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Cambridge Young Composer of the Year Competition 2008

Young Musician
of the Year

Young Composer
of the Year


Results of our 2008 competition have now been announced. Click here for details. Compositions were judged by Dr Jeremy Thurlow, composer and Director of Music at Robinson College, Cambridge. The 2009 Competition is now open for entries.

Changes for 2008
We made some changes for this year’s competition.

Age limits
We have reduced the maximum age from 20 to 18, so that the competition is primarily for school-age children. It is open to anyone up to the age of 18 who lives in Cambridgeshire or goes to school in the county.

Inspiration from art
This year we asked entrants to take inspiration for their composition from a work of art. Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is an example of how music can be linked to art. We hope that entrants will find it an intriguing and exciting challenge to connect art and music in this way!

Age groups
Entries will be judged in three age groups (age on January 1, 2008):

  • Up to 12 years
  • 13 to 15 years
  • 16 to 18 years

Composition length
Entries in all age groups must be a maximum of 5 minutes long.

Composition scoring
Competitors must write for one of the following combinations of instruments:

  • one or more instruments from a wind quintet (ie flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon) with or without piano
  • a classical symphony orchestra
  • a string orchestra

As before all competitors will receive written feedback from an experienced adjudicator/composer. There will be a class winner and a number of Highly Commended awards for each age group.

One of the three age group winners will be chosen as the overall winner of the competition and the Cambridge Young Composer of the Year 2008. Their work will be performed at a concert in Cambridge’s West Road Concert Hall on 11 May, 2008. In addition to having their work performed he or she will receive:

  • the Young Composer of the Year cup
  • a cash prize of £50

Performance of entries
We will be actively seeking opportunities for all competitors to have their compositions performed. Several entries to our 2006 and 2007 competitions have been given public performances as a result of taking part. On 10 February 2008 'Time Lord's March' by Jake Howarth, winner of our first composing competition in 2006, will be performed as part of Cambridge Philharmonic's Musical adventure for children at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge. The piece was specially commissioned for the occasion.

How to enter
Entries are now closed. To read the competition rules click here.

If you have any queries please get in touch with the competition administrator, Sarah Chambre:
Email: or phone: 01223 566024.




Competiton timetable

Entry forms to be received by: Friday 9 November 2007

Compositions to be received by: Monday 3 December 2007

Winners announced: late January 2008

Download the...
Competition rules
Entry form