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Stephen Fry Chairs Composer Competition Final Concert

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ORA Singers is hosting its first Composer Competition Final Concert, adjudicated by Stephen Fry (Chair), Chief Executive of Sound and Music Susanna Eastburn MBE, world-renowned composer John Rutter CBE and Director of New Music at Edition Peters Katie Tearle MBE.

The Competition comes in two parts: the Open Competition, open to all, and the Youth Competition which is open purely to secondary state-school pupils. Ten youth finalists were chosen to receive 10 hours of one-to-one mentoring each from ORA-commissioned composers, have their works workshopped with ORA singers and write a new work to be performed in the Competition Final Concert. ORA particularly wanted to target young people who it felt might not have the opportunity, either at school or at home, to receive support in writing music, and wanted to give them a platform to compose and have their music heard.

Matthew Beale, Chief Executive of ORA Singers, said:

“We were sure that there would be a wealth of compositional talent in the UK which, due to an ever-dwindling emphasis on musical education, might not be getting the support it needed. Even so, we have been amazed by the sheer imagination and quality of music we have heard from so many of our youth entrants, and choosing just ten finalists was honestly an incredibly hard task.”

The three Open Finalists and ten Youth Finalists have all been asked to write a reflection of a Renaissance choral masterpiece, something that ORA regularly asks of its commissioned composers. These composers have often commented that writing a reflection of a work gives an initial structure that makes the whole process much less frightening but can actually feed creativity.

All of these new compositions, 13 world premieres in all, will be performed by ORA Singers on the 27th July at King’s College, London. Winners will be chosen by the illustrious adjudication panel, but the audience will also be able to vote for their favourite composers in the audience prize, and Stephen Fry will be awarding all of the trophies.

Tickets are now available to buy online: £20 Adults, £12 Concessions (full time students and under 18’s).


Open Competition:

Joel Jarventausta
Áine Mallon
Ben See

Youth Competition:

Patrick Lappin  (17, Lurgan College, Northern Ireland)
Hannah Beech  (17, Loreto Sixth Form  College, Denton)
Edward Atkin ( 15, Millthorpe School, York)
Emily Pedersen (17, St John Fisher Catholic High School, Harrogate)
Katie Styles (11, Wycombe Girl's High School, Maidenhead)
Louis Wild  (17, Prudhoe Community High School, Wylam)
Laura Fitzgerald (17, Kesgrave High School Sixth Form, Kesgrave)
Joshua Wheldon (17, North Hykeham Joint, Sixth Form College, Thurlby)
Ben Gilchrist (15, Pate's Grammar School, Cheltenham)
Yuvraj Sethia (17, The Priory Academy LSST)

For further details on the 2019 finalists, please head to our Competition page.