Media Release: National young composers’ competition returns for 2015/16

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Notes From Scotland, a competition for 12-18 year-olds, this year in partnership with the Festival of Architecture

SCOTLAND’S national orchestra is running the second composition competition specifically for 12-18 year-olds based in Scotland.

In partnership with the Festival of Architecture 2016, Notes From Scotland invites young composers to write a two-minute work for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet.

The theme for the second Notes From Scotland is inspired by Scotland’s contemporary architecture: Maggie’s Highlands; Pier Arts Centre, Orkney; the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh; Shettleston Housing Association, Glasgow, and Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre.

From the entries five finalists will be selected by an expert panel with their compositions being performed and recorded by members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) at the orchestra’s new home, adjacent to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The winner will be announced following the performance and will receive an iPad loaded with music software packages, as well as VIP access to RSNO concerts.

Throughout February and March 2016 award-winning Scottish composer, Stuart MacRae, will be hosting workshops for entrants at each of the inspiring buildings across Scotland (DCA: 13th February 2016 am; Shettleston Housing Association: 13th February 2016 pm; Pier Arts Centre: 20th February 2016; The Scottish Parliament: 27th February 2016; Maggie’s Highlands: 5th March 2016).

The participants will be given tours of the sites before receiving an introductory guide to composing to a theme.

Dates for each of the workshops, submission information and sign-up for the newsletter can be found on the competition site:

The workshops are free, but places need to be reserved by contacting the RSNO’s Learning and Engagement team on 0141 225 3557 or email

This is a rare opportunity for entrants to obtain feedback on their music from some of Scotland’s eminent composers.

Entrants do not have to attend the workshops to enter the competition.

The Notes From Scotland website includes video resources featuring introductions to each of the properties across Scotland and insight and advice from some of the country’s greatest living composers.

BAFTA, GRAMMY and Ivor Novello award-winning composer, Craig Armstrong OBE, famed for his soundtracks to blockbusters such as Moulin Rouge!, Love Actually and The Great Gatsby, welcomed the initiative: “This is a fantastic idea to engage young people in composition and to bring them together with existing composers and musicians to pass on their knowledge and skills. I’m sure it will be an invaluable experience for all concerned.”

Full details on the competition and how to enter can be found at

Closing date for entries is Tuesday 31 May 2016.

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RSNO contact details…

Contact: Daniel Pollitt
Phone: 01412253571