Launch of the Commonwealth International Composition Award

The Official Launch of the Commonwealth International Composition Award was held at Marlborough House on Tuesday 30th April. It was attended by many distinguished guests from the music profession and the Commonwealth and hosted by Zeb Soanes, BBC Presenter and Author.

Speakers included Her Excellency The Secreatry_General of the Commonwealth, Her Excellency the High Commissioner of Antigua and Barbuda, Geoff Parkin, Artistic Director, Royal Over-Seas League, Michael Elliot, Chief Executive, ABRSM, Paul Bambrough, Principal, The Purcell School for Young Musicians, Daniel Spreadbury, Marketing Manager, Dorico, Kuljit Bhamra, Composer, Tabla Explorer and De-mystifier of Indian Music and Alison Cos OBE, Founder and chair of Trustees, The Commonwealth Resounds.

Two exciting new pieces by young composers were presented. ‘Tiger Teeth’ by Sasha Scott aged 17 (cultural background from Barbados, Jamaica and the UK) performed by a school-age string quartet from the Purcell School for Young Musicians and ‘Adam’s Peak’ by Vionthya Perinpanathan (cultural background from Sri Lanka) performed by Kuljit Bhamra – tabla and Leonie Adams. – cello. Leonie is the Musical Director of Dionysus, Ensemble-in Residence for the Commonwealth Resounds.

There was a great deal of lively discussion! Guests had plenty of time in between speeches and music for networking and conversation. Everyone was treated to tasty snacks and canapés, prepared by Roberts Macnaughten and wines form Commonwealth countries, New Zealand Australia and South Africa!

The Composition Award is already running in four pilot countries – Antigua and Barbuda, India, Rwanda and New Zealand. Young people are being trained to compose their own music, and other countries (including Cyprus and Sri Lanka) are hoping to join them for the second phase of the award.

“A Connected Commonwealth is a Composing Commonwealth!”

Her Excellency, Baroness Patricia Scotland

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

“Composition is a very special and personal thing. I am excited to see what the results will be from the four pilot countries!” 

Geoff Parkin

Artistic Director, Royal Over-Seas League and Patron of the Commonwealth Resounds

“I have no doubt that the Composition Award will flourish and deliver some life-changing experiences for young people across the globe.” 

Paul Bambrough,

Principal, Purcell School, the oldest specialist music school in the Commonwealth.