BBC Young Composer 2021 winners announced

Composers ranging from the age of 12 to 18 were invited to write a new piece in any musical style

Published: September 22, 2021 at 9:39 am
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The winners of this year's BBC Young Composer competition have been announced, with six composers chosen from over 500 entries.


The winning composers will be offered the opportunity to take part in a development programme with a mentor composer, creating a BBC Radio 3 commission for the BBC Concert Orchestra. The final work will be performed or broadcast at a later date.

The scheme is open to 12 to 18-year-olds composing across a wide range of genres, from classical and contemporary to electronic and techno.

The judging panel of this year's BBC Young Composer included composers Shiva Feshareki, Gavin Higgins, Sarah Freestone and Lloyd Coleman, singer-songwriters Becky Hill and Benbrick, and the director of the BBC Proms, David Pickard.

Recent alumni of the competition include Mark Simpson and Grace-Evangeline Mason, who have both had their work performed by the BBC's orchestras at major events including the BBC Proms.

BBC Young Composer was first introduced as a competition in 2012, when it was called the BBC Proms Inspire competition. Unlike previous iterations, this year's BBC Young Composer was open to composers writing across all genres and entrants were invited to submit their compositions in notation or voice-recorded formats.

The winners of the 2021 BBC Young Composer competition:

Lower Juniors (12 – 14 years)

  • Isaac Bristow – Dark Matter
  • Theo Kendall – Magellan

Upper Juniors (15 – 16 years)

  • Maddy Chassar-Hesketh – From Galaxies to Cells
  • Will Everitt – Etude

Seniors (17 – 18 years)

  • Chelsea Becker – Iris for oboe and electronics
  • Jenna Stewart – Lost Times

2021 BBC Young Composer: Highly Commended

Lower Juniors (12 – 14 years)

  • Taro d'Aronville - Helix
  • Avram Harris - Yizkor
  • Sam Hesketh- God of the Moon

Upper Juniors (15 – 16 years)

  • Andrea Lam - Life in 5 & 1/2 Minutes
  • Leo Little - Wind Quintet no. 1 "Adolescence" (movement 1)
  • Reese Carly Manglicmot - Praeludium

Seniors (17 – 18 years)

  • William Clark - Piece for Piano, Celeste, Percussion and small orchestra
  • Polina Savicka - Feel Study
  • Melanie Silva - I DIED AND WENT TO SPACE


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

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