Liverpool Philharmonic Announces Winner of Christopher Brooks Composition Prize 2017

Liverpool Philharmonic is delighted to announce 22-year-old Grace-Evangeline Mason as the 2017 winner of its annual Christopher Brooks Composition Prize.

Grace (b.1994) wins a cash prize of £1,000 made possible through the support of Lancashire Sinfonietta Legacy Fund and The Rushworth Foundation, and a year’s complimentary membership of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA). All three organisations are supporting the competition for a third year running.

The Christopher Brooks Composition Prize is open to a composer aged 18-30 living, studying or working in the counties of Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, and Greater Manchester. It provides a unique opportunity for a young North West composer to develop his or her talent and access mentoring and guidance from leading artists and music industry professionals associated with Liverpool Philharmonic.  It culminates in the composer writing a new work for performance by Ensemble 10/10, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s new music group .

Grace will 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.

Grace will also develop her 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 transformative In Harmony Liverpool programme in Everton.

Grace currently studies composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, where she holds a scholarship. Since winning the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers competition in 2013 for her piece Convergence,  her music has been performed as part of the BBC Proms, broadcast on BBC Radios 3 and 4, and in venues across the UK and internationally. In 2014, she was also a composer in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Grace is currently a composer on the LSO Panufnik Composers’ Scheme 2017 and is writing a work for the London Symphony Orchestra. Also this year, her orchestral work Kintsukuroi (Golden Repair) will be performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the biennial New Music North West Festival.

 On winning the third Christopher Brooks Composition Prize, Grace said: 

‘I am absolutely elated to have been chosen for the Christopher Brooks Prize this year. I am very excited to get involved with all that the prize has to offer and, of course, to write for the fantastic musicians of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.’

Vasily Petrenko, Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra said

‘The Christopher Brooks Composition Prize represents Liverpool Philharmonic’s commitment to the commissioning and performance of new music and supporting home-grown talent.  Congratulations to Grace.  We want her year with us be a hugely enjoyable one that will benefit her work as a composer.’

 Photo:  Vasily Petrenko and Grace-Evangeline Mason © Mark McNulty

 Notes to Editors

 More about Grace-Evangeline Mason

Grace’s music has been performed by members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, BBC singers, Trio Atem and the Aurora Orchestra in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Tate Britain, Sage Gateshead, BBC Maida Vale Studios, Liverpool Victoria Gallery and Museum and Birmingham Symphony Hall.

Grace's works were also performed in the biennial New Music North West Festival in 2013 and 2015.  Diamond Dust II for clarinet and piano was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3’s Young Artists Day  in 2015; Let the Rain Kiss You was selected for University of Liverpool’s Open Circuit Festival in 2016. In the same year, her collaborative work Samson swas awarded the Rosamond Prize  Manchester Writing School annual collaborative project with the Royal Northern College of Music.

Twitter: @G_E_Mason

 The Christopher Brooks Composition Prize in association with the Rushworth Foundation was established in 2015, during  the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary year and forms part of the organisation’s continuing commitment to the commissioning and performance of new music as well and supporting home-grown talent. The competition is open to a composer aged 18-30 living, studying or working in the counties of Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, and Greater Manchester.

Bethan Morgan-Williams was the 2015 competition winner. Her work Mirages in Pisa was premiered by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s Ensemble 10/10 on 26 October 2016.

Richard Miller was the 2016 competition winner.  His work Nighthawks was premiered by Ensemble 10/10 on 11 October 2017.

Twitter:  @rmillermusician

Soundcloud: richardmillermusician

Both premieres were performed as part of Liverpool Philharmonic's annual concert series at St. George’s Hall Concert Room, Liverpool.

 The Judges

Entries are judged by a panel of leading composers and music industry professionals.  This year's panel were:

 Hilary Browning, cellist, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Andrew Cornall, Artistic Director (Consultant), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Peter Garden, Executive Director (Performance and Learning), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

Sally Groves, former Creative Director of Schott Music Publishers

Professor Stephen Pratt, Professor of Music, Liverpool Hope University

Emeritus Professor, Gresham College, London

Vanessa Reed, Chief Executive, PRS for Music Foundation

Jonathan Rushworth, Rushworth Foundation

 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 established by Jonathan Rushworth whose family were founders of Liverpool’s famous music retail and pipe organ building business, Rushworth & Dreaper, continues a 176-year tradition of support for the musical life of the city of Liverpool.    

 BASCA is the voice for music writers with a history going back over 65 years. BASCA campaigns in the UK, Europe and throughout the world. In addition to staging the British Composer Awards, the Gold Badge Awards and The Ivors every year, BASCA is also the independent professional association representing music writers in all genres, from songwriting, through to media, contemporary classical and jazz. BASCA members include Sir Paul McCartney, Dizzee Rascal, Michael Nyman, Gary Barlow, David Arnold, Sir Elton John, Imogen Heap, Howard Goodall, John Powell, Kate Bush, Chris Martin, and many more.

 Media enquiries and further information from: Jayne Garrity, Head of Communications, Liverpool Philharmonic         

Tel: 0151 210 3791 / 07967 364241, email:                    


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