LSM Newswire

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Worldwide search for aspiring new composers begins


October 23, 2008

Worldwide search for aspiring new composers begins

A worldwide search for 21st century compositional talent will begin this Friday (October 24) with the call for scores for the 2009 University of Aberdeen Music Prize.

The Aberdeen Prize as it has become known in musical circles is a unique, biennial competition for aspiring new contemporary composers from around the globe.

Established in 2005, it represents a unique collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (SSO), and will be judged by the pre-eminent Scottish composer James MacMillan.

Hundreds of scores from as far afield as Australia, China, India and Russia were submitted for the 2007 prize, with South Korea's Jun Lee eventually coming out on top.

He was awarded 5,000 in the form of a commission to write a full piece for orchestra, which will be premiered by the BBC SSO at Aberdeen Music Hall this Friday (October 24), before being broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

The event will also see the launch of the global call for scores for the 2009 prize. Five works will be selected by a panel of experts and the composers brought to Aberdeen in November 2009 for a series of workshops with the distinguished composer James MacMillan and members of the BBC SSO.

Under the patronage of Dame Evelyn Glennie, the University of Aberdeen Music Prize competition forms the centerpiece of a wider celebration of contemporary musical creativity in the form of a weekend of hands-on events, workshops and concerts in Aberdeen.

Dr Paul Mealor, Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of the University of Aberdeen Music Prize said: "Since it was first launched, this search for creative talent has helped to develop Aberdeen's role as one of the major cultural centres in the UK. Hundreds of composers from every corner of the globe embraced the 2007 competition, many of whom wrote to us to express their gratitude that such an event exists.

"We are also honoured to have such a well respected judge in James Macmillan, and in the BBC SSO we have a body of musicians that understands the techniques of modern music better than anyone. We're delighted to be able to open the call for scores for the 2009 competition."

Gavin Reid, Director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, said: "The BBC SSO has an international reputation for promoting new music and developing the work of young composers, and so we're delighted to continue our partnership with the University of Aberdeen Music Prize."

Jun Lee will have his commission, Marea, premiered by the BBC SSO, under the baton of American conductor Andrew Litton, at Aberdeen Music Hall on Friday, October 24, 7.30pm. The concert will also include Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony.

The University of Aberdeen Music Prize is open to composers of any nationality, with no age limit or restrictions. Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday, May 29, 2009.

For further information and application details for the Music Prize please visit, email or call + 44(0)1224 273 874. Alternatively, contact Aberdeen Music Prize, Office of External Affairs, University Office, King's College, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom AB24 3FX.

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