Round 1: Digital Entries

All applicants are to submit their entries online accompanied by a digital video recording

Each applicant must prepare a solo recital programme of 30 minutes in length (see the Repertoire section of the Rules & Conditions for more information) performed with his or her own accompanist as required.

The Adjudication Panel will select 12 Semi Finalists toproceed to the next stage.

Round 2: Semi Finals

The twelve applicants selected as Semi Finalists in Round One will perform a new, balanced and diverse recital programme of 40 – 45 minutes in length (see the Repertoire section of the Rules & Conditions for more information) at one of six separate public recitals in Sydney (2 entrants per concert) at the City Recital Hall.

Applicants must provide their own accompanist at their own expense. Semi-Finals performances may be recorded and shared on social media at the discretion of MOST®.

Three Finalists will be selected from the Semi Finals to proceed to the next round. Finalists will need to make their way to Sydney for the Finals at their own expense and must ensure that they are able to attend all days of activity and adjudication.

Round 3: Finals

Three Finalists will perform their nominated concerto or concertante work accompanied by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a public concert at the Sydney Opera House.

The Adjudication Panel will announce scholarships, awards and prizes at the conclusion of the concert.
The recipient of the "Young Performer of the Year" will be named as the overall winner of the YPA.

Applicants must fit certain criteria to be eligible for the Young Performers Awards.

Young Performers Awards applicants must be:

A. Under the age of 30 on 31 December 2020; and

B. An Australian citizen, either by birth or by naturalisation,or a permanent legal resident of Australia.

If you have previously won the Young Performer of the Year Award, you may not enter the competition again. Past winners of categories are eligible to enter.

  • Applicants are required to submit a completed Entry Form and a video recording of their nominated programme (see Repertoire Guidelines for more information).
  • Entries may only be submitted online.
  • It is a condition of the Awards that all broadcast and television rights of your performances in any stage of the competition are freely available to MOST and the ABC.
  • Entrants under the age of 18 will be required to return a Parental / Guardian Consent Form. We will mail and/or email this form once we have received and entry from a person under 18 years of age.
  • If a person under the age of 18 progresses to the 2nd round (Semi-Finals concert) and 3rd round (Finals concert) of the Young Performers Awards, we advise that this contestant be accompanied by a guardian or parent.
  • By entering the Young Performers Awards (“YPA”) competitors agree to comply with the Rules & Conditions of the YPA. 
  • If a competitor violates the Rules & Conditions, MOST reserves the right to disqualify her/him from the YPA.
Entry Form
  • The Entry Form requires a competitor to provide information, including:
  • Name, address and contact details;
  • Social media contacts (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.);
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Study details;
  • Future plans;
  • Performance history;
  • High resolution headshot/photograph (2Mb or larger);
  • Proof of age, citizenship or residency;
  • Completed Repertoire Form for all three (3) rounds in performance order;
  • Consent & declaration;
  • Payment. 
Entry Fee
Fees & Penalties
  • A non-refundable entry fee of AUD $110 applies.
  • The Entry Fee is payable through PayPal or EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer).
  • An additional non-refundable fee of AUD $75 will apply for entries received after entries close but before the late-entry date of 7 May 2021.
2021 Dates
  • Dates at any stage will not be altered to meet the needs of individual Applicants.
  • MOST® reserves the right to change the dates of all stages of the competition. All details may be subject to change without notice.
  • At time of publication, the 2021 YPA key dates are as follows:
  • Entries Open - Late 2020
  • Entries Close - TBC
  • Late Entries Close - TBC
  • Semi Finals - November 2021 TBC
  • Finals - November 2021 TBC
Repertoire guidelines
General Repertoire Regulations
  • Any questions regarding suitability of any repertoire selections must be discussed and resolved before the closing date for entries.
  • Competitors may be required to nominate an alternative work for performance at any stage if the original choice is deemed unsuitable as determined by the Chair of the Adjudication Panel.
  • Competitors may be required to make cuts to any part of their nominated programme as determined by the Chair of the Adjudication Panel.
  • Entry forms must include all repertoire chosen for all rounds of the Awards.
  • Works which require more than one soloist on stage are not permitted at any stage of the competition.
  • All Repertoire must be performed from memory with the exception of duo sonatas. At the discretion of the Artistic Advisor and the management of YPA, certain complex modern repertoire may be allowed to be performed with the music. Please indicate on your application whether this will be the case.*
  • A printed copy of repertoire is to be provided to adjudicators at the Semi Finals and Finals.
  • Competitors may not change their nominated Concerto after 13 April, 2018. Any requests to do so will be rejected.
  • The total duration of a Competitor’s performance in the digital recording submitted for Round One shall not exceed thirty (30) minutes.
  • The total duration of a Competitor’s performance in the Semi Finals shall not exceed forty-five (45) minutes.
  • The total duration of a Competitor’s performance in the Finals must exceed fifteen (15) minutes.
  • Failure to adhere to time restrictions may result in disqualification.
  • * This rule has been updated on 18 January 2018.
Digital Entry Repertoire
  • Competitors must prepare a balanced and diverse recital programme of 30 minutes in length, representing a variety of periods and styles and at least one work which displays the high degree of virtuosity commensurate with the standard of the YPA.
Semi-Finals Repertoire
  • Competitors are required to prepare a new, balanced and diverse recital programme of 40 – 45 minutes in length, representing a variety of periods and styles. This programme should include one work by an Australian composer and at least one work which displays the high degree of virtuosity commensurate with the standard of the YPA.
  • Complete movements of larger works are allowed.
  • The programme for the Semi Finals should not include items performed in Round One.
Finals Repertoire
  • Each competitor must nominate at time of entry a complete concerto or other comparable work written for performance with orchestra.
  • This work must be at least 15 minutes in duration and available in full score and orchestral parts. Availability will be checked with the Symphony Services International Music Library and you will be notified if any changes are required.
  • If the music is unavailable in Australia in the required key with full score and orchestral parts, the item may not be performed at the Finals unless the Entrant arranges to obtain the music, with all orchestral parts, at their own expense. 
  • Repertoire for the Final concerto should not be performed in Rounds One or Two.
  • All repertoire is subject to final approval by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Semi Finals
  • Competitors must engage an accompanist at their own expense for the Semi Finals.
  • Finalists will perform with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dr Nicholas Milton AM.
General Information
  • Adjudicators for each round of the YPA will be published on our website (see Adjudicators page).
  • In all matters that may occur during the Competition, decisions of the YPA Adjudicators and/or MOST® shall be final.
Adjudication of Round 1: Digital Entries
  • A specialist Panel for each instrumental category will be convened to assess the digital submissions.
  • Each specialist Panel will recommend a shortlist in their category.
  • A new Panel comprising the Chair of the Adjudication Panel and relevant specialist judges will meet in Sydney in a private session and choose twelve (12) competitors to progress to the Semi Finals Round.
  • Results of Round 1 will be emailed on 20 April. Please do not contact MOST® to enquire about results. No results will be given out by telephone.
Adjudication of Round 2: Semi-Finals
  • A Panel will be convened to adjudicate the Semi Finals comprising the Chair of the Adjudication Panel and a minimum of 4 panel members representing relevant musical disciplines.
  • Results of the Semi Finals will be announced on Tuesday 17 July.
Adjudication of Round 3: Finals
  • A Panel of adjudicators will be appointed for the Finals comprising the Chair of the Adjudication Panel and a minimum of 4 panel members representing relevant musical disciplines.
  • The Finals Adjudication panel may include a non-voting representative from MOST®.
  • Results of the Finals will be announced at the public concert.
Travel Expenses & Insurance
Travel & Accommodation
  • Any travel undertaken for any stage of the Competition will be at the Competitor’s expense.
  • The Semi Finals and Finals will be held in Sydney and if any Competitor has to travel away from home to attend, airfares and accommodation are at the Competitor’s expense.
  • No local travel expenses such as taxis or public transport are provided at any stage of the competition.
  • Transport and insurance for instruments will not be provided by MOST® at any stage of the competition.
  • MOST® shall not have any responsibility for Competitors’ loss and/or damage during the Competition and competitors should purchase their own insurance where relevant.
  • Competitors are responsible for their own health and injury insurance, as well as loss or damage of the instrument or luggage in case of accident, fire or theft during travel.
Force majeure – the Competition shall be cancelled if there are epidemics, fires, earthquakes, wars, riots, blocking or delay of traffic and other events beyond the control of Young Performers Awards and MOST®.
Prizes & Opportunities
Prize Conditions
  • All awards given by the Competition must be drawn within three (3) years of the Recipient winning unless an alternative agreement is reached.
  • Requests for funds must be made in writing, with a budget detailing the proposed use.
  • The winner of the "Young Performer of the Year" is required to provide a report to MOST® within 12 months of the receipt of the award. 
  • The report can be in the form of (1) a written report (not to exceed 1200-1500 words, with photographs where possible; or (2) a video report (not to exceed 10 minutes). The report should highlight the experiences and/or benefits that the award has had on his/her career.
  • A number of prizes & opportunities may be awarded to a Competitor at the discretion of the Adjudicators at the Semi-Final or Finals.
  • Recipients of awards ("the Recipients") are strongly encouraged to acknowledge the relevant prize giver with a letter of thanks. The YPA will supply the appropriate contact details.
  • MOST® takes no responsibility for the acceptance of awards, which involve overseas travel. This decision is taken solely at the discretion of the Recipient. Recipients are advised to check the current status of the country in question with the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs at the time of travel.
  • The Recipient of any Award is reminded that the cash component is a form of income. Any enquiries regarding tax should be referred to the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, an accountant or a registered tax consultant.
  • MOST® acts as coordinator of the prizes and opportunities and cannot accept responsibility if any provider is unable to fulfil its obligations in any form.
  • Some individual prizes and opportunities are awarded at the discretion of the individual sponsor or provider.
  • If the Recipient of any award connected to funds elects not to proceed with that award, the associated funds must be forfeited and may be made available to another Finalist.
Performance Rights
  • MOST® has the right to video, film, record or photograph and retain all rounds of the Competition for archival or promotional purposes (“the Material”).
  • MOST® has the right to retain this Material on websites or any other media without fee and any personal information relating to the Competition.
  • Broadcast, media and other digital rights remain with MOST®.
  • MOST® has the right to distribute the Material in any medium (including without limitation YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr), in whole or in part for an unlimited period, without remuneration, for the purpose of promoting the YPA or MOST®.
  • MOST® has permission to use the Material in any way that may not otherwise infringe a Competitor’s moral right pursuant to the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth), including but not limited to, an Entrant’s moral rights associated with their performances (submitted digitally or recorded by the Competition) when used for any promotion or publicity of the Competition or MOST® in any media without limitation for an unlimited period.
  • All approaches to the media must be made through and with the approval of MOST.
  • Competitors and recipients of Awards will be required to be available for promotional or media interviews/calls by arrangement.
General questions
Why should I enter the YPA?
  • YPA offers not only a series of cash prizes and performance opportunities that may assist with furthering your career, but also previous competitors have noted that the rigours of preparing the material for entry is in itself a beneficial experience for young musicians.
Where & when is the Finals Concert held?
  • The Finals Concert will be held at the Sydney Opera House on 28 October 2021
What categories are there?
  • There are five categories in the YPA: brass, percussion & other, piano, string and wind. Semi Finalists and Finalists are chosen with no regard to categories.
Who can enter the YPA?
  • The YPA is an elite competition for gifted young instrumentalists age under 30 years of age.
Can I purchase tickets to YPA events?
  • You certainly can! Tickets will be available to all our public events closer to the date. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you are the first to know when tickets are released.
Who is MOST?
  • Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd. (MOST), is a not-for-profit arts entity that has been creating and managing elite music and opera competitions, awards and scholarships on national and international levels since 1982. You can find out more about MOST on our website: www.mostlyopera.org
Am I eligible to enter if I was a Finalist in previous years?
  • Yes, as long as you are not the winner of the Young Performer of the Year Award (overall winner).
When do entries close?
  • Entries will close on Monday 3 May 2021.
How much does it cost to enter?
  • It costs AUD $110 to enter. There is an additional late-fee of $75 payable after the close of entries but before the late-entry cut off.
Can I be 30 years old as of 31 December 2020 and still enter?
  • You must be under the age of 30 on 31 December 2020 to be eligible to enter in the 2021 YPA.
Is there a minimum age for entry?
  • There is no minimum age for entry.
  • When we receive an application from a person under the age of 18, we will send that entrant a parental/guardian consent form to be signed and returned. This signed and returned form is required for an under age contestant to participate in the ABC Young Performers Awards.
  • If a person under the age of 18 progresses to the 2nd round (Semi-Finals concert) and 3rd round (Finals concert) of the Young Performers Awards, we advise that this contestant be accompanied by a guardian or parent.
Who can be my referee? Does it have to be my instrumental teacher?
  • Your referee could be your program coordinator, former teacher or any professional associate. It doesn't have to be your instrumental teacher.
How do I know that my entry has been received?
  • If you have not received an order confirmation in your email address (provided on the entry form) within five days of entering, your entry has not been received. You will need to contact MOST.
Can I get a refund of my entry fee?
  • Entry fees are non-refundable.
I was unable to upload my supporting documents, what do I do?
  • Contact us at info@mostlyopera.org outlining the issues you are having and one of our staff will be happy to help.
  • We recommend that you do not leave your entry until the last minute to allow for such issues to be resolved before entries close.
Digital entries
Can I submit an audio-only recording?
  • No, all entries must include video as well as audio. Please see "Video recording requirements" for more details.
I have a great recording of my playing from two years ago – may I use it?
  • No, all entries must have been recorded within the past 12 months.
I’ve never used YouTube before, how do I upload my audition video?
  • To upload a video, open YouTube and click on “Upload” located at the top right corner next to search bar.
  • You will see an option to upload a video using “Open” dialog or drag and drop the video right in the middle to upload.
  • Below, you will see a drop down menu that should be set to “Public”
  • That's it!
I would prefer to send a DVD recording as my entry, can I do that?
  • No, we require all entries to be submitted via YouTube.
Can I submit 3 separate videos of different pieces recorded in different locations and on different days?
  • There is no requirement that the recordings be made on the same day or in the same place however, they must have been also recorded within the last 12 months. It is only necessary to ensure that each individual piece is in one unedited take.
Who are the adjudicators?
  • Adjudicators will be announced on our Adjudicators Page as they are confirmed.
One of the Adjudicators is my teacher/relative/neighbour, does that matter?
  • No, all Adjudicators are required to disclose any existing relationships with participants. In such cases, they may be asked by their fellow panel members to recuse themselves from judging that particular individual.
I would like to adjudicate the Young Performers Awards, who should I contact?
  • Please contact our office on 02 9231 4293 or info@mostlyopera.org