Elizabeth Younan Wins 2021-22 Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship

Sydney-based composer Elizabeth Younan has been awarded the 2021-22 Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship. This award follow on the heels of prior independent award, as joint winner of the University of New South Wales’ Willgoss Ensemble Composition Prize in 2020. 

Younan was the unanimous winner of the Fellowship, taking the top spot across a high standard of submissions. Her work was described as “imaginative and technically accomplished in all ways”
and “appealing and rewarding to perform, as well as listen to” by the selection panel.

The Layton Emerging Composer Fellowship is valued at $10,000 for one year, for an Emerging Composer to write two works across the course of a 12-month period. It aims to foster greater engagement in and recognition of composition and chamber music activities at UNSW, and is made possible by the generous support of Emeritus Professor Roger Layton AM and Merrilyn Layton.

As part of her award, Younan will undertake mentoring sessions with a leading Australian composer, members of the Australia Ensemble UNSW and the Australia Ensemble Artistic Chair Dr Paul Stanhope. Younan’s works will feature in at least one workshop that will be made
available to current UNSW students, UNSW staff and members of the public.

Elizabeth Younan (b1994) is an Australian composer of Lebanese descent from Sydney. Elizabeth was a featured Australian composer of Musica Viva’s 2020 and 2018 International Concert Seasons, where her String Quartet No. 2 (2020) and her Piano Sonata (2018) received their worldwide premieres. Recent accolades include the Watermark Prize as part of the Australian National Kendall Violin Competition (2020), two Willgoss Prizes (UNSW and USYD, 2020), and a Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2021). Elizabeth is one of the commissioned composers of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s 50 Fanfares project and she has composed for principal players of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition with First Class Honours (2015) and a Master of Music (2018) from The Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she studied with Carl Vine AO as a recipient of the prestigious Australian Postgraduate Award.

In May, Elizabeth is due to graduate from her studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where all students attend on full scholarship. She is the first female Australian composer to be admitted to Curtis and is the second Australian composer to gain acceptance in over 60 years. She studied with Dr. David Ludwig, Dr. Jennifer Higdon, and Dr. Richard Danielpour.


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