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Aberdeen Prize hopes to unearth next Mozart

A dazzling programme of concerts, events, workshops and talks has been announced today as part of the second University of Aberdeen Music Prize weekend.

The centrepiece of the biennial weekend (April 26-29), which is run in association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, will see composers from around the world pit their creative wits against each other in front of a live audience in an 'X-Factor'-style gala concert.

Organisers are hopeful of unearthing the next Mozart or Beethoven, with 2005's prize winner, Si-Hyun Yi, now established as a major up-and-coming talent.

Other highlights of the weekend include the Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF) Compose! Concert; String Quartet Workshops led by distinguished composers and Music Prize judges John Casken and Judith Weir; and a concert by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

A range of activities for younger music enthusiasts will also run across the four days, including several Voyage of Discovery workshops, which will explore music-making using everything from meditative eastern sounds to the electronic, everyday sounds of the 21st century.

Dr Paul Mealor, Director of the Music Prize, said, "Once again we are delighted to offer an outstanding programme of concerts, events, workshops and talks that will showcase the very best in contemporary music and challenge people, young and old, to find out more about how composing actually works.

"The 'Aberdeen Prize' – as it is now known – has rapidly become one of the most talked about composition prizes in the world and has really put Aberdeen on the map as a home for creativity and originality."

Over 400 scores were received from composers in countries as far afield as Australia, China, India, Russia and South Korea for the Music Prize before judges whittled down the contestants to just five. The winner's prize will be £5,000 in the form of a commission to write a full piece for orchestra to be premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

"2005's winner, Si-Hyun Yi, has used the prize to establish herself as a real up-and-coming talent and has already received a number of prestigious commissions, including one from Radio 3" added Dr Mealor. "Who knows, maybe this year we'll find the next Beethoven or Mozart!"

Renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, an Honorary Graduate of the University, is once again patron of the Music Prize. The competition will run alongside the packed weekend of musical events at the historic King's College campus and at venues across the city from April 26-29.

Admission to most events and workshops is free. To reserve your tickets call 01224 273 874, or email:

For more information on the Music Prize Weekend programme visit


The Music Prize is supported by EventScotland, the PRS Foundation, BBC Scotland, The National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council, and Aberdeen City Council. Carmelite and Blackwell are sponsors of this year's event.


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Thursday 22nd of March 2007


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