Creative fusion


One of Australia's most venerable arts patrons has put her support behind a new music award that fosters the creative fusion of classical and jazz genres.

When leading Melbourne musician and composer Dr Allan Zavod heard that Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was a fan of the classical-jazz form, he picked up the phone to ask her whether she would sponsor a new award for emerging performers of this musical melting pot.

No doubt inspired by her own passion for classical music of all shades, Dame Elisabeth was enthusiastic about the idea.

And so the two music lovers joined forces to launch the inaugural national Zavod Classical-Jazz Fusion Performers Award, which will be administered by Monash University through the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Foundation.

The award is open to tertiary music students around the country. Dr Zavod said entrants are required to submit a work, not necessarily by themselves, which demonstrates a true fusion of the classical and jazz genres.

Three finalists will be chosen to perform at Monash University's Music in the Round event, and the winner will perform an encore in Robert Blackwood Hall.

As one of Australia's pioneers in a compositional style that combines classical and jazz genres, where musicians from both worlds share the same concert platform equally, Dr Zavod is excited about the award.

"I am very enthusiastic about these awards for young tertiary students throughout Australia, who struggle without much financial assistance," Dr Zavod said.

"And it creates added challenges to tertiary music students in their performing and composing experience at university."