BBC Young Composer is to invest further in young music makers across the UK, offering a package of resources, development opportunities and events for teachers and students across the UK to support the music-makers of the next generation. For example:
- BBC Young Composer will offer a new suite of resources including a composition tool, available for teachers and young musicians
- Young Composer network launched for teachers and schools across the UK
- The BBC Young Composer competition moves to biennial pattern, with the next competition in 2023
Plus, the first-ever BBC Young Composer Prom will take place this year!
Since its inception in 1998, BBC Young Composer has launched countless musical careers and the scheme is committed to reaching a wide pool of talent of all technical abilities, backgrounds, and musical styles across the UK.
In order to serve students and teachers further, BBC Young Composer will deliver a wealth of composition resources, including films, lesson plans and special access to an innovative tool from Spitfire Audio to schools across the country – with the hope to inspire more young people to get creative with music and consider a career in the music industry.
Sound samples of 33 instruments recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra will be made available via Spitfire Audio’s free ‘Discover’ plugin, which is compatible with any major music creation software, giving young people the opportunity to start writing music with the sounds of the world-class BBC Symphony Orchestra.
These resources will be available to secondary teachers for teaching Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and at 3rd Level, 4th Level, National 4 and 5 in Scotland.
Celebrating 100 years of the BBC
For the first time ever, a BBC Young Composer Prom will take place at Battersea Arts Centre with the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Alice Farnham, featuring six new works by the winners of the BBC Young Composer 2021 competition.
The 2021 competition winners, who are being supported and mentored by Dobrinka Tabakova and Gavin Higgins, have been commissioned on the theme of ‘BBC 100, celebrating 100 years of the BBC’ for this special concert which takes place on Saturday 30 July.
There will also be a new programme of live and online activity for teachers, schools and young people available from July, offering a variety of opportunities to learn and create with BBC Young Composer. This includes a full day of workshops in the summer open to all young musicians interested in creating their own music aged 12–18. Further schools workshops will be on offer later in the year, with a focus on increasing skills and confidence in music composition.
The BBC Young Composer Network will also launch, which is a new database for teachers, schools, and partners to sign-up for access to Continuing Professional Development (teacher training) activities and resources.
Teachers interested in these resources and opportunities can sign up to the BBC Young Composer mailing list here.
Since 2020, there have been a significant increase in applications to the BBC Young Composer competition. To allow for a new, more comprehensive development and mentoring programme for more of the many young musicians applying for the scheme, the BBC Young Composer competition will now be biennial, moving in line with other BBC Competitions such as BBC Young Musician. The next BBC Young Composer competition takes place in 2023.
‘The future of music is very bright’
David Pickard, director of BBC Proms, said: “Seeing the talent that comes through BBC Young Composer is one of the highlights of my year, and I am delighted that we will be celebrating them with the first ever BBC Young Composer Prom in our 2022 season. The future of music is very bright, and I’m proud that this scheme continues to help develop the composers of the future.”
Gavin Higgins, composer and BBC Young Composer mentor, said: “2020 and 2021 was incredibly hard for young people in the UK and so I was overwhelmed and humbled by the quality and creativity I saw from our young composers. With twice as many entries to the BBC Young Composer Scheme than in previous years, and the standard of work incredibly high, the future of music in the UK is in safe hands.
“The support the BBC provides to the next generation of creatives is more important than ever, and I am thrilled that the BBC has decided to support not only the winners of this year’s competition, but also many others who impressed the judges with their skill, creativity and craft. Music really does change lives, and these young composers have bright futures ahead of them.”
BBC Young Composer has offered a platform for hundreds of young composers aged 12 to 18 from across the UK to further their artistic and professional ambitions. Many of today’s leading composers are counted in the outstanding list of BBC Young Composer alumni, including Shiva Feshareki, Kate Whitley, Alissa Firsova, Mark Simpson, Tom Harrold, and Duncan Ward.
BBC Young Composer remains committed to assisting its alumni in launching their careers through its ambassador scheme, connecting composers to commissioning opportunities at the BBC. Recent alumni, including Grace-Evangeline Mason, Xia Leon Sloane, and Sarah Jenkins have been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Proms.