Young composers sound the 600th

Friday 8 April 2011

Three talented composers have been shortlisted for the grand final of the University of St Andrews 600th Anniversary composition competition, sponsored by Ernst & Young.

The University of St Andrews, the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world, will host the world premiere of the three shortlisted compositions during a concert night to be held in Younger Hall, St Andrews at 19.30 hours on Thursday April 21, 2011.

The shortlisted composers are Simon Smith, Simon Wilkins and Mark Boden. Shortlisting was blind, though, as might be expected, the selected finalists are all well qualified musicians at the early stages of their careers. The University was delighted, however, to receive 36 submissions from a large and diverse selection of musicians, some of whom were still at school.

The compositions will be performed by the University of St Andrews Symphony Orchestra, for whom they were written.

A panel of five judges will decide the winner – renowned Scottish composer Sally Beamish, University Principal Professor Louise Richardson, conductor of the University of St Andrews Symphony Orchestra Thomas Butler, University of St Andrews Director of Music Michael Downes, and Composer in Residence Richard Ingham.

The winner will receive a £1,000 prize and the chance to have their music played as an anthem for the University of St Andrews’ 600th anniversary.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said:

“I am honoured to be involved with the 600th Composition Competition. We at the University of St Andrews are deeply committed to nurturing creative development, and delighted that an initiative which offers such an outstanding opportunity for the discovery and showcasing of new talent forms part of our anniversary celebrations.”

Roy McEwan, Managing Director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra in residence at the University, commented:

“Supporting and encouraging young creative artists is a crucial responsibility of everyone who works in the arts and something very dear to the hearts of everyone at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. This is a marvellous initiative on the part of the St Andrews Music Society and a very special contribution to the 600th Anniversary celebrations. Opportunities for composers of any age to hear their work played by an orchestra are rare and very precious. Bringing these new works before the public is something for everyone involved to be proud of. Good luck to all three composers, whoever wins, and congratulations to St Andrews Music Society.”

The three works will be premiered alongside well known favourites of the orchestral repertoire: Antonín Dvorák Symphony No. 9 in E Minor (“From the New World”), and Alexander Borodin In the Steppes of Central Asia.

Carin o’ Mohr winery will provide a wine bar during the concert, where attendees will be able to sample some of their Scottish fruit and berry wines.

Tickets can be bought on the door, they cost £7 full price, £5 for students, £4 for Music Society Members.

Notes to News Editors

For full details of the three shortlisted candidates and of the concert night go to:

Issued by the University of St Andrews

Contact: Emma Shea, Communications Manager, on 01334 462 109 or email [email protected]

Category University news

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