Six composers have been selected out of over 350 entrants for the BBC’s biennial composition competition for 12 to 18 year olds

In March, the BBC invited young music-makers of all technical abilities, musical backgrounds and styles from across the UK to enter a composition for the BBC Young Composer competition. Applicants were required to submit their entry online, using any instruments and method of composing that suited them.

Over 350 applications were submitted from across the UK, with genres spanning song writing, film/ soundtrack music, choral, solo instrument, jazz, rock, pop, electronic and contemporary. Each composition was assessed on its compositional idea, creativity and originality, and was judged anonymously. Now, the six composers have been selected to participate in a yearlong tailored development programme to work with a mentor composer on a project with members of the BBC Concert Orchestra. This will culminate in a live performance or broadcast opportunity at a later date.

The winners, listed in each category are as follows:

Lower Junior Category (age 12-14)

  • Atharv Gupta – Demain, Dès L’Aube
  • Avram Harris – Across the Void

Upper Junior Category (age 15-16)

  • Advaith Jagannath – Saturn Devouring his Son
  • Pascal Bachmann – Étude-Grotesque

Senior Category (age 17-18)

  • Jamie Smith – Into Oblivion
  • Reese Carly Manglicmot – Rumble

Additionally, nine entrants have also received a ‘highly commended’ award and will be offered a feedback session with a member of the competition judging panel. These composers are: Easher Austin, Natalie Denley, Olivier Horn (Lower Junior Category); Edward Harris-Brown, Jamaal Kashim, Taro d’Aronville (Upper Junior Category); Finty Woold, Harry Baines and Nina Martin (Senior Category).

The judging panel of composers and musicians included Lloyd Coleman, Shiva Feshareki, Abimaro Gunnell, Gavin Higgins, Cassie Kinoshi, Eímear Noone, as well as industry experts Katie Tearle and David Pickard, Director of the BBC Proms.

Since its inception in 1998, BBC Young Composer has offered a platform for hundreds of young composers from across the UK to further their artistic and professional ambitions. The scheme has launched countless musical careers, with many of today’s leading composers counted in the outstanding list of BBC Young Composer alumni, including Shiva Feshareki, Kate Whitley, Alissa Firsova, Mark Simpson, Tom Harrold, and Duncan Ward.

Bill Chandler, Director of the BBC Concert Orchestra said: “I am hugely impressed with the exceptionally high standard of music-making from the young people who entered the BBC Young Composer competition. Across the UK there is a vast amount of creativity and talent, and whilst I know it was difficult for the judges to choose a small selection to be winners, everyone involved should be proud of their efforts. “I look forward to another year of the BBC Concert Orchestra working with the winners, helping them develop their ideas and honing their technical skills”