The 50 finalists for the 2021 APRA Professional Development Awards have been revealed, showcasing a broad range of Australian songwriting and composing talent across nine categories.

Now awarded annually, the 2021 Professional Development Awards sees the introduction of a new Music Theatre category. Ten grants of $10,000 will be awarded across the different genres, as well as a prize from Australis Music.

The five finalists in the Classical/Experimental category are Connor D’Netto, Carolyn Schofield, Alex Turley, Chris Williams and Samantha Wolf.

Connor D'Netto Connor D’Netto. Photograph supplied

D’Netto, who was one of the 30 young musicians featured in Limelight’s Gen Nextfeature in October 2019, is a Queensland-based composer of contemporary classical music. His music draws together post-minimal, neoclassical and pop influences, combined with electronic music elements. In February 2021, his new work Uncertain Planning was premiered by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as part of its 50 Fanfares Project. He is currently working on his first feature film soundtrack.

Carolyn Schofield is a Melbourne-based, Vietnamese-Australian composer and electronic musician also known as Fia Fiell. She combines her work as a pianist with a modern and perceptive ear for stretching out the orbit of millennial...