Posted: 07 June 2006
This year the Alan Bush Composition Prize 2006 was awarded to Maxim Bendall for his piece Canto 2. The adjudicator, Andrew Toovey, stated: 'It was interesting to see, when reading these scores for the Alan Bush Composition Prize, 2006, that many different approaches and styles were apparent and healthy. The clear winner, Maxim Bendall, with his piece, Canto 2, reminded me of reading Ezra Pound's 'The Cantos' with their complex web of activity and thought processes'.
Maxim Bendall (born 1983) first began composing as a student at Chethams School of Music in Manchester under Dr Jeremy Pike. In 2002, he was awarded both the school's composition prizes, the Chethams Composition Prize and the Douglas Steele award before beginning a degree in composition at the Royal College of Music in London. After two years, he decided to transfer to the Royal Academy of Music to complete his degree and take advantage of the fuller curriculum and to study with Professor Simon Bainbridge. As well as composing, Maxim has a keen interest in conducting and is the co-principal of the Catch Ensemble and the Blue Prints concert series. He will graduate from the RAM this summer and hopes next year to take up one of the Manson Fellowships with the Academy's composition faculty. Future performances of Maxim's music include a commission from the Spitalfield's Festival for an ensemble piece to be conducted by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and a new work for the BBC Singers.
Maxim Bendall writes of his composition, Canto 2, that it is a sister piece to a work he wrote a year ago called Canto 1. 'The piece starts with a simple, strident viola statement, which then slowly over the course of the work distorts and elongates as it is passed around the seven musicians. I have tried to write music with both a highly colourful character but also very elusive qualities in the sonorities of the sounds I have used, sometimes unfolding in completely unexpected directions'.
The other three contestants were all commended. They were Aaron Holloway Nahum for his composition: Death Palm, Richard Harrold for his Piano Trio and Darren Bloom for his Break.