In 2019 we launched a competition for emerging composers aged 16 – 30, asking them to create a short, inspiring orchestral Fanfare for ERSO’s 90th Birthday Gala Concert. We received 26 extremely high quality submissions which were reviewed by our assessment panel which included acclaimed British composer Emma-Ruth Richards, who is much in demand in the UK and across the globe, our conductor Chris Stark and our professional Leader John Crawford (Professor at Trinity Laban). The composers of the five most promising submissions were invited to workshop their pieces with ERSO. 

“This is a fantastic project that grants young composers the wonderful and rare opportunity to explore and develop their musical creativity in an orchestral setting. In a challenging time where commissioned work is rare, opportunities like this are essential in championing new music and creating a platform where composers can develop their careers.”

Emma-Ruth Richards

From Left to Right: Finalists Alex Papp, Sarah Cattley, Caitlin Harrison, Andreas Swerdlow and Jared Destro with mentor Emma-Ruth Richards and conductor Chris Stark

Each of the composers was given extremely detailed feedback from Emma-Ruth Richards, our leader and conductor and a summary of the feedback from all of the players.

“It was fantastically exciting to hear my fanfare brought to life and I really enjoyed getting the chance to hear the other four pieces too! It was a wonderful afternoon.  I really, really appreciate that all of us get a recording of the final play through of our piece. It was really heartening to have so many wonderful musicians taking our new pieces seriously and really caring about all the little details. Plus, ERSO were so friendly and good-humoured, which made the whole afternoon very enjoyable!”

One of the composers selected for the workshop.

We selected 19-year old Alex Papp as our winner and, because the standard of the fanfares was so high, we also selected Jared Destro as a runner-up and his piece will also feature in our 90th birthday concert.

Alex will also be commissioned to create a new piece for soloist and orchestra in partnership with tuba player Grady Hassan, the winner of the 2020 ERSO Soloist of the Year. This new solo piece will also be performed in our Birthday Gala concert.

“Thanks so much, this is amazing!! It was an incredible experience to have my fanfare workshopped, so I can’t thank you enough! From winning this competition, not only do I get superb mentoring during the process, but I will also have the opportunity to have one of my pieces seriously worked on by the ERSO and to work closely with a soloist – something I’ve never done before. It gives me the opportunity to inspire younger children via outreach and creating simpler parts so they can play and finally to have many people listen to my music and hopefully be inspired.”

Winner, Alexander Papp

Our winning composer Alex and runner-up Jared will benefit hugely from the exposure of having their work performed at a prestigious concert hall in front of a large audience, which will be a significant addition to their CV at the start of their career. The concert will be recorded, and they will be able to use the recordings as an invaluable part of their portfolios in demonstrating their work when they are seeking further opportunities.

We are very grateful to the RVW Trust for their generous support for this competition for emerging composers.

RVWT PNG BLACK logo - SEP 2019.png