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Cambridge Young Composer of the Year Competition 2009

Young Musician
of the Year

Young Composer
of the Year


The Cambridge Young Composer of the Year 2009 is now closed for entries. See details of the results here.

This was the 4th competition we organised for young composers, and this year we had an exciting new feature. All those taking part were invited to take part in a free composing workshop when some of the entries were played and composing techniques discussed.

Also new for this year – the overall winner of the competition was offered a commission by the Ely Sinfonia to compose a piece for orchestra which the Sinfonia will perform in its 2010 season.

As in previous years, winning entries in the competition will be performed at Cambridge Youth Music's annual concert to be held on 2 April 2009.

Entry criteria
The competition is open to anyone aged 18 and under on 1 January 2009 who lives in Cambridgeshire (excluding Peterborough) or goes to school in the county.

This year's theme: transport!
This year we are asking entrants to take inspiration for their composition from the idea of transport. Anything from a glider to a steam engine, a penny farthing to a double decker bus, can spark your musical ideas!

Age groups
Entries will be judged in three age groups (age on January 1, 2009):

  • Up to 12 years
  • 13 to 15 years
  • 16 to 18 years

Composition length
Entries in all age groups must be a maximum of 5 minutes long.

Composition scoring
Competitors must write for one or more instruments selected from: a string quartet (two violins, viola, cello), piano, percussion (maximum of two percussion players using normal range of orchestral percussion instruments).

Compositions may be written for any combination of the above, eg:

  • violin, viola and marimba
  • cello and piano
  • solo viola
  • two violins, cello, glockenspiel and triangle

The competition
As before all competitors will receive written feedback from an experienced adjudicator/composer. There will be a class winner and a number of Highly Commended awards for each age group.

One of the three age group winners will be chosen as the overall winner of the competition and the Cambridge Young Composer of the Year 2009. Their entry will be performed at a concert in Cambridge on 2 April 2009. In addition to having their work performed he or she will receive:

  • the Young Composer of the Year cup
  • a cash prize of £50
  • a commission to compose a piece for the Ely Sinfonia Orchestra

Competition Judge
The entries will be judged by Dr Jeremy Thurlow, composer and Director of Music at Robinson College Cambridge.

How to enter
To enter the competition please complete an entry form and return it, together with the entry fee of £10, no later than Friday 21 November 2008 (deadline has been extended by one week). Compositions must be received no later than Friday 12 December 2008. Before entering please read a copy of the competition rules.

Downloadable files
Entry form in PDF and Word formats

If you have any queries please get in touch:
Phone: 01954 212298


Competiton timetable

Entry forms to be received by: Friday 21 November 2008

Compositions to be received by: Friday 12 December 2008

Winners announced: late January 2009

Composing Workshop & Winners' Concert: 2 April 2009

Download the...
Competition rules
Entry form