‘Classical composers have the X Factor’

‘Classical composers have the X Factor’

Five talented composers have beaten off competition from around the world to be shortlisted for the most prestigious prize in contemporary classical composition today.

The University of Aberdeen, in association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, hosts its second biennial Music Prize for composers in April 2007.

Hundreds of entries from nations dotted across of the globe - including Malaysia, Italy, USA, Brazil, China and South Africa - were received for the 'X-Factor' style contest after composers were invited to submit new works for a string quartet of between 5 and 10 minutes duration.

The five finalists will attend the University of Aberdeen Music Prize Weekend, a unique festival of composition workshops and concerts being held from Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29. 

The shortlisted composers are, in no particular order:

Giovanni Albini, from Italy, with Snowing L.A; Woojun Lee, from South Korea, with Långsam musik; Barnaby Hollington, from England, with Bagatelle; Bushra El-Turk, from England, with Eating Clouds Ian Wilson, from the Republic of Ireland with Unbroken White Line.

Dr Paul Mealor, Director of the University of Aberdeen Music Prize, Dr Pete Stollery, Head of the Department of Music and Jennifer Martin, BBC SSO Learning Manager, had the responsibility of sifting out the finalists.

"The prize is far more international than before," said Dr Mealor, "with entries coming from Israel and Brazil this year, as well as from closer to home.

"The Prize is truly gaining international momentum and is regarded now, even in just the two years since its inception, as one of the most important composition prizes in the world. The standard this year was extremely high and it was almost impossible to select the finalist.

"However, after much deliberation, we have selected five composers of exceptional talent and promise. The events in April are surely going to be unmissable for anyone with a deep interest in creativity and originality. ''

The Music Prize Weekend culminates in a gala concert, which will see the finalists' entries performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.  The winner will be chosen by this year's judges – leading composers Judith Weir and John Casken - in an 'X-Factor' style finale.

Their prize will be a cheque for £5,000 in the form of a commission for a new work for orchestra to be performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 2008 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

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.


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