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Cambridge Young Composer of the Year 2015/16

Young Musician
of the Year

Young Composer
of the Year




This competition has now been judged
See the results here

The Cambridge Young Composer of the Year Competition - now in its 11th year - is run with support from the Cambridge University Faculty of Music and the Cambridge Music Partnership. We are also very pleased to be working with the Ligeti Quartet a group of young professional musicians, dedicated to performing modern and contemporary music, who will be playing the entries at the competition finals. The competition is part of Cambridge University's Festival of Ideas.

Competition Brief
Entrants are invited to write a piece of music inspired by the University Festival of Ideas theme, Power and Resistance. Your submitted piece should have a maximum performance length of 5 minutes. The instruments available for this year’s competition are a string quartet:

2 violins
1 viola
1 cello

Compositions may be written for any combination of the above instruments but entrants must write for at least two or more (eg 1 violin and 1 viola; 2 violins; 1 violin, 1 viola, 1 cello; all four instruments). Please note - to enable us to perform entries at the competition final, pieces should include no more than the instruments listed above. The competition rules and entry form can be downloaded via the link in the right hand column of this page.

Information and guidance
Composer and competition judge Ewan Campbell has provided some guidance notes for those entering the competition:

Writing for strings and the string quartet

Chords - a brief introduction

Introduction to scales

If you have problems or a query about your composition, Ewan Campbell may be able to help. Email him at: - please be patient as he may not be able to answer immediately.

Selections from the entries will be performed at the Finals on Sunday 1 November, 2015 (2.30pm-5.30pm) in West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge as part of the University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas. Composers will be given verbal and written feedback on their work. There will be a class winner and ‘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 2015-16. The winner will receive:
- the Young Composer of the Year cup
- a cash prize of £50
- an invitation to compose a new piece to be given a public perfomance next year.

Entering the competition
Competitors must either live in Cambridgeshire (excluding Peterborough) or study full-time at a school, 6th Form or further education college in the county. Competitors must be 17 years of age or under on 31st August 2015 and entries will be judged in three age groups (11 and under, 12-14 years and 15-17 years).

Compositions must arrive by Friday 9 October 2015, together with a completed entry form. If possible compositions should be emailed as PDF files to:

Competitiors must provide a full score, plus copies of all individual parts.

Competitors who find it difficult to submit an electronic file can send paper copies to Cambridge Youth Music, 11 Sadlers Close, Coton, Cambridge CB23 7PF.

Download a full copy of the submission details, rules and entry form.




Deadline for entries

9 October 2015

Rules and entry forms

Download competition details, rules and entry form

Competition Final

Sunday 1 November 2015
2.30-5.30 pm
West Road Concert Hall

Young Composers'Concert

With the Ligeti Quartet

Sunday 1 November 2015, 7.00 pm
West Road Concert Hall


Ligeti Quartet

The Ligeti Quartet (Photo: Pascal Ancel-Bartholdy)