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News Archive

The Alan Bush Composition Prize 2003
Posted: 17 June 2003

This year the Alan Bush Composition Prize, for a chamber work which requires a 'substantial part for piano' has been awarded to Naomi Pinnock for Obstinare for septet.

Jean Beers was runner-up with her Piano Trio.

Gregory Rose, the competition adjudicator, commented on the high standard of all six of the entries this year. Of the winning composition he said: 'the overall structure of the piece was extremely well balanced, with just the right length of compositione, limited pitch changes within the instruments that changed at just the right moments, and with a really good sense of instrumental "character"....the coloration between the instruments was extremely interesting to the ear - the piano part towards the end has a particularly well-shaped series of scalic passages around which the other instruments excellent little work'. He commented that he was 'taken also with Jean Beers' really thoughtful (work) which has a real sense of dialogue and argument between the instruments and a beautifully hushed ending'.

Naomi Pinnock, this year's prizewinner, was born in 1979 and grew up in West Yorkshire. She graduated from King's College, London, in 2001 where she studied composition with Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Ross Lorraine. She is currently on the MMus Composition course, studying under Brian Elias, and was composer-in-residence at Astor College of Arts, Dover for a project commissioned by the Sounds New Festival. Her composition Obstinare was written for the London Sinfonietta as part of a collaboration with Academy composers. It was first performed in March 2003 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, conducted by Dominic Muldowney. Other recently performed works include My first thought was for solo tuba and It Burns in the Void for string orchestra.

This year's runner-up, Jean Beers, was born in Munich in 1983. She has been studying under Christopher Elton, Head of Keyboard at the Royal Academy of Music, since 1999 and is currently a first study piano student. She was awarded the Tim Stevensen Prize for her compositions in 2001 and her Piano Trio was performed the same year. A string quartet, Flimmering Textures, was played by the London Sinfonietta at the Purcell Room, London in April 2002.

The prizewinners for the previous years' competition were: Maciej Zielinski (1999) for Lutoslawski in Memoriam for oboe and piano, Tim Smith (2000) for To Find Trees and Stars for clarinet, piano, violin, cello and viola, Stephane Altier (2001) for Nox for clarinet and piano, and David Gorton (2002) for When does dewfall begin? for cello and piano.