Supported by major patron The Vera Moore Foundation.

Awarded to an outstanding Victorian musician whose work demonstrates exceptional musicianship, skill and creativity.

Photography by Kristina Kingston

Deborah Cheetham AO – Composer, Soprano, Artistic Director

The life that music has afforded Deborah has brought her closer to understanding the world and her place within it. As a singer, composer or member of countless audiences Deborah has found that a truth conveyed by music is the most powerful force for enlightenment. Deborah set out to create opportunities for Indigenous singers and audiences to engage with the world of classical music. Just as important has been the chance to open the hearts and minds of non-Indigenous audiences. Through her works including Pecan Summer, Choral Connection Song Book and Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace, these goals have been achieved many times over.


Distinguished Musicians
Fellowship 2019


Supported by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and The University of Melbourne.

The Fellowship provides a commercial engagement with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Photography by Sabrina Maselli

Erkki Veltheim – Composer, Improviser, Performer

Erkki’s practice spans composition, improvisation, audiovisual installation, electroacoustic music, pop and multidisciplinary performance. His work has been commissioned by Adelaide Festival, Vivid, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Musica nova Helsinki. He also composed the orchestral works for Gurrumul’s posthumous album ‘Djarimirri’. Erkki plays in the improvising trio ‘North of North’ with Anthony Pateras and Scott Tinkler, and has also performed with the Australian Art Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Black Arm Band, Elision and Ensemble Modern, and artists such as Chris Abrahams, Mark Atkins, William Barton, Han Bennink, Brett Dean, Robin Fox, Paul Grabowsky, Shane Howard, Stephen Pigram, Jon Rose and Wadada Leo Smith.

Development Award 2019


Consisting of $10,000 cash supported by Dr. Alastair Jackson AM, a $6,000 rrp. Yamaha Music Australia grant and a $2,500 Qantas airfare voucher.

Awarded to a Victorian musician demonstrating outstanding musical talent and the potential to develop their professional career.

Mojo Juju – Vocalist, Songwriter, Musician

When Mojo Ruiz de Luzuriaga, known professionally as Mojo Juju, dropped her album Native Tongue in 2018, it was an unforgettable statement. Where her previous output had steered away from being overtly intimate and raw, Native Tongue burst out like a diary on record, a deep exploration of Mojo Juju’s Indigenous and Filipino identity and how this has shaped her. Mojo Juju has bagged some of her greatest achievements to date off the back of Native Tongue including collecting over 20 award nominations, including three at the ARIAs.


Beleura Emerging
Composers Award 2019


Supported by The Tallis Foundation in memory of John Tallis (1911 – 1996).

Awarded to a Victorian composer to commission new work and further their career.

Photography by Natasha Blankfield

Andrea Keller – Pianist & Composer

Andrea is an Australian pianist & composer, dedicated to the performance and creation of contemporary jazz and improvised music. She has devised and produced a multitude of projects ranging from solo to large ensembles that fit under a broad jazz umbrella. Andrea has received multiple awards including three ARIA’s, seven Australian Jazz Bell Awards, and two Art Music Awards, as well as an APRA Professional Development Award, the Merlyn Myer Composing Women’s Commission, and fellowships from the MCA/Freedman Foundation and the Australia Council.

Past winners


Kutcha Edwards

Melbourne Prize for Music 2016
Distinguished Musicians
Fellowship 2016

Singer / Songwriter

Scott Tinkler

Outstanding Musician Award 2016


Kate Neal

Beleura Award for Composition 2016

Composer / Arranger / Teacher / Artistic director / Collaborator

Matthias Schack-Arnott

Development Award 2016

Performer / Composer / Improviser


Brett Dean

Melbourne Prize for Music 2013

Classical Composer / Conductor

Photo courtesy of Robert Piccoli

Stephen Magnusson

Outstanding Musician Award 2013


Photo courtesy of the artist

Kate Kelsey-Sugg

Development Award 2013

Pianist / Vocalist / Saxophonist / Composer

Photo courtesy of Hayley Van Handley


David Jones

Melbourne Prize for Music 2010

Drummer / Percussionist

Photo courtesy of Mandy Hall Media

Ben Northey

Outstanding Musician Award 2010


Photo courtesy of Ross Calia

Natalie Bartsch

Development Award 2010

Pianist / Composer

Photo courtesy of Hannah Dingli


Paul Grabowsky

Melbourne Prize for Music 2007

Pianist / Composer / Conductor

Genevieve Lacey

Outstanding Musician Award 2007

Recorder virtuoso

Photo courtesy of Monty Coles

Julian Langdon

Development Award 2007