Catch up with Young Composer of the Year


We have been having SUCH a wonderful time with our second year work with Young Composers from the foreSOUND School of Music in our ‘Young Composer of the Year’ education project.  Quite uniquely to this project, we ask young students to undertake the serious task of composing and notating a complete new work for our ensemble (usually 2-3 minutes long) and we premiere all the pieces on a concert (the winning piece is performed again later in the year).

As with last year, we began the project with an ‘instrument shopping’ day, where our musicians go and play for the young composers – inviting them to ask questions and giving loads of examples from a handout prepared by our Artistic Director, Aaron.


The students then develop their ideas and start working on the beginnings of their pieces.  In groups, they meet up with Aaron and get direct feedback/explore other ideas for their pieces, before finishing.  Their final pieces are professionally entered into Sibelius software and turned into a beautiful score that each composer gets to keep.

All of the new pieces will be premiered – alongside Tavener’s wonderful To a Child XXX – on 7th May and then again at Guy’s Hospital as part of our Breathe AHR performance there.

Keep an eye out for the final score before the performance, and an ear out for recordings after!

Call for Scores 2016

Our 2016 Call for Scores received 218 applications from composers all over the world.  It was an incredible and humbling experience to come into contact with so much great new music, being made by such an inspiring and eclectic array of composers.  We are extremely proud to announce the composers we’ll be collaborating with for our 29th October concert, this year.


Yukiko Watanabe is a Japanese composer living in Cologne.  She will write us a new piece for flute, piano, toy piano, hand-held percussion, guitar, viola and harp.

Lee Westwood is a British composer and guitarist, part of the New Music Brighton collective, who lives and works in England.  Lee will also will write us a new piece for flute, piano, toy piano, hand-held percussion, guitar, viola and harp.

In addition to these pieces, we’ve asked a couple of composers who applied to work with us on various miniatures for an upcoming recording project we are doing in September, and we have set aside a large number of great new pieces we found through this call, which we sincerely hope to perform in the coming years.

We’ll be back with interviews with Yukiko and Lee, and updates of other new music throughout the year.  Our sincere gratitude to all who applied, and made this call for scores what it was.

Traced Upon Cinders

Date: Friday 29th April, 7.30pm
Venue: St. Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch (E1 6JN)

An ecclectic evening of music in the resonant and beautiful St. Leonard’s Church. We give the UK premieres of Evan Johnson’s experimental and virtuosic L’art de toucher le clavecin 3, our 2016 composer-in-residence Nina C. Young’s Traced Upon Cinders (for electric guitar and ensemble), and Djuro Zivkovic’s Grawemeyer Winning On the Guarding of the Heart (commissioned & premiered by Klangforum Wien).
The concert will also include a short trio of piano pieces in memory of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Steven Stucky and Pierre Boulez.
The concert will last approximately one hour with no interval.

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My Life on the Plains

In conjunction with Sonic Imperfections as part of the Telegraph Hill Festival
Date: Friday 18th March
Venue: St. Catherine’s Church

After giving the UK Premiere at the 2015 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, we’re bringing Lee Hyla’s masterwork My Life on the Plains to London on a fantastic evening of music shared with Gold Vox, Matthew Shaw, and Charles Hayward with Laura Cannell.  

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Young Composer of the Year

Date: Saturday 7th May; 7.00pm
Venue: Palmers Green United Reformed Church
In association with the foreSOUND school of music, we’re so excited for our annual education project encouraging and training the next generation of composers.  Numerous young foreSOUND students have been selected to attend an instrument introduction day with our players (27th Feb) and take composition lessons with our Artistic Director Aaron Holloway-Nahum.  They’ll then compose new pieces (often their very first) and we’ll perform them on this concert, alongside John Tavener’s To A Child Dancing In the Wind.  Recordings of all the pieces will be released on our media pages.

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