The winners of the 2020 Commonwealth Composition Challenge were announced via an online Awards Ceremony yesterday at 7.00pm GMT.
Over 100 young people submitted pieces they had written, and this was shortlisted to 11 finalists. The range and quality of the submissions was outstanding. Listen to the shortlisted entries, and watch the awards ceremony on The Commonwealth Resounds YouTube channel.
Alison Cox, Founder and Director of The Commonwealth Resounds commented “There is so much musical talent in the Commonwealth. We were absolutely delighted by the quality of entries received.”
The three award winners are:
The Audience Vote: £250 – MALAYSIA – Eleanor Inn Rei Shuen aged 12, for her composition ‘Dear Fate’ for piano.
The Young Adjudicators’ Vote: £250 – INDIA – Tiara Michelle Oberoi aged 17 – ‘Lacrimosa’
The Commonwealth Composition Challenge Prizewinner Award: £500 and a commission to compose a piece for a professional ensemble and/or a special event – AUSTRALIA James Brew aged 13, for his composition ‘Pan-Xiety’ for string trio.
The Commonwealth Composition Challenge is a special project launched at the beginning of the lockdown in March/April 2020. The aim of the project is to offer online opportunities to school-aged musicians and composers all over the Commonwealth who have been stuck at home during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
Many young people around the world were unable to communicate effectively with their own schools during the lockdown, and so this project has provided, in the words of a parent, ‘a wonderful, unexpected lifeline for them to continue their music education’.
Young people were invited to compose and submit a piece of music which reflected in some way their own feelings and experiences during this unusual time. We received more than 70 entries from a wide range of different Commonwealth countries.
To help support inexperienced young people further, we organised a series of one-day training workshops called ‘Go Compose Online’, during which school-aged composers worked online for a day with professional tutors and instrumentalists, who helped them to write and record their pieces. To date, we have managed to fund seven Go Compose workshops for over 80 young composers, at the same time creating badly-needed employment for the professional musicians involved.
A message of support for our Commonwealth Composition Challenge from Layne Robinson, Head of Policy at the Commonwealth. Mr Robinson congratulates our brilliant Commonwealth Composition Challenge finalists and speaking about how music is a tool to empower, unite & engage young people.
HOPE! by Nathanael (Nat), a 10-year old composer from Singapore is a beautiful composition written to support front-line workers and everyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nat has already encouraged musicians from New Zealand, Singapore, and Australia to perform in his piece and he would like to also invite other Commonwealth musicians to join in as well. Please see the video below for more details!
Nat is one of the Commonwealth Composition Challenge finalists, and he also attended one of The Commonwealth Resounds’ recent ‘Go Compose!’ workshops, run with permission from Sound and music and with the support of the ABRSM.
The Commonwealth Composition Challenge was launched in April to encourage young people to compose music that is relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic in some way. Open to young people aged 11-18 throughout the Commonwealth, the competition received hundreds of entries.
We are delighted to announce that the following composers have been shortlisted as finalists. The date of the Award Ceremony will be announced shortly.
INDIA – Aditya Manik aged 15 – ‘Journey To and Through Agony’
CANADA – Devon Packer aged 14 – ‘Home Fugue Home’
MALAYSIA – Eleanor Inn Rei Shuen aged 12 – ‘Dear Fate’
SINGAPORE – Isaiah Hui Zhou Rong aged 15 – ‘Courage’
INDIA – Ishaan Leonard Rao aged 15 – “Locked Down’
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA – Jahfari Hazelwood aged 17 – ‘Stuck in Quarantine’
AUSTRALIA – James Brew aged 13 – “Pan-Xiety’
UNITED KINGDOM – Maddie Melville Smith aged 15 – ‘Memories’
SINGAPORE – Nathanael Koh aged 10 – ‘Mutation’
UNITED KINGDOM – Oliver Gibson aged 16 – ‘Forever’
INDIA – Tiara Michelle Oberoi aged 17 – ‘Lacrimosa’