This year, once again, the Young Composers’ Competition welcomed entries from gifted young musicians from across the nation. Their compositions were evaluated by judges, including newly recruited composers Paul Patterson and Stuart MacRae. The high standard of creativity and musical imagination that was displayed by the competitors this year is impressive, even for seasoned judges, as the competition, which is the most prestigious one for young composers, has been running for a decade.
After the final judging session, Patterson, who was once head of composition at the Royal Academy of Music, expressed his shock at the level of talent displayed by the young composers. "I was amazed to see there is a whole world of talented people in this country writing very imaginative music and who already at their tender age have got a good sense of technique," he said. MacRae was also astonished by the quality of entries, praising the originality of the pieces and the authentic self-expression of the young composers.
One of the senior winners in the 16 to 18 age group, En Liang Khong, exhibited his imagination and personal expression in his composition, Black Rain, which is scored for string quartet, percussion and spoken voice. Another winner in the same age group, Alex Nikiporenko, created a piano and flute piece that was characterized by the judges as a challenging character study.
Among the junior winners, Men Gei Li, aged 14, received accolades for her Triquad Variations for piano, which displayed impressive imagination, freshness and restraint. Her twin sister, Men Gyn, attends the Purcell School in Bushey, Hertfordshire and is pursuing piano studies.
These young musicians are pushing the boundaries and demonstrating an extraordinary level of talent that belies their age. Their future looks very bright!
All contestants of the competition are invited by BBC Proms to attend Inspire Day, held in the heart of London. This presents a unique opportunity for the participants to meet and learn from seasoned composers, musicians, and important individuals in the music industry. The winning entries will be performed during the Young Composers’ Concert.
Here are the winning compositions:
– En Liang Khong, 18, St. Paul’s School in Barnes, for ‘Black Rain’
– Alexander Nikiporenko, 18, Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, for ‘Awaiting’
– Tom Rose, 16, Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, for ‘Moth Lamp’
– Tom Curran, 16, Sawston Village College, for ‘Searching’
– Men Gei Li, 14, The Purcell School in Bushey, for ‘Triquad Variations’
The following participants also received a highly commended recognition:
– Andrew Hadfield, 18, The Portsmouth Grammar School, for ‘The Flight of the Phoenix’
– Toby Young, 18, Haberdashers Askes Boys’ School, for ‘Les Jongleurs’
– Lloyd Coleman, 16, Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, for ‘Quintet for Soprano Saxophone’
– Philippa Ovenden, 16, The Purcell School in Bushey, for ‘Etone’
– Sasha Millwood, 16, King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, for ‘String Quartet, Last Movement’