Some of the feedback we have received about our composing competitions...

"I took part in the Cambridge Young Composer of the Year Competition five years in a row, entering the competition four times and being commissioned to write a piece for the 2016 concert as the winner of the preceding year. It has hugely benefitted me as a composer, with detailed feedback each year by a professional composer and by the ensemble. This helped me to improve my technique and notation, as well as connecting the cerebral process of composing with the outcome of the piece being performed – this is absolutely crucial for a developing composer. The competition has also benefitted me indirectly, by introducing me to the Cambridge Young Composer's Network and the composing opportunities offered by this scheme. It also led to me joining Aldeburgh Young Musicians, a Centre of Advanced Training, through which I received several commissions and made important composition contacts, as well as developing hugely as a musician. I also had composition lessons with Ewan Campbell for several years, who I met at the competition, and my composition developed much under his tuition."

Dominic Wills, Cambridge Young Composer of the Year 2015

My son and I really enjoyed listening to all the pieces and hearing all the constructive feedback from the trio and Ewan Campbell. My son was very moved to hear his piece being played by professional musicians. It’s an experience he will not forget. He learnt so much and is busy applying all the suggestions to his composition”

"I’ve only been composing for a couple of years, and this competition is by far the most valuable experience I’ve had, even though it’s only once a year. I don’t know of any other way I can compose for more than one instrument and then hear my piece played by professional musicians. The workshop was also very useful. I’m looking forward to entering again next year!"

 “The whole experience was very well-structured, organised and hugely inspiring. The workshop approach to the Finals on the day was a great idea - it was informative and thought-provoking for the young composers. Dr Campbell’s Composition Workshop in early summer proved most interesting and useful as guidance for entering the actual competition and, at the Finals, he provided clear and encouraging feedback.”

"I admire the way that the competition somehow manages to celebrate what is excellent without being all about winning. I would thoroughly recommend it to any child or young person who enjoys creating music or just wants to give composing a try for the first time and I hope that it goes from strength to strength".

"Yet again, it was a superb experience for our son, now in his third year of taking part. Back in 2015, he came along to one of your composing workshops in Cambridge with a friend and was inspired to have a go at composing a piece for that year's competition. I remember attending the performance and feedback session with him and being really impressed with the quality of the 'live' musical experience, the warmth of the audience reaction, and the sensitive balance of encouragement and criticism with which judge, Ewan Campbell and musicians responded to the young people's work."

 I think that having one’s piece played by such talented professionals is a huge compliment to these young enthusiasts, particularly when they spend so much time alone writing and receive relatively little recognition for their skills and interest in most other environments. Meeting other like-minded young people is, of course, another huge benefit.  My son said he had learned so much during the course of one day, discovering, in particular, how a Sibelius-written composition translates into real performance - within real time limitations, with varying acoustics and with real performers. These practicalities would never be learned otherwise and would be absolutely essential for a professional composer.”

"We wanted to say a very big thank you to you again for a wonderful afternoon yesterday at West Road. It was a dream come true for our daughter and we were delighted to hear her first instrumental piece…She learnt an awful lot from hearing all the feedback and she is very much looking forward to entering the competition for the next three years.”

"The Young Composers Competition is a wonderful inspiration to young people and quite unique in the region. Long may it continue.”