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BBC Young Composer 2020

The nationwide BBC Young Composer competition 2020 is now open!

You may not think of yourself as a composer, but if you love to create your own original music, and are bursting with creativity, originality, and potential, then we're here to tell you that you are!

We’re looking for musically-minded people aged 12-18 of all technical ability, backgrounds, and musical influences.

We've extended the closing date for entries to 5pm, Monday 20 July 2020

Find out about the BBC Young Composer Competition 2020

What is the BBC Young Composer Competition?

An annual competition for 12 to 18 year olds across the UK who create their own original music. Winners will participate in a tailored development programme working with a mentor composer on a project with the BBC Concert Orchestra which will be performed and broadcast in a special young composers concert at the BBC Proms in 2021.

Entries will be judged in three categories:
Junior Category (age 12-14): for those aged between 12 and 14 at the closing date.
Junior Category (age 15-16): for those aged 15 and 16 at the closing date.
Senior Category (age 17-18): for those aged 17 and 18 at the closing date. This category will include Entrants who turn 19 between the originally advertised closing date of 11 June 2020 and the revised closing date of 20 July 2020. This category will include Entrants who turn 19 between the originally advertised closing date of 11 June 2020 and the revised closing date of 20 July 2020.

The closing date for entries to the competition is 5pm on Monday 20 July 2020

What are the Rules?

It's very important that you read the Rules for the competition in their entirety for full details on how to submit your entry. Please note we have made some revisions to the Rules as of 27 April 2020, in light of school closures due to Covid-19

The closing date for entries is Monday 20 July 2020. Late and/ or invalid entries will be disqualified. If you’re aged 12 to 16, a parent or guardian (aged 18 or over) must enter on your behalf and provide consent and agreement to these Rules.

Before submitting your entry, please make sure you read the competition Rules and Privacy Notice.

How do I enter?

Please refer to the Rules for full details on how to submit a valid entry. If you need any further information or require clarification of the meaning of any of the Rules, please contact a member of the BBC Young Composer team by emailing getinvolved@bbc.co.uk or calling 0207 765 0557 during office hours. Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Monday 20 July 2020.. Any entries received after this time and date will not be entered in the competition.

Submit your entry here

Who are the judges?

Each year entries are judged by a panel of leading composers and music industry professionals who are passionate about finding and developing young talent. The 2020 Competition judges are composers Errollyn Wallen Shiva Feshareki, Matthew Kaner and Director of the Proms, David Pickard.

More judges will be announced soon.

BBC Young Composer Alumni and Ambassadors

BBC Young Composer brings together some of the UK’s brightest young talent to meet, explore and share ideas at workshops, concerts and events throughout the year. The scheme has provided a platform for talented young composers including previous competition winning and highly commended entrants Shiva Feshareki, Kate Whitley, Tom Harrold, Alissa Firsova, Mark Simpson, Toby Young, Lloyd Coleman and Duncan Ward.

Winning and highly commended composers are also invited to become part of a growing team of BBC Young Composer Ambassadors, giving our alumni a chance to continue a relationship with the BBC Proms beyond the age of 18.

Many of our recent alumni have gone on to receive additional commissions from the BBC including:


• Tom Harrold, for BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Last Night of the Proms, 2016

• Grace Mason, Proms At…Stage@TheDock, 2017

• Alex Woolf, Radio 3 NHS Symphony 2018

• Sarah Jenkins, for BBC Concert Orchestra

• Alexia Sloane, for BBC Concert Orchestra, 2020

• Helena Paish and Electra Perivolaris, for the BBC Singers for Radio 3's International Women’s Day commission

• Mark Simpson, currently Composer in Association with the BBC Philharmonic

If you wish to ask a question to our Ambassadors (whether about the BBC Young Composer competition or more generally about your own music), feel free to send an email to getinvolved@bbc.co.uk and we will pass it on.

Contact Us

We want everyone to have the opportunity to take part and benefit from BBC Young Composer, nurturing and showcasing their original talent. Therefore, if you have any concerns regarding access or you know of barriers to entry, please get in contact with us on the details below.

If you have any questions about BBC Young Composer please contact a member of the team by emailing getinvolved@bbc.co.uk or calling 0207 765 0557 during office hours (10am-5pm). Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply.

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

Submit your entry

Listen and discover

Follow BBC Young Composer through the BBC Proms