Great Romantics Competition 2020

Great Romantics 2019.jpg


Melbourne Recital Centre’s Great Romantics Competition returns in 2020.

Now in its eleventh year, this important national competition provides a platform for young musicians and ensembles passionate about Romantic repertoire, including such luminaries as Brahms, Liszt and Schumann.

Open to soloists, duos or small ensembles, Australia’s talented young musicians will battle it out for the prestigious Elisabeth Murdoch Prize, which includes a combination of cash plus performance and recording opportunities.

YouTube Premiere

Due to current COVID restrictions in Victoria, we regret to advise that this competition will no longer be a live performance event with an audience. There will however, be a YouTube Premiere on Sunday 6 December at 3pm. Details on how to access the stream will be available on this page closer to the event.


The Great Romantics Competition is supported by Annamila Pty Ltd, Mrs Margaret S. Ross AM & Dr Ian C Ross.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


Applications are now open

Entrants will compete for the $4,000 Elisabeth Murdoch Prize plus performance and recording opportunities, as well as the $2,000 Anne Kantor Encouragement Award and the $2,000 Milan Kantor Encouragement Award.

The Great Romantics Competition is open to instrumental and vocal soloists, duos or small ensembles (5 competitors or less), any instrument/s and university music students or recent graduates. Entrants must be aged between 18 – 25 years of age (at 1 January 2020) and permanent residents or citizens of Australia. Competition repertoire must consist of work/s composed between 1810-1900 and not exceeding 20 minutes in total duration.

Competition applications close at midnight on Wednesday 28 October 2020.

Interstate applicants are encouraged to enter and may apply for funding to support travel and accommodation expenses. Please download the competition guidelines and complete the online registration to enter.

For all other enquires please contact 03 9699 2228 during business hours or email


Changes to the Competition due to COVID Restrictions

Considering the Victorian Government’s COVID roadmap towards reopening, and to ensure Melbourne Recital Centre adheres to all ongoing health and safety measures, the Great Romantics Competition can no longer be held as a live performance event in 2020. Instead, finalists will have the opportunity to pre-record their pieces in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall before the competition day, or in another location chosen by each finalist should Melbourne Recital Centre still be closed due to Government restrictions during the month of November. The videos will be premiered as an online concert on Sunday 6 December 2020, with the winner announced at the conclusion.