BBC Proms announces 2017 Inspire Young Composers’ Competition winners

BBC Proms Inspire

The most promising young composing talent in the UK has been handpicked by a panel of judges comprising composers Fraser Trainer, Kerry Andrew, Charlotte Bray, Hannah Kendall, Gabriel Prokofiev, Tansy Davies and BBC Proms director, David Pickard, who were on the look out for pieces that were original, unique and inspiring.

Composer and Inspire judge Charlotte Bray, said: ‘The outstanding quality of the entries to this year’s Inspire competition made judging incredibly tricky. What a joy and privilege it is to see the work and creativity of so many young composers.”

The Inspire Young Composers’ Competition, gives composers aged 12 – 18 the unrivalled opportunity to have their compositions performed by professional musicians at the BBC Proms, the world’s largest classical music festival, broadcast on BBC Radio 3, as well as a coveted BBC commission.

The scheme, which is in its nineteenth year, offers a platform to budding composers across the UK to develop their skills, share their ideas with like-minded musicians and get their music heard.

Participants benefit from year-round events to encourage and support them, including Inspire Sessions led by leading composers and industry professionals who provide an insight into different aspects of music-making.

Previous BBC Proms Inspire winners to go on to establish careers include Mark Simpson, whose new work The Immortal will receive its London premiere at the BBC Proms this year (July), and Grace Evangeline-Mason who receives a BBC Proms and BBC Radio 4 Front Row joint commission for a piece inspired by Handel’s Water Music, to be performed at Stage@TheDock in Hull as part of the unique Proms at… series (22 July).

David Pickard, director, BBC Proms, said: “I continue to be amazed by the level of talent coming out of the Inspire scheme, 19 years since it was founded. It is hugely important to me that the BBC Proms shines a light on new musical talent and Inspire offers an unrivalled platform to young composers to develop their skills and get their music heard. These young composers are the future of the BBC Proms, and we will continue to nurture them and place them at the heart of our festival.”

New for this year is the BBC Proms Inspire Day on 14 August, which will bring together over 100 composers in a day of workshops culminating in a Winners’ concert. The winning pieces will be performed by Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon, at the BBC Radio Theatre and recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

At the BBC Proms Inspire Day 12-18 year olds will taken part in an opening workshop with composers and Inspire Competition judges Kerry Andrew and Fraser Trainer; speed-mentoring with Inspire Ambassadors; Q&A with a panel of professional composers; film music composition with Michael Price; vocal composition with Juice ensemble; collaborative composition with Fraser Trainer

Places are limited and will be offered on a first-come first-served basis. For more information and to sign up to the BBC Proms Inspire Day visit the website.

The five young composers to win a BBC Proms performance, a broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a BBC commission are:

Lower Junior Category (12-14 Years):
Juliana Niu ­­– A Short Fantasy
Chelsea Becker – New York

Upper Junior Category (15-16 Years):
Rebecca Farthing – The Death of Lennie Small
Will Harmer – The Whole Heaven On Fire

Senior Category (17-18 Years):
Sarah Frances Jenkins – Three Miniatures of Ynys Lawd

The Nine Highly Commended entrants are:

Lower Junior Category (12-14 Years):
Denis Patrick Coleman IV – Unity and Fragmentation
Joshua Rydell – Stimmungsswankungen
Aidan Bryston – Uncommon Time

Upper Junior Category (15-16 Years):
Alistair Burton – Misadventures
Dominic Aoelio Williams – Munkytrenz
Alexia Sloane – Long for Equinox

Senior Category (17-18 Years):
Ignacio Mana Mesa – Black Pictures
Jamie Farrow – O Magnum Mysterium (Reimagined)
Marcello Palazzo – Deux Etudes Pour Piano, No. 2