Young composer outclasses strong field

A 22-year-old emerging composer has beaten a strong national field to scoop the Young Composer of the Year Award and $5000 prize money.

Western Australian Callum O’Reilly will have his work Winter Suite for Solo Trumpet and Orchestra premiered with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra on June 1 and 2 at The Concourse, Chatswood.

Supported by radio station Fine Music 102.5, Willoughby City Council and industry body APRA, Callum took home the top prize in a competitive field of 18 entrants. Daniel Riley from Melbourne was runner up, winning the $500 APRA Encouragement Award.

Callum said the opportunity to have his original work played by a full-scale, world-class orchestra was an amazing opportunity and one that he won’t forget.

“I’m excited and humbled to have been selected from such a strong field across Australia. Hopefully in this performance I can communicate something special to the audience through my music,” Callum said.

“I knew for sure that I wanted to compose orchestral music after listening to Mahler’s 2nd symphony. There is something about the sound of the orchestra and the concert hall atmosphere which makes me feel at home.”

Inspired by 70s jazz, hip-hop, minimalism and classical music, the piece is dedicated to his two best friends. It’s in three pieces, representing his three favourite aspects of winter: wind through leaves, rain and warmth from friends.

“I am pretty spiritual about my music and I believe it’s a great way to explore things deep within myself that I can’t express using words.”

He’s also co-arranging music by The Doors for a show presented by Perth Symphony Orchestra and writing his honours thesis at Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

Callum’s piece will be one of two world premieres at the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s Pastoral concert on June 1 and 2. Internationally renowned pianist Vivian Choi will premiere composer Kate Moore’s Piano Concerto: Beatrice. Buy tickets at

Now in its 14th year, the Young Composer of the Year is the only national award of its kind in Australia.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.