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Christopher Brooks Composition Prize

We are delighted to welcome applications for the sixth year of the Christopher Brooks Composition Prize in association with the Rushworth Foundation. The prize provides a unique opportunity for a young artist/composer who writes original music to develop their talent; and access a wide range of support and guidance from across the music profession.

We are looking for an individual who wants to develop a long-term relationship with Liverpool Philharmonic. All of the previous Prize winners continue to work with us after their year has ended and benefit from continued support, guidance and commission opportunities.

£1,000 will be awarded to the winner of the competition. The prize-winning composer will write a new work for Ensemble 10/10 (Liverpool Philharmonic’s contemporary music ensemble) which will be performed in Autumn 2021, and will take part in a bespoke programme of workshops, masterclasses and mentoring sessions from composers, performers, conductors and other industry professionals associated with Liverpool Philharmonic.

The composer will also receive one year’s complimentary membership of the Ivors Academy(www.ivorsacademy.com), the UK’s leading professional association for music creators including thousands of songwriters and composers across all styles and genres.

As well as the 10/10 commission, previous winners have produced an additional range of new works and commissions for ensembles associated with Liverpool Philharmonic including: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir; a staged oratorio for Liverpool Philharmonic’s Youth and Children’s Choirs; vocal arrangements that have been recorded and released commercially by a Liverpool Philharmonic Artist in Residence; and commissions for a Wilfred Owen Commemoration event.

They have also: met with international composers, artists and conductors; attended orchestra rehearsals and masterclasses; observed orchestra recordings; taken part in panels at events and conferences; had hands-on experience of orchestra management, recording production, librarianship and music education work; and met with Liverpool Philharmonic’s contacts across the music industry.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should:

  • be between 18 and 30 years of age on 1 October 2020
  • currently live, work, or have been born in the North West of England (Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria), or be a current registered student at a North West based Higher Education institution.
  • not be represented by a publisher (self-published composers will be eligible)

Applicants should submit:

  1. A letter of application, outlining why you have applied and what you would hope to gain from developing a relationship with Liverpool Philharmonic. This letter must include:
  • confirmation that the enclosed works are your own original compositions
  • confirmation that you meet the eligibility criteria
  • declaration of any personal relationship with any members of the panel
  1. Audio recordings and scores of two examples of original works for orchestral instruments. Scores must be submitted electronically in PDF format only. Audio recordings should be submitted as a digital file or link to an online version e.g. Soundcloud or similar.
  1. A short explanation of why you have chosen to submit these works and how you would describe your personal composition style and approaches.
  1. A CV, including a list of works

Applications for 2021 are now closed.

The Panel

A panel of industry professionals from across the country judges entries to the competition. Last year’s panel included:

  • Peter Garden (Executive Director, Performance and Learning, Liverpool Philharmonic) - Chair
  • Andrew Cornall (Liverpool Philharmonic Artistic Consultant, Record Producer and former Vice President of A&R at EMI Classics)
  • Sally Groves (former Creative Director of Schott Music Publishers)
  • Stephen Pratt (Emeritus Professor of Music, Liverpool Hope University, Emeritus Professor, Gresham College, London)
  • Hilary Browning (Associate Principal cellist with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra)  
  • Jonathan Rushworth
  • Fiona Sinclair (Chief Executive, Leeds International Piano Competition)

Previous participants have said:

The Christopher Brooks Prize was a fantastic opportunity to surround myself with the expertise of brilliant professional musicians in the most welcoming and friendly environment imaginable, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. As well as writing for these musicians, there is a wealth of developmental experiences as part of the prize that are astonishingly valuable as a composer. It is a relationship that I now deeply cherish and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Grace-Evangeline Mason

As a Christopher Brooks Prize-winner, I’ve had access to so many amazing opportunities. Having a piece played by the fabulous Ensemble 10.10, an additional performance opportunity with the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir, and one-to-one sessions with artists including Andrew Manze and Stephen Hough are just a few significant highlights.

- Richard Miller