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About Strike A Chord

Strike A Chord is a chamber music competition open to all secondary students across Australia.


We are thrilled to announce our 12 Semi Finalists, the Yamaha Novice Section Winners and our First Round Prize Winners! Well done to every student who entered in 2021, we can't wait to see you back for Strike A Chord in 2023! 

Re-Watch the Webinars

Recording your entry videos with ABC Classic's Digital Producer, Matthew Lorenzon.

Watch the live demonstration from Musica Viva's Janette Hamilton Studio for the best recording tips here.

Meet the First Round Jury 

First Round jurors: Blair Harris is a highly regarded solo cellist and member of Southern Cross Soloists and Ensemble Offspring. Elyane Laussade is a Juilliard graduate and solo pianist who has performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and been featured by ABC Classic FM. 

Yamaha Novice Section jurors: Eunise Cheng is the founding violist of the award-winning Partridge String Quartet, Musica Viva’s current FutureMakers. Lloyd Van't Hoff is known as one of Australia's most dynamic and versatile young clarinettists, and is a founding member of Arcadia Winds.

Watch Wilma's chat with Eunise here.

Key Dates

Entries Open: 1 February 2021
Entries Close: 13 May 2021
Finalists announced: 4 June 2021
Grand Final:14 & 15 August 2021

Strike A Chord Teachers' Conference: 14 & 15 August 2021


  • 3 to 8 performers per group 
  • One player per part, no conductor or adult accompanist
  • Any combination of instruments and/or voice
  • All performers must be enrolled in a full-time Australian school program (or home-school equivalent)
  • Students do not need to be from the same school

Strike A Chord welcomes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with a disability, and students from diverse cultural backgrounds to take part in the competition. Please let us know if you have specific access requirements so we can accommodate your needs by emailing [email protected].

Major Prizes   

A number of cash and development prizes will be awarded at various stages of the competition. More to be announced soon!

  • First Prize $5,000
  • Second Prize $4,000
  • Third Prize $2,500

The Gandel Australian Music Prize

Generously supported by Gandel Philanthropy, this prize is awarded for the best performance of an Australian work, which may include student compositions. In addition to receiving $2,000 cash, if the winner of this prize is not already in the final, the group will be invited to give a special performance at an appropriate time during the finals event. Travel to Melbourne will be subsidised where required.

2021 Teachers' Conference

Tickets for the 2021 Teachers' Conference on 14 & 15 August 2021 are now on sale! Join us in Melbourne or online for a dynamic combination of panel discussions, workshops and open coaching sessions will be on offer to teachers at all levels of experience.

Learn more and book your tickets here.


Wilma Smith is Musica Viva’s Artistic Director of Competitions, Second Violinist of the Flinders Quartet, curator/violinist/violist of Wilma & Friends, Guest Concertmaster of orchestras throughout Australia and New Zealand, a regular player with the Australian World Orchestra and a committed teacher.

Born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand, Wilma studied in the US with the legendary Dorothy DeLay. She was founding first violinist of the Lydian Quartet, winners of the Naumburg Award and prizes at Evian, Banff and Portsmouth International String Quartet Competitions. She worked regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Invited by Chamber Music New Zealand to return home to establish the New Zealand String Quartet, Wilma was first violinist until her appointment as concertmaster of the NZSO and then the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Since retiring from the MSO, Wilma has prioritised her chamber music roots, enjoying old and new collaborations in the US and New Zealand as well as Australia. With her old friend, Victoria Jones, she is Co-Artistic Director of the annual Martinborough Music Festival.

Wilma plays a 1761 Guadagnini violin and occasionally a fine Chinese viola.


Presenting a chamber music 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]

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Student Rush Tickets

Musica Viva offers Student Rush tickets to our concert series for just $15*!

Find out if ou're eligible and how to buy.