In a display of cutting edge creativity and musical innovation, Newcastle will be one of five sites participating in the International Space Time Concerto Competition that will culminate in two concerts on Friday 30 November and Sunday 2 December.

University of Newcastle musicians will perform live with an internet-linked ensemble from five countries.

The brainchild of the University of Newcastle, the Space Time Concerto initiative is a creative collaboration with Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore, Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Waikato University in New Zealand and Arts Electronica/Bruckner University in Austria.

University of Newcastle Chair of Music, Professor Richard Vella, said the historic event highlighted how traditional music could be modernised.

“Nothing has been done like this in the world before,” Professor Vella said.“We are excited how this will translate on stage.”

Professor Vella said the feat would offer insight into future possibilities of the concerto form.

“The Space Time Concerto raises several collaborative options for rehearsals to take place with musicians around the world, without anyone having to leave their home music studios,” he said.

Finalists will vie for their share of the $50,000 prize pool.

The first concert will be held on Friday at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, followed by Sunday’s final show at the University of Newcastle’s Harold Lobb Concert Hall.

“The concerts recreate music by combining history and innovation with soloists performing alongside a symphony orchestra,” Professor Vella said.

See footage from week two of rehearsals with international collaborators, not long now until the main event!


In 2009 when the University of Newcastle Chamber Choir won Channel Seven’s Battle of the Choirs competition, our wonderful benefactor, Jennie Thomas, started talking of holding an event of similar impact that would reflect the Conservatorium’s music program, one which promotes the future while cherishing musical tradition. It was decided to hold an innovative International Concerto competition that would also help celebrate the Newcastle Conservatorium’s 60th birthday in 2012. Thus the Space Time Concerto was born.

Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to see and hear some of Australia’s most talented performers.

Tickets for the Concert Hall are limited and on sale now from $20 through or