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About Strike A Chord

Musica Viva is proud to present a new music competition, Strike A Chord.

Entries are now open for Strike A Chord!


Entries Open: 29 Jan, 2020
Entries Close: 21 May, 2020
Semi Finals: 5 September, 2020
Grand Final: 6 September, 2020


  • 3 to 8 performers, full-time secondary school or home-school equivalent students aged 18 or younger (students do not need to be from the same school)
  • Any combination of instruments and/or voice
  • One player per part, no conductor or adult accompanist

Please read the Rules and Regulations thoroughly before entering Strike A Chord.


  • First Prize $5000
  • Second Prize $4000
  • Third Prize $2500
  • Australian National Academy Of Music Prize: a week’s worth of coaching at the Australian National Academy of Music, including travel costs

Cash and other prizes to be announced. 

How to enter

  1. Read the Rules and Regulations to ensure you meet and understand the competition requirements for entry
  2. Record and upload a video of your group performing by no later than 21 May 2020
  3. Fill out the entry form and pay the entry fee of $10 per player online
  4. Entries will be judged and finalists selected by 5 June 2020
  5. Finalists will be invited to Melbourne to compete in September

Learn more and enter online here.

Rounds and finalists

  • First Round - ensembles submit a video recording of their performance and introduction video online
  • Second Round - 12 groups, from at least six states/territories, will be selected for the Semi Finals to be held at the Melbourne Recital Centre
  • Final Round - 6 groups will then be selected to perform at the Grand Final, also at the Melbourne Recital Centre

Subsidies will be available to groups that require assistance to travel to the finals.

Teacher Conference Weekend

Dates: September 4-6, 2020

To be held in Melbourne during the finals weekend for teachers with participating finalists and open to teachers wanting to gain more experience in building chamber music programs in their schools. Delivered in partnership with aMuse. This conference will focus on topics relating to chamber music coaching in secondary school environments, will include guest speakers and opportunities for teachers to develop and practice skills. Attendees will gain a stronger sense of how to support chamber music and other music programs in their respective schools. Further details to be announced.

Subsidies will be available to teachers that require assistance to travel to the conference.


Wilma Smith is the Artistic Director of the Competition. Wilma was founding First Violinist of the Lydian String Quartet (prizewinners at Evian, Banff and Portsmouth International String Quartet Competitions and winners of the Naumburg Award) and the New Zealand String Quartet. Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for twelve years and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for nine years, Wilma Smith now focuses on chamber music and teaching. She is also a member of the Australian World Orchestra, working with distinguished conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle and Zubin Mehta.


Presenting a competition of the size and scale of Strike A Chord is only possible with the support of our partners featured below. 

For any other enquiries please send us an email: [email protected]

Enter online Rules and Regulations Sign up for enews

Artistic Director, Wilma Smith talks National Chamber Music Championship.