BBC Young Composer 2021 winners announced

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The winners of this year’s BBC Young Composer competition have been announced, with six composers chosen from over 500 entries.

Winning composers will be offered the opportunity to participate in a development program with a mentor composer, creating a BBC Radio 3 commission for the BBC Concert Orchestra. The final work will be performed or broadcast at a later date.

The program is open to young people aged 12 to 18 who compose in a wide range of genres, from classical and contemporary to electronic and techno.

This year’s BBC Young Composer jury included composers Shiva Feshareki, Gavin Higgins, Sarah Freestone and Lloyd Coleman, singer-songwriters Becky Hill and Benbrick, and BBC Proms director David Pickard.

Recent competition alumni include Mark Simpson and Grace-Evangeline Mason, both of whom have had their work performed by BBC orchestras at major events, including the BBC Proms.

BBC Young Composer was first presented as a competition in 2012, when it was called the BBC Proms Inspire competition. Unlike previous iterations, this year’s BBC Young Composer was open to composers writing in all genres and participants were invited to submit their compositions in scoring or voice recording form.

The winners of the BBC Young Composer 2021 competition:

Lower juniors (12 – 14 years old)

  • Isaac Bristow – Dark Matter
  • Théo Kendall – Magellan

Senior juniors (15 – 16 years old)

  • Maddy Chassar-Hesketh – From galaxies to cells
  • Will Everitt – Study

Seniors (17 – 18 years old)

  • Chelsea Becker – Iris for oboe and electronics
  • Jenna Stewart – Lost Time

BBC Young Composer 2021: Highly Recommended

Lower juniors (12 – 14 years old)

  • Taro d’Aronville – Helix
  • Avram Harris – Yizkor
  • Sam Hesketh – God of the Moon

Senior juniors (15 – 16 years old)

  • Andrea Lam – Life in 5 1/2 minutes
  • Leo Little – Woodwind quintet no. 1 “Adolescence” (movement 1)
  • Reese Carly Manglicmot – Praeludium

Seniors (17 – 18 years old)

  • William Clark – Piece for Piano, Celeste, Percussion and Small Orchestra
  • Polina Savicka – Study of sensations
  • Melanie Silva – I died and I went to space


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