Royal wedding composer turns his attention to international music prize

An international Music Prize organised by a composer who saw his own work performed at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton is seeking entrants ahead of the closing date on Friday May 27.

Budding composers have just two weeks to submit their scores for the Aberdeen Music Prize - a unique, biennial competition for aspiring new contemporary composers from around the globe – which offers £5,000 as the top prize in the form of a commission.

The competition is the brainchild of Dr Paul Mealor, reader in composition at the University of Aberdeen and whose own work was performed during Friday’s Royal wedding at Westminster Abbey.

Established in 2005, the Aberdeen Music Prize represents a unique collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO), and will be judged by the world-renowned composer Julian Anderson.

Hundreds of scores from 36 different countries were submitted for the 2009 prize, with May Kay Yau, from Hong Kong, eventually coming out on top.

The Prize comes with £5,000 in the form of a commission to write a full piece for orchestra, with the winning score broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Dr Mealor, who is rapidly becoming established as one of the leading young composers in contemporary British music, said that selection of his choral piece Ubi Caritasby the Royal couple demonstrated the opportunities available to composers creating new music.

He said: “The Aberdeen Music Prize represents an exciting opportunity for a new composer to hear their work performed by a full orchestra.

“I know first-hand how emotionally intense and exhilarating it is to hear your work on the world stage and the Aberdeen Music Prize will open many doors for the eventual winner.

“I never imagined when I started out that my composition would be heard by so many people and have been overwhelmed by the response I have had since Ubi Caritaswas performed last Friday. It demonstrates the appetite that exists for new music of all forms and I would urge anyone with a talent for composition to submit their score by Friday May 27.

“Hundreds of composers from every corner of the globe embraced the 2009 competition, many of whom wrote to us to express their gratitude that such an event exists and I’m looking forward to seeing the calibre of this year’s scores.”

The University of Aberdeen Music Prize is open to composers of any nationality, with no age limit or restrictions. Closing date for applications is Friday May 27, 2011.

For further information and application details for the Music Prize please visit, email call + 44(0)1224 273 874. Alternatively, contact Aberdeen Music Prize, Office of External Affairs, University Office, King's College, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom AB24 3FX.