Composer/pianist Colin Spiers has been announced as the inaugural winner of the Composing the Future competition, organised by the Sydney International Piano Competition (The Sydney).

The prize called for Australian composers to submit a new or unpublished solo piano piece, with all submissions assessed by the judging panel of Tamara-Anna Cislowska, Kristian Chong, Daniel de Borah, Bernadette Harvey, Ian Munro and The Sydney’s Artistic Director, Piers Lane.

Australian composer Colin Spiers. An older white man with wispy grey hair, spectacles, and wearing a red button-up shirt.

There were no rules about duration, style or form, the only stipulation was that the work should not require electronics or a prepared piano for performance. The suggested duration was between 10 and 20 minutes, and the panel listened and played through all 94 submissions, which were supplied to the jury without the composers’ names attached.

Queensland-born Spiers was awarded first prize for his composition Eine Kleine Nachtmusic, inspired by a surrealist painting. In addition to $20,000 in prize money, Spiers’...