LIVING THE DREAM - B&R bari star Amy Ewen chats to BB

Issue 6140

END OF THE ROAD - Jeans' tenure at GUS comes to a close

CONCERT REVIEW - Tredegar shines at Newbury Spring Festival

SADLY MISSED - Richard Evans laid to rest

BIDDING FAREWELL - Stephen Allen says goodbye to Lancaster British Brass Band

2022 European Composers' Competition: Something old, something new

Tuesday 10 May, 2022

On the eve of the European Brass Band Championships, a healthy audience gathered in Birmingham Town Hall on April 29 for the final of the European Composers’ Competition.

Liz Lane reports on an intriguing evening of music making, performed by Grimethorpe Colliery Band.


Whoops and cheers rang out from the fine setting of Birmingham Town Hall as compere Stein Skorpholm told the audience: “Three years I’ve been waiting for that.”

The very well attended, eighth European Composers’ Competition, the first event following the official opening ceremony, featured three works chosen from submissions by 13 composers born after January 1, 1987 and native to or resident in EBBA member countries, performed by Grimethorpe Colliery Band and conducted by David Thornton.

The composers – Thibaut Bruniaux (France) Insecurity, Théo Rossier (Switzerland) Stendhal’s Syndrome and Andy Wareham (UK) Machiavelli - Ruminations on ‘The Prince’ – were all assured of receiving prize money in proportion to their placings and the accolade of being a finalist. Looking back at the redoubtable list of previous names in the EBBA roll of honour, many now have a prestigious portfolio of compositions worldwide, with three works performed in the Championship Own Choice this year: Simon Dobson (Turing Test and Journey of the Lone Wolf) and Oliver Waespi (Other Lives), who is also a member of the EBBA Music Commission.

Earlier that day I happened to meet Jan de Haan, one of the evening’s three adjudicators, during the very fine sounding European Youth Brass Band concert at the bandstand. He told me that having studied the scores at home, he was looking forward to listening to the three talented young composers that evening. I also ran into Alex Parker from the BBE team, who shared something of the immense task of putting together an array of percussion for the three premieres, including a gong in water, which they were having to “play around with buckets to find one which makes the right effect” and the further challenge of an articulated lorry recently blocking the venue.

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Issue 6138 digital May 5, 2022