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Liverpool Philharmonic announces 5th Christopher Brooks Composition Prize for young composers in association with The Rushworth Foundation
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Liverpool Philharmonic announces 5th Christopher Brooks Composition Prize for young composers in association with The Rushworth Foundation

Friday 7 June 2019

The Christopher Brooks Composition Prize provides a unique opportunity for a young North West composer to develop their talent and access mentoring and guidance from leading artists and music industry professionals, culminating in writing a new work for performance by Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra musicians which will be premiered in autumn 2020.

Now in its fifth year, the prize represents Liverpool Philharmonic’s continuing commitment to the commissioning and performance of new music and supporting home-grown talent.

The Christopher Brooks Composition Prize is open to any composer aged 18-30 living, studying or working in the counties of Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, and Greater Manchester.

The prize-winning composer will write a new work for an ensemble from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra which will be performed in concert during the 2020/21 concert season.

A cash prize of £1,000 has been made possible through the support, for a fifth year, of the Lancashire Sinfonietta Legacy Fund and The Rushworth Foundation. The voice for music writers Ivors Academy will also provide a year’s complimentary membership for the winning composer.

The prize-winner will also be supported with a bespoke programme of workshops, masterclasses and mentoring sessions from resident and visiting musicians, conductors, composers, performers and other industry professionals associated with Liverpool Philharmonic. They will develop their composition and teaching practice through access to Liverpool Philharmonic’s programme for children and young people, including Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company, Youth Orchestra and Choirs, higher education partnerships and the El-Sistema inspired In Harmony Liverpool.

Carmel Smickersgill was the 2018 winner of the Christopher Brooks Composition Prize, and her new work, Charcoal, will be premiered in concert by Ensemble 10/10, Liverpool Philharmonic’s contemporary music group, on Wednesday 6 November at Liverpool’s St. George’s Hall Concert Room.  Another previous prize-winner, Grace-Evangeline Mason, will have her new work Mahler’s Letters premiered on 11 June 2020 by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir.

The Judges
Entries will be judged by a panel of leading composers, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra musicians and senior management, and music industry professionals. This year's panel includes:

  • Peter Garden (Executive Director, Performance and Learning, Liverpool Philharmonic)
  • Andrew Cornall (Liverpool Philharmonic Artistic Consultant, Record Producer and former Vice President of A&R at EMI Classics)
  • Sally Groves (former Creative Director of Schott Music Publishers)
  • Stephen Pratt (Emeritus Professor of Music, Liverpool Hope University, Emeritus Professor, Gresham College, London)
  • Hilary Browning (Associate Principal cellist with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Jonathan Rushworth
  • Fiona Sinclair, (Chief Executive Leeds International Piano Competition)

Peter Garden, Liverpool Philharmonic’s Executive Director, Performance & Learning said: 

Liverpool Philharmonic is always looking for ways to create exciting new opportunities for emerging creative talent from Liverpool and the North West region. This fifth Christopher Brooks Competition Prize builds on our extensive work supporting composition students in the City’s universities, along with the many local, national and international artists we commission to write new work for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and associated ensembles.

Jonathan Rushworth of The Rushworth Foundation said:

The Rushworth name has been synonymous with music in Liverpool and the North West for well over a century. We are keen to preserve the legacy and heritage of the family’s support for music and the arts in Liverpool and are delighted to support this second competition to encourage composition by young people.

Bethan Morgan Williams (previous participant) said:

The Christopher Brooks Composition Prize provides a young composer with a unique opportunity to absorb them self in the day to day life of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. The orchestra is the most friendly and welcoming organisation, with everyone I've come into contact with wanting to do anything and everything they can to help me on my way. I have been able to meet with and pick the brains of many of the players, and develop relationships with musicians and non-musicians alike. I even had the opportunity to meet childhood hero Andrew Manze!

 Notes to Editors

Application Deadline is Friday 5 July at 5pm. Full details about to how to apply at: www.liverpoolphil.com/christopher-brooks-composition-prize

The late Christopher Brooks was a founder of the Lancashire Sinfonietta (now sadly disbanded) and gave an immense amount of support and encouragement to young musicians during his lifetime. The Rushworth Foundation, founded by Jonathan Rushworth whose family were founders of Liverpool’s famous music retail and pipe organ building business, Rushworth & Dreaper, continues a 175-year tradition of support for the musical life of the city of Liverpool.

Photograph: Vasily Petrenko, Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Carmel Smickersgill winner of the 2018 Christopher Brooks Composition Prize.

Media enquiries and further information: 
Millicent Jones, Executive Director, Audiences and Development, Liverpool Philharmonic
Tel: 0151 210 2915 / Millicent.jones@liverpoolphil.com

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