BBC Proms Inspire

If you’re an aspiring young composer aged 12 to 18, read on to find out how to join the BBC Proms Inspire Scheme.

Hearing my music broadcast on BBC Radio 3 for the first time…it's a moment I'll never forget!
Grace Mason, winner of the 2013 Inspire Competition (Senior category)

Now in its seventeenth year, the BBC Proms Inspire scheme provides you with a friendly environment to share ideas, meet like-minded composers and develop your musical creativity, while working alongside some of the UK’s top composers and musicians.

Inspire is delivered in three phases:

Inspire Labs: composition workshops taking place throughout the year in cities across the UK, delivered in partnership with the BBC Performing Groups and partner ensembles.

The Young Composers’ Competition: a chance to win a coveted BBC broadcast, professional performance of your piece and BBC commission. The 2015 competition closed on 21 May 2015.

Inspire Sessions: a series of workshops and concerts taking place during the Proms season.

The BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers' Competition 2015 closed on Thursday 21 May 2015. Please do not try to enter the competition as late entries will not be accepted.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Inspire Young Composers’ Competition

Now in its seventh year, the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ competition continues to offer winners unrivalled opportunities to reach wide audiences on world-class platforms for classical music including the BBC Proms and BBC Radio 3, as well as receive a much sought-after BBC commission.

This year’s entries were judged by a panel comprising composers Fraser Trainer, Stuart MacRae, Anna Meredith, Martin Suckling, Judith Weir CBE, and Radio 3 Editor Jeremy Evans.

Our judges were extremely impressed with the quality of this year’s competition entries so thank you to everyone who entered. We’re delighted to announce the winning and highly commended entries of the 2015 BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition.

The winners of the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition 2015 are:

Daniel Penney – The Complications of Life in an Enclosed Space
Matthew Kelley – Fantasia for Strings
Tammas Slater – Mechanical Passion

Finlay Stafford – Like The Wind
Toby Hession – After Death

The highly commended entrants are:

Alex Jones – Shyhm Trio
Thomas Carr – The Gravity of Regret
Sofia Swenson-Wright – Green Glass
Michael Hollette – Spirals
William Kidner – Spiral

Ka Wai Chan – Nocturnal Machines
Miriam Chapman-Rosenfeld – Malady
Theo May – Fractal Structures
Oliver Buckland – The Eagle has Landed
Alastair McNamara – Purgatory

The winning pieces will be performed by Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon, at the Proms Extra concert at the Royal College of Music on Friday 28 August 2015, 5.45pm. The winning pieces will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Winners will also receive a BBC commission.

Judge Anna Meredith said: 'It was an especially exciting year with a really varied and creative set of submissions. We all enjoyed listening to the submissions hugely and it was incredibly hard to come up with a short-list. All of these composers have huge potential and I look forward to seeing where they go next.'

Chair of the judging panel Fraser Trainer commented: 'We had a really good portion of strong and highly competent pieces in this year’s submissions overall. In each category there were a number of composers who impressed the judges with their imagination, creativity, personality and craft. We were particularly impressed with the quality of work from the junior category and the way that several composers in both age groups were able to create and imagine a sound-world outside the normal frame of convention.'

Inspire Labs are free interactive workshops that offer composers of all abilities the opportunity to work alongside leading composers and professional orchestral musicians in a day of musical discovery. Secondary school teachers can also participate in the scheme via Inspire Teacher Labs, designed to help teachers develop their compositional classroom teaching skills.
Booking for the 2015-16 Inspire Labs will open Autumn 2015.

Inspire Lab attendees and Young Composers’ Competition entrants in the 2014-15 season will be given priority booking to a series of free Inspire Sessions during the 2015 Proms season. Inspire Sessions are free talks and workshops open to 12-18 year olds in which leading composers and industry professionals provide an insight into different aspects of music-making. This season there will be four Inspire Sessions:

8 August: Choral Composition with Eric Whitacre and the BBC Singers

16 August: Composing for TV and film with Michael Price

21 August: Collaborative Composition with Paul Griffiths

28 August: Q&A with Colin Matthews, Anna Meredith and Tansy Davies

The BBC Proms Inspire scheme brings together some of the UK’s brightest young talent to meet, explore and share ideas at workshops, concerts and events throughout the year. Over the past seventeen years the scheme has provided a platform for aspiring and talented young composers including previous competition winners Tansy Davies, Alissa Firsova, Mark Simpson and Duncan Ward.

You can listen to recordings of winning and highly commended pieces from the 2014 Inspire Young Composers’ Competition on the Radio 3 website by clicking here.

This year the six winners' from the 2014 competition were commissioned to write a piece for chamber ensemble. Their works were premiered at a Proms Extra event on 8 August and will be broadcast on Radio 3 (dates will be announced here soon).

If you have any questions about the Inspire scheme please contact a member of the team by emailing or calling 0207 765 0557.

If you’re a teacher or music education professional who would like to speak to a member of the Proms team about how we can support you and your students, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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