National Composers' Competition

John Casken

The organisers of Alwinton Summer Concerts 2016 and its Artistic Director John Casken are pleased to announce a national Composers' Competition. Three scores will be selected for a workshop in Alwinton Church on Saturday 7 May 2016 and one work will be selected for performance in the evening concert to be given by Kathryn Tickell and The Side.

Alwinton Church

Alwinton is a remote, rural village in Upper Coquetdale, Northumberland, and the concert series has established itself as one of the major cultural events in the North-East of England. The church is set apart from the village and surrounded by beautiful and dramatic landscape.


The Rules and Conditions of the Competition:

  • Instrumentation, score and parts:
    Folk Fiddle/Northumbrian Pipes; Piano Accordion; Scottish Lever Harp (not concert harp); Cello
  • Requirement:
    Composers are required to engage with the tradition from which Kathryn Tickell and The Side take their inspiration, in broad terms the folk-music tradition of the British Isles. The jury is not necessarily looking for a piece of modern folk-music, but one that uses elements of this tradition in an imaginative and effective way.
    The piece will be unconducted and must be capable of being rehearsed so that the players can make an efficient use of the limited time that will be available.
  • Information about instruments:
    Details of the Northumbrian Pipes can be found on the Kathryn Tickell Website, and information about the Scottish Harp and Accordion can be found here: Scottish Harp and Accordion.
  • Duration:
    5 minutes maximum.
  • Eligibility:
    Composers must be resident in, or studying in, the UK.
  • Deadline:
    Completed scores marked with a pseudonym must be submitted as a pdf by Friday 11 March 2016 together with a sound file where possible. The three finalists will be informed by Friday 25 March and asked to prepare performance material which should arrive as a pdf by Friday 8 April.
  • Prize:
    In addition to at least one performance, the winning composer will receive a cheque for £500.
  • Judges:
    The jury will consist of John Casken (composer and Artistic Director, Alwinton Summer Concerts), Kathryn Tickell OBE, DL (musician, composer and educator), and Alistair Anderson (performer, composer and musical catalyst). The judges reserve the right not to award a prize.
  • Send scores to:   ajones_44@hotmail.com