Youth Concerto Competition

Our annual Youth Concerto Competition commenced in 1988. The aim of the competition is to give young musicians the opportunity to play with a symphony orchestra under concert conditions.

See the list of previous competition winners

Read about the 2018 Competition

Read about the 2019 Competition


Applications for the 2020 competition will open on 20th April 2020 and will be online from a link on this page.

The 2020 Competition Concert featuring the finalists will take place at 2.30pm on Sunday 13th September 2020, at Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre.

2020 Key Dates
Applications Open: 20 April 2020, 9am
Applications Close: 22 May 2020, 5pm
Auditions: Wednesday 3 June 2020, evening
Concert: Sunday 13 September 2020, 2.30pm

Competition rules 2020

Age Limit
The Competition is open to players of orchestral instruments and piano who are 18 or under on 1 July 2020.

A complete work with orchestral accompaniment or selected movements may be submitted. Maximum duration should be about 15 minutes. For unusual works please check the availability of orchestral parts: if these cannot be obtained the orchestra reserves the right to request a change of work.


  • Applications open on Monday 20 April 2020 at 9am
  • Applications closing date: Friday 22 May 2020 at 5pm
  • Late entries may be accepted at the discretion of the Secretary
  • An audition fee of $10 will be charged on the evening to defray the orchestra’s costs


  • Students should prepare one or more sections of their selected work to demonstrate their potential as a performer.
  • All entrants are required to attend an audition
  • Students should provide their own accompanists (assistance with names is available)
  • The audition time will be about 7 minutes
  • Auditions will take place during the evening of 3 June 2020 at Bernie’s Music Land in Ringwood

At least 5 entrants will be selected to perform with the Preston Symphony Orchestra in the competition concert on 13th September 2020.

Finalists will be required to rehearse with the orchestra on selected Monday evenings in the weeks before the concert. Each finalist will rehearse with the orchestra three times. The rehearsal time for each finalist may vary to accomodate the complexity of the orchestral accompaniment of individual works.

Previous Winners & Finalists ‘Lockout’
The aim of the competition is to provide the opportunity to perform as a soloist with an orchestra to as many young musicians as possible. Hence there is a ‘lock out’ period for previous winners and finalists before they can enter again: players who have won may not enter in the following two competitions after winning, and finalists may not enter the following year. This does not apply for entrants on a different instrument.

Preston Symphony Orchestra will supply the adjudicator(s) whose decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

The winner receives $500. Other finalists receive $100.
As well as the overall winner’s prize, there is an Audience Prize, chosen by ballot at the end of the concert.

Any queries should be directed to: