Talented young composers from across the globe will bring the sound of their music to the Granite City this weekend, as the third University of Aberdeen Music Prize takes place.
Five musical maestros from far flung corners of the world - Japan, Sweden, USA and Hong Kong – will battle for supremacy in the North-east’s premier music competition.
Pre-eminent Scottish composer James MacMillan will judge the competition which is organised by the University in association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
MacMillan will host a workshop on Saturday (November 21) from 10.30am – 4.30pm in the Cowdray Hall, mentoring the composers as they fine tune their competition entries.
The workshop takes place ahead of the grand final gala concert on Sunday (November 22) from 6.30pm – 7.45pm also in the Cowdray Hall.
Both the workshop and the grand final gala concert are open to the public and free to attend.
Tickets can be booked by contacting the University of Aberdeen Events team on 01224 273874.
The five entrants who will compete to take home the £5000 prize and prestigious title are: David Elliot from America, Jonas Valfridsson from Sweden, May Kay Yau from Hong Kong and Hiroshi Nakamura from Tokyo and Yuko Ohara from Yokohama, Japan.
Chosen from entries from a record 36 countries, the finalists’ scores will be given their first public airing when they are performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Sunday’s grand final event.
Dr Paul Mealor, Director of the University of Aberdeen Music Prize, said: "Now in its third year the University of Aberdeen Music Prize has truly placed Aberdeen on the map as one of the major cultural centres in the UK.
“The Music Prize weekend is unique in bringing young talented composers from across the world to Aberdeen, to share their inspiring musical compositions with the public.
“We are honoured to have James MacMillan involved as mentor and judge of the competition and Saturday’s free workshop will be a prime opportunity to witness his work with the finalists as they fine tune their competition entries.
“The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s performance of the shortlisted scores at Sunday evening’s grand final will provide a remarkable closure to what promises to be a weekend of wonderful musical highlights.”
The competition is the centrepiece of the University of Aberdeen Music Prize weekend’s programme of events celebrating international music composition.
A host of musical events – many of which are held in association with sound, North East Scotland’s Festival of New Music - will take place including:
- In celebration of James MacMillan’s 50th birthday and his participation in the University of Aberdeen Music Prize and sound, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra will play a concert in the Music Hall, Union Street from 7.30 – 9.30pm. The concert will include the UK premiere of orchestral interludes from MacMillan’s most recent opera – The Sacrifice. Tickets are available from the Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122.
- A performance by the University of Aberdeen Chapel Choir in St Andrew’s Cathedral, King Street on Saturday (November 21) from 12 noon to 12.30pm. Admission is free and advance booking is not required.
- A performance by the University New Music Group of works by group director, Paul Tierney, and James MacMillan at the Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill on Saturday (November 21) from 1pm to 1.45pm. Admission is free and advance booking is not required.
- James MacMillan – a sound event - with the Edinburgh Quartet and the University of Aberdeen Chapel Choir - will present a selection of his own music, including the UK premiere of Who are these angels? (a work co-commissioned by the Edinburgh Quartet, sound and De Doelen, Rotterdam, and funded by the Scottish Arts Council). The event will take place on Saturday (November 21) in the University’s King’s College Chapel from 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Tickets are available from Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122.
- Chapel Service, King’s College Chapel, University of Aberdeen, 11am – 12.15pm – this Sunday service will feature music and preaching by composer James MacMillan with performances by University musicians.
- sound Lecture 2009 – James MacMillan will discuss the strengths of contemporary music in the UK in this event which takes place at the Cowdray Hall from 5 pm. A short reception will follow prior to the Music Prize gala concert. Admission is free, but booking is essential – contact the University of Aberdeen Events team on 01224 273874
For more information on the weekend’s events or to book for the 2009 University of Aberdeen Music Prize weekend grand final gala concert contact the University of Aberdeen Events team on 01224 273874 or visit http://www.abdn.ac.uk/aberdeenmusicprize/.