The Commonwealth International Composition Award is a competition now in its second year, which aims to encourage young musicians to write their own music, and to give young composers the skills they need to further their careers.

The 2021 competition attracted hundreds of entries from school-age composers, and the entries were shortlisted down to ten finalists, who had their pieces recorded and performed by professional musicians.

The Award Final was streamed live from the Royal Over-Seas League last night, with live performances of the pieces and pre-recorded messages from the adjudicators. The overall winner was announced by special guest Evelyn Glennie.

Three prizes were awarded:

The winner of the Commonwealth International Composition Award 2021 is David Ingham, aged 15 (UK – pictured)

Three of the young composers were Highly Commended:

James Brew – Australia
Devon Packer – Canada
Falak Suteri – India

The Young Adjudicators Prize was awarded to Devon Packer, aged 15 (Canada)

The audience prize, voted for by the public was awarded to Falak Suteri, aged 15 (india)

 “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be part of this year’s competition. All of the young composers produced some stunning work, and I am looking forward to hearing what they make next as their journeys continue”. Adjudicator Duncan Chapman 


“Congratulations to everyone involved in this competition, it is a real testament to your dedication, creativity, and love of music. ABRSM is a founding partner of this award, and it is great to see the number of entries rising year on year. I am reminded of the power of music to connect, unite, and bring people together.” Lincoln Abbotts, Strategic Director, ABRSM 

The Award final is available to watch here.

More information on the award and the 2021 finalists can be found here.

The Award is run in partnership with The Commonwealth Resounds, the ABRSM and The Purcell School for Young Musicians.

The Adjudicators: Bushra El-Turk Duncan Chapman Supriya Nagarajan

Young Adjudicators:
Xiaole Zhan (New Zealand) – Winner of the 2020 Commonwealth International Composition Award
Aliyah Ramatally (Trinidad) – Audience Vote Winner of the 2020 Commonwealth International Composition Award
Kavi Paul (UK/India) – Director of the Third Culture Collective
Jasmine Morris (UK/Japan) Winner of the BBC Inspire Young Composers’ Competition