Music Australia News

Callum O’Reilly Wins Young Composer of the Year Award

Image credit: The Concourse
Graham Strahle
| May 29, 2019

Perth composer Callum O’Reilly has taken out this year’s Young Composer of the Year Award with his work Winter Suite for Solo Trumpet and Orchestra. The 22 year-old WAAPA graduate receives a cash prize of $5,000 and will have his work performed by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra during Vivid Sydney.

Winter Suite combines brings many styles together. “Inspired by 70s jazz, hip-hop, minimalism and classical music, the piece is dedicated to his two best friends. It’s in three pieces, representing his three favourite aspects of winter: wind through leaves, rain and warmth from friends,” stated Willoughby Council in announcing the prize.

O’Reilly has found himself in increasing demand as a multiskilled musician and arranger who bridges the classical-popular divide. Notably he, along with Corey Murphy, orchestrated Anastacia Dawes’ song ‘Catastrophe’ for ABC TV’s documentary series Don’t Stop the Music. Perth Symphony Orchestra performed this to almost 8,000 people at the Tianqi Lithium Symphony Spectacular in Perth last November. PSO has engaged him again as arranger for its ‘Love Him Madly: The Doors Reimagined’ concert in August.

O’Reilly was also one of four emerging composers selected by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for its 2018 Composition Project, coinciding with WASO’s Education Week in June, and prior to that he was one of eight young composers to win Artology’s 2016 Fanfare Competition.

Congratulations to him for this latest win. The Young Composer of the Year Award is an annual competition held by Fine Music 102.5 and the Willoughby Symphony. It claims to be the only such award in Australia, and for a community radio station to be doing this in conjunction with one of the country’s smaller professional symphony orchestras is indeed impressive. Previous winners of the award have been Daniel Dean (2018) and Ella Macens (2017).

In the same concert, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra also premieres Kate Moore’s piano concerto, Beatrice, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy. Hear it all on June 1 and 2 at The Concourse, Chatswood. Details here.

Stay in the loop

Music Australia updates straight to your inbox

Follow Like
Quick Links


  • National clearing house for policy & development

  • Music Journal

    Features articles about the Music Industry Sector

  • Music Talks

    Series of seminars exploring music