Calling all young musicians! The BBC has opened entries for its Young Composer competition this year.
Since 1998, the competition has launched countless musical careers. Formerly known as the BBC Proms Inspire competition, it rebranded in 2020 with a mission to reach a wider pool of talent.
Last year saw the highest ever number of entries with entrants embracing a wide range of musical styles, with influences ranging from hip-hop and electronica to contemporary classical and orchestral film music. Inspiration for their works came from a wide variety of subjects including racial identity, the natural world and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BBC is seeking musically-minded students aged 12-18 of all technical abilities, backgrounds, and musical influences to submit an original composition and recording. Any genre, any instruments, and any method of composing are welcome – music-makers may not think of themselves as a composer, but if they love to create their own original music then the BBC wants to hear from them. All compositions are judged anonymously and assessed on their compositional idea, creativity and originality.
Winners will be given the brilliant opportunity to participate in a tailored development programme working with a mentor composer on a project with the BBC Concert Orchestra, culminating in a performance or broadcast opportunity.
In what’s been a challenging year for so many young people, BBC Young Composer hopes to inspire young people from all over the UK to get creative and submit their work.
David Pickard, director of BBC Proms, says: “There is a wealth of musical talent across the UK, and it’s more important than ever to nurture the next generation of music-makers from every style and genre. It’s been a privilege to watch previous winners develop as composers, and last year’s competition saw such variety – not only in musical style, but also in inspiration with thought-provoking themes explored. The BBC is incredibly proud to be able to offer these mentorship opportunities for young musical innovators and we look forward to hearing from aspiring composers working in all genres.”
BBC Young Composer remains committed to assisting its alumni in launching their careers through its Ambassador scheme, connecting composers to commissioning opportunities at the BBC. Recent alumni, including Grace-Evangeline Mason, Alex Woolf, Xia Leon Sloane and Sarah Jenkins, have been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Proms.
The judging panel for the 2021 Young Composer Competition will be announced in due course.
Entries close at 5pm on Monday 28 June, and the competition is open to young people aged 12-18 (at the closing date). For more information, www.bbc.co.uk/youngcomposer.