FORMIDABLE FODEN'S - Full coverage from the 2021 National Brass Band Championships

Issue 6112

HOW TO IMPRESS - Amos Miller on flourishing in a conservatoire audition

COMPOSER CAST - Liz Lane on her fascinating early musical life

DEPARTURE - Cornet star Kirsty Abbotts leaves Carlton Main

American composer comes out on top in BrookWright contest

Saturday 28 August, 2021

Composer Gregory Fritze has triumphed in the 2021 BrookWright International Brass Ensemble Composition Competition.

The American musician, pictured above, came out on top in the inaugural event after impressing an esteemed panel of judges comprising James Curnow, Liz Lane and Paul Hindmarsh.

Gregory won the prize with his work Cool Bop, for brass quintet, music written in the style of the ‘Cool’ jazz era of the 1950s in New York City. As a result, he wins $500 US, a licence to the programme NotePerformer and publication of his work through BrookWright Music.

Winning the public commendation prize, which was voted for by viewers, was English composer Karl Whelan, whose work The Elusive Hedgehog proved particularly popular. Karl wins $150 cash and will also have his piece published by BrookWright in the near future.

The competition received 92 entries from around the world, the same number as BrookWright’s Brass Band Composition Contest of last year. Follow-the-score videos for each of the five finalists can be viewed online.

Speaking about the contest, Liz Lane commented: “It was a pleasure to be involved with the competition this year and to work alongside Jim and Paul on the panel. We all agreed that the winning entry stood out for a number of reasons; for me this included quality of writing, musical interest and overall cohesion. It is great to know that the piece will be performed and published, with the opportunity to become more widely recognised in the future by both players and audience. Thank you to Andrew Wainwright and Brookwright Music for such an excellent venture.”

Meanwhile, Paul Hindmarsh revealed: “For more years than I care to recall, working through freshly minted music, before the ink is dry so to speak, has been one of the most rewarding and illuminating jobs in my professional life; privilege rather than job is probably a more appropriate description. The standard of submission in this second BrookWright competition was consistently high, with entries dominated by composers in the US and UK. My one disappointment was the lack of submissions from female composers.

“I was delighted with our final five, which we all agreed on with very little debate. That the winning work comes from the hand of a seasoned professional and distinguished teacher was amply evident in the refinement of the writing and the precision of characterisation. Congratulations to Gregory Fritze and indeed to the composers of all 92 entries.”

Adding his thoughts, James Curnow commented: “Once again it has been my privilege to serve on the panel of judges with my esteemed colleagues, Liz Lane and Paul Hindmarsh, for the Brookwright International Ensemble Composition Competition. The extremely high standard of entries for the competition made the listening and study of these compositions a most enjoyable experience and the selection of the top five winners was an extremely challenging experience.

“Congratulations Andrew, BrookWright Music and all 92 contestants on an incredibly successful and rewarding competition.”