Now in its 16th year, the NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composer Award is a unique opportunity for young New Zealand composers to have their compositions workshopped and performed by the NZSO, as well as recorded by RNZ Concert.

An expert composer-mentor is selected to mentor up to 8 young composers through the process to help ensure the highest level of success. The piece of music will be performed by the NZSO and led by conductor Hamish McKeich, who has a speciality and passion for contemporary and experimental music.


If selected, those who live outside of Wellington will have flights and accommodation provided for so that they can attend the award ceremony on November 16, at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. Workshops will be arranged around 8 weeks before the final revision deadline so there is plenty of time to make any adjustments. A number of awards will be presented including the NZSO Todd Young Composer Award with a $750 cash prize for the best overall composition.


  • Entrants must be a New Zealand Citizen
  • Composers must be 25 years of age or younger as of 4 July 2021
  • One entry per person

Entry Process:

  • Composition entries are to be submitted as digital PDFs and can be emailed to
  • If your entry file is larger than 10MB you will need to use a file sharing application such as Dropbox or Google Drive
  • Applications need to include a short composer biograph, as well as programme notes for the work. This information may be included in the same file as the score

The Composition:

  • Maximum duration of 5 minutes
  • Work to be for full symphony orchestra without soloists, amplification or electronic elements
  • Maximum instrumentation is as follows: 3 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba, 1 timpani +2 percussion, harp and strings (including the following woodwind auxiliary instruments: piccolo, alto flute, bass flute, cor anglais, bass clarinet, Eb Clarinet and contrabassoon)
  • A complete and accurate instrumentation listing must be provided at the beginning of the score as well as the duration of the work

 Additional Composer Information

  • NZSO reserve the right to ask composers to revisit any composition that includes extended techniques that may damage instruments
  • Revisions to the score and parts other than those requested by the NZSO library will not be accepted after 23 August
  • Any non-standard items such as string practise mutes must be provided by the composer


4 July Deadline for applications and scores