Berkeley Ensemble launches new composition prize

The Berkeley Ensemble / Resonus Classics New Cobbett Prize for Composition

Walter Willson Cobbett was a philanthropist of great importance during the early twentieth century who helped to forge a British school of chamber composition from Bridge to Turnage and beyond. Inspired by his pioneering work, the Berkeley Ensemble is launching a new competition for composers, alongside a concert series exploring the history of the original Cobbett Prize and a series of public masterclasses in composition led by Michael Berkeley and other leading British composers.

First Prize: £500 commission for the Berkeley Ensemble’s 2016-17 season.

The winner and runners up will be recorded by the ensemble for a commercial release on Resonus Classics in 2015.

Entries should be:

  • scored for any combination of instruments drawn from: 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano
  • a self-contained single movement
  • 8 to 12 minutes in duration
  • original works, not having received a public performance or been submitted for other competitions

Entrants should be:

  • 35 or under
  • resident in the U.K.
  • not currently under contract to a publisher.

Entries will be assessed anonymously.

To apply, please send 3 unmarked scores to arrive no later than 1st September 2014. A sealed envelope containing the completed application form should be fastened securely to the inside cover of the score. Any entry received with the composer’s name on the package, score or parts will not be accepted.

Please send entries to: Berkeley Ensemble New Cobbett Prize, 36 Durban Road, London SE27 9RP

The deadline for entries is 1st September 2014.

Up to 16 entrants will be selected to participate in a semi-final masterclass at The Forge on either Sunday 26th October or Sunday 9th November 2014. Entrants will be informed if they have been successful in reaching the semi-final stage by 15th September. Semi-finalists will be required to provide a full set of parts to arrive no later than 29th September.

A maximum of 6 works will be chosen at the semi-final stage to be performed by the Berkeley Ensemble in front of a panel of industry experts at the New Cobbett Prize Grand Final on Wednesday 10th December 2014.

The Berkeley Ensemble / Resonus Classics New Cobbett Prize for Composition is supported by an Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK.