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Issue 6066

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DEAFENING SILENCE - Liv Appleton imagines a life without the arts

Vos storms to victory in composition competition

Friday 9 October, 2020

The inaugural International Brass Band Composer Competition has been won by Dutch performer and conductor, Robbert Vos. Robbert was the unanimous winner, coming out on top in the overall prize, decided by the judges, and the public commendation award, with his work, Capriccio for Brass Band.

Robbert had been one of five finalists for the award, along with Rebecca Lundberg, Marcus Venables, Morten Jonas Wallin and Andy Wareham. All were picked from a healthy level of entries, with 92 people submitting their work. Robbert wins £100 in cash sponsored by Besson, a download licence to NotePerformer, and publication of his work through BrookWright Music: www.brookwrightmusic.com, also receiving any associated royalties. He takes away the public commendation prize, voted for by viewers on YouTube, the prize being a £100 gift voucher towards a Geneva instrument. 

The judging panel of James Curnow, Liz Lane and Paul Hindmarsh, spoke extremely favourably of what they had heard. Liz Lane commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this diverse collection of new music in the late summer sunshine and was delighted to get together remotely with my fellow judges to choose the finalists. These five contrasting scores were outstanding and would all be an excellent addition to the brass band repertoire. However, we were in unanimous agreement that Capriccio had the mix of ingredients which made it stand out as a winner; exciting and immersive for band and audience, accomplished writing and with plenty of character.”

Meanwhile, Paul Hindmarsh was in agreement and said: “Capriccio is a very worthy winner. It is inventive, full of spirit, skilfully crafted and brilliantly scored. Robert’s experience at the heart of the band on euphonium pays great dividends. I’m keen to programme Capriccio at the RNCM Brass Band Festival and would love to hear more of his music.”

Summing up the competition, James Curnow said: “I want to say thank you for including me as an adjudicator for the competition and to express my congratulations on the great success of the competition. I must admit, when I was first asked to serve on the panel, that I was a bit sceptical regarding the number and quality of pieces we would receive and adjudicate. I was extremely pleased to hear there were 92 compositions and arrangements submitted. To receive this large number of quality works, from so many countries around the world, certainly adds to the status of this very worthwhile endeavour. I certainly hope the competition will continue, which encourages up and coming composers to write for brass band.”

The competition organiser Andrew Wainwright commented: “I would like to thank everyone who entered this inaugural competition, which I hope will become an annual event. I was thrilled with both the number of entries and the high standard of pieces submitted, with the discussions between the judges indicating that it was a very difficult decision to narrow down to just five finalists. Many congratulations go to each of our finalists and in particular Robbert Vos for his winning entry. I would like thank James Curnow, Liz Lane and Paul Hindmarsh for the time and expertise they committed to the competition. Last but not least, a big thank you to our sponsors: Besson, Geneva, Wallander and BrookWright Music.”