Young Composer Premiéres

Discussion in 'tMP Site News & Suggestions' started by TheMusicMan, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member


    RNCM Festival of Brass 2007
    Artistic Director- Paul Hindmarsh

    A call for new compositions for brass band

    Young composers (up to the age of 30) are invited to submit new or previously unperformed works for the RNCM’s forthcoming Festival of Brass, 26 – 28 January 2007.Selected works will be performed in a concert première given by the RNCM Brass Band during the festival and should be a maximum of 8 minutes duration.

    Closing date for entries: Monday 6 November 2006
    Short-list closed rehearsals: Wednesday 13 & Friday 14 December 2006
    Young Composer Premières: Saturday 27 January 2006

    The Royal Northern College of Music’s Festival of Brass provides a unique opportunity for world-renowned brass bands to perform the finest and most original brass compositions from the past 100 years.

    The 2007 Festival, which celebrates the 150th birthday of Elgar, will also feature the music of Robert Simpson and a number of contemporary composers performed by the leading brass bands in the land, including Black Dyke, Foden’s Richardson, BAYV (Cory) and Brighouse & Rastrick.

    Application forrm here: View attachment Composers' Premieres Application form.doc

    To register your interest and to obtain full information, please contact:

    Philip Biggs
    RNCM Festival of Brass
    2 The Coppice
    CB4 4PP
    Tel: +44(0)1223 234090

  2. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Once again: isn't it a shame that so many of these opportunities are resticted to composers below the age of 30. Many people come to composition later in life or develop more slowly as composers and as such they are cut off from these events and the chance to have their pieces performed in public. If a performer has not reached their peak by 30 it is unlikely that they will achieve the highest level of performance standards, but for composers it is very different and there are countless examples of composers who have only produced their greatest work in their later years - Elgar and Robert Simpson are amongst them!!!

    I can quite understand that some competitions and festivals will be restricted to students or young people generally - that's great and they are totally necessary - but why a cut off date at the age of 30?

    I'm astonished that the RNCM is not concerned with widening access and does not have a commitment to lifelong learning - and I await news of the Adult Composers Festival (that sounds naughtier than I'd intended, but hey) which is only open to composers over the age of 31...

  3. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    And why are dead composers included but not those aged 30 - 100 ???

    This is discrimination!!!


    TIMBONE Active Member

    The subject of ageism having found it's way into the brass band movement in this area has been mentioned on the 4barsrest comments page, a couple of times by myself, and several times by composer Phil Lawrence. Here is an extract from an article I wrote for British Bandsman, which appeared last month.


    I am not aware that this has been a major issue, either in our own movement or the wider world of music, in fact, the maturity of a musician has been respected and appreciated. So why do I mention it?
    Encouraging the young musician is essential. I recently read an excellent review on, a brass band Internet forum, concerning the National Youth Brass Band concert in Weston-super-Mare. We have many talented young players and it is a joy to see all the festivals and contests, courses and workshops. I have seen Rochdale Borough Youth several times and have been astounded by the standard of the band and soloists. There are some talented young composers too, but there is a difference.
    It is a known fact that, generally speaking, a composer’s skill and ability grows with their age. Composing is a mental, creative process. Janacek, well known for his Sinfonietta, was in his 70s before he wrote any major orchestral works. Mussorgsky died leaving an un-scored piano piece called Pictures at an Exhibition. Eric Satie died a miserable man because his music was not accepted and yet his Gymnopodie is one of the most popular classics. Elgar was well into his 30s before he was published. Major orchestras regularly play Dvorak’s 7th, 8th and 9th Symphonies, but what about his earlier six? Music of our own John Golland regularly appears in concerts, contests and on CD, much more than before his untimely death.
    So, what am I saying? When I see composing contests for musicians under 25, or not born before 1 January 1971, I reflect on what I said in the previous paragraph. As I said earlier, there are talented young composers, but can you have a Young Composers’ Competition? Is this not ageism? I am not alone in my views about ageism creeping into our movement with regard to composing competitions. As I have said, there are talented young composers. Some of Sir Malcolm Arnold’s memorable film music was written when he was a young composer. I do feel however, that in this area, it is unfair to put an age limit. As composer Phil Lawrence says, “Composing is like good wine, it matures with age”. I hope that those who decide on these competitions will think again, and maybe get some other opinions about it.
  5. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    With the forthcoming changes in legislation relating to ageism, it begs the question is this sort of age restriction going to be legal?
  6. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I'm not complaining :p

    I do agree that it could cause problems... perhaps there should be two categories - especially as 'composing' matures with age.
  7. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I would think a more reasonable age limit would be 21 so that current or prospective students might have there works heard as a function of the university trying to develop composition skills and screen for potential students.
  8. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Inconsistent, certainly. And much as I have enjoyed the RNCM Festival in recent years, I think it a pity it regularly features non-original music by composers who have had little to do with the medium. Two years ago it was Berlioz, a composer not known for his famililarity with the brass band. Next year it's Elgar, a man with one (count it!) piece under his belt. This year, the festival featured Mozart, while completely overlooking the fact that 2006 is the 80th birthday year of Jo Horovitz, a man who HAS made a significant contribution to the medium.

    I know that each programme has to be balanced with less 'demanding' pieces, but surely the original repertoire can supply those? From, perhaps, composers aged 30 and above?!
  9. axio

    axio Member

    I wonder if the organizers' intention is to restrict established professional composers from entering, and the easiest way to achieve that was by setting an age limit.
  10. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    This possibly doesn't apply to the RNCM, but I know from previous experience that the Arts Funding bodies are obsessed with social inclusion and Arts Council funding is much easier to obtain if you appear to be targeting one of their favoured groups; young people, ethnic minorities, physically and mentally handicapped people, etc. In fact I have been advised by North West Arts in the past that a project that did not focus on one or more of these target audiences would be very unlikely to attract funding. It therefore follows that anyone wanting to run a composers' competiton and get funding for it are almost forced to have an age limit.

    While I have nothing against policies designed to foster and improve inclusion of previously excluded social or ethnic groups, I think the pendulum has swung a bit too far. I suspect it might require a legal challenge to a funding decision under the new ageism legislation for this to change anytime soon though.

    I'd be interested to know the RNCM's view on this. Has anyone asked them?

    TIMBONE Active Member

    Some interesting points from axio and Anno Draconis, and everyone else too. AD, it sounds like the old 'art for arts sake, money for gods sake'.
    HBB, I have heard some of your music, and I feel you would have no worries competing against comosers of an older generation. Some young composers' like Ben, write music which does have a 'young', fresh quality. I have played through the 3rd section test piece for Pontins by 23 year old Gareth Churcher, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and look forward to playing it again.
    My opinion about ageism does not just apply to these competitions, it just alarmed me to see it blatantly appearing in this area.
    It's a good thing it wasn't present in tMP's competition for a march, if it had been, the winner, Darrol Barry, would'nt have been able to enter!
  12. euphsrock

    euphsrock Member

    Hello, I'm a young composer and it wouldn't bother me if older composers could enter but it would mean younger composers with less experience would probably not win and never get their music heard. I like the idea of having things for just certain ages.
    However does anyone know any web pages connected with this comp as I've been trying the link here and can't get it to work? I would very much like to enter but can't seem to find any further details.
  13. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Ring Phillip Biggs (or write to him); the details are given in the original post. I don't think there is a website.
  14. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    "The Harrogate Brass Composers Festival - OPEN TO ALL AGES
    Pieces performed by a local established top section band
    First Prize - Life Membership to TMP and a 2 minute trolley dash around Dragon Music Publishing"

    What do you think Mr Lancaster?
  15. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Yay! My piece "dune" got selected to get performed in the closed rehersals!! Wooo! :)
  16. flashbarry

    flashbarry Member

    As a composer who has just passed the dreaded 50 mark, I have to say the music I have written in the last 4 years puts my other stuff in the shade. Getting them played, picked for contests or recorded is still an uphill battle. God Bless Australia for the MIFB Festival for having an open age limit, surely competitions want the best pieces they can get and setting an age limit restricts this. When people want to commission a new building they don't say the architect has to be under 25, do they?

    I realise how frustrating it must seem to younger composers but believe me it doesn't get any easier unless you are in favour with the powers that be! Anyhow when I was a joiner I had to serve my time and realise I was learning my trade. I concur with Tim on the points he makes, wether the music comes from a ten year old or a 80 year old - if its good lets play it!
  17. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Nice one :clap: , well done
  18. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    And to think that a lot of your friends knocked you back on this one because it was too modern (dissonant)! I'm glad you persevered and wish you the best of luck! :tup