding excellence in musical performance for first year students and are designed to offer support to those experiencing financial hardship.

These awards have been made possible through an endowment from John David North, a retired musician who graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the Victoria University School of Music (NZSM) in 1972.

John was born in Melbourne in 1941, and he spent his early years there. He first played the violin as a boy of nine, taught by his grandfather, Joseph North, leader of the Zelman Orchestra (which later became the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra).

John took up a violin position in the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation Symphony Orchestra (NZBCSO) in 1965. He then developed an interest in the viola, which he felt was better suited to a man with long arms and broad fingers. John subsequently took leave from the orchestra to resume his music studies at Victoria, studying viola with Gavin Saunders.

In 1974 John began his 28-year tenure as a violist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, retiring in 2003.


One year.


If students are offered an award of $2,000, and have also been offered a separate University award of $4,000 or more, they may only accept one. They cannot hold both concurrently.

Students are asked to write a letter of appreciation to thank the school and the family of J D North for this award.