Packed programme of events to celebrate the 2009 University of Aberdeen Music Prize

Tickets are now available for one of the North-east’s premier music events, which will see the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra premier exciting new material in the Granite City.

The 2009 University of Aberdeen Music Prize weekend will take place from November 20-22 with a packed programme, much of it free of charge.

Five international finalists will battle it out for a £5,000 prize and the prestigious title, which this attracted entrants from 36 countries.

The University of Aberdeen Music prize has brought great success to previous winners – with the last recipient of the award, Jun Lee, establishing himself firmly within the contemporary music scene.

The weekend will culminate with a gala concert at the Cowdray Hall on the Sunday (Novermber 22) at which the shortlisted scores will be performed for the first time by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

The competition will be judged by the pre-eminent Scottish composer James MacMillan.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to see the composers at work in a series of free events and workshops ahead of the grand final.

On Saturday (November 21) from 10.30am to 4.30pm there will be a free composition workshop at Cowdray Hall, Schoolhill, led by Mr MacMillan. To book a place, call the University’s Events team on 01224 273874.

In addition, from 12noon to 12.30pm there will be a performance by the University of Aberdeen Chapel Choir in St Andrew’s Cathedral, King Street; and from 1pm to 1.45pm the University New Music Group will perform works by group director, Paul Tierney, and Mr MacMillan at the Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill. Admission is free and tickets are not required for either of these events.

To conclude the day’s activities, Mr MacMillan will present a selection of his own music, including the UK premiere of Who are these angels? (co-commissioned by the Edinburgh Quartet, sound and De Doelen, Rotterdam, and funded by the Scottish Arts Council), Memento for string quartet, The Lamb Has Come and HB to MB for solo cello.

The performance, with the Edinburgh Quartet, the Chapel Choir of King’s College and Roger B Williams on the organ, will take place in King’s College Chapel, University of Aberdeen from 6.30pm– 7.30pm.

Tickets are £8, £5 concession, £2 students and under 18s,and are available from Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122.

Events on Sunday (November 22) will begin with a service at King’s College Chapel, University of Aberdeen, at 11am where there will be music and preaching by Mr MacMillan with performances by University musicians.

At 5pm, he will also present a lecture at Cowdray Hall, where he will discuss the great strengths of contemporary music in the UK.

The weekend will culminate in a free gala concert, also in Cowdray Hall, at 6.30pm.

Members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra will perform the five new pieces written for the Music Prize and the winner will be announced.

Tickets for this event are free but must be booked in advance on 01224 273874.

Doctor Paul Mealor, Director of the University of Aberdeen Music Prize, said: "We have a fantastic programme of events lined up and it promises to be a great weekend of music.

“Since it was first launched, the Music Prize has helped to develop Aberdeen's role as one of the major cultural centres in the UK and we are delighted to be able to offer those living in the city and surrounding areas the chance not only to hear wonderful music, but to meet those who produce it.

“We are honoured to have James MacMillan and the BBC SSO here in Aberdeen and I hope people will take advantage of this fantastic opportunity and come along to one, or all of our events.”

For further details visit or call 01224 273874.