Media release: Young composer wins international prize


Alexander Papp wins national competition for composers, aged 12-18 years

SIXTEEN year-old Alexander Papp has won Scotland’s national orchestra’s Notes From Scotland, its annual composition competition specifically for 12-18 year-olds.

The theme for the third Notes From Scotland was taken from Scotland’s outstanding landmarks; Culzean Castle, Ayrshire; Glen Coe, The Highlands; Hill House, Argyll and Bute; Newhailes, Edinburgh, and House of Dun, Angus.

In partnership with the The National Trust for Scotland, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s (RSNO) Notes From Scotland invited young composers to write a two-minute work for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet.

Following the closing date for entries in May four works were chosen to be performed by an RSNO ensemble at the RSNO Centre, Glasgow, last Saturday afternoon.

A panel of judges – including Scottish composers, Jennifer Martin and Oliver Searle – selected Alexander Papp’s work Progeny, inspired by the landscape of Glen Coe, as the winning entry.

Alexander receives an iPad Pro with music software packages included, as well as VIP access to future RSNO concerts.

Panelist and RSNO artistic director for Learning and Engagement, William Chandler, said:” “The year’s Notes from Scotland composition competition was the largest and most competitive one, ever.

“Pieces were submitted from as far away as New York City and from composers as  young as 12 years old.

“I don’t envy the judges’ task in choosing a winner this year but am thrilled that Progeny by Alexander Papp has been awarded the top prize. Congratulations to Alexander for a truly remarkable work and a huge thank you to all who entered.”

Panelist and composer, Jennifer Martin, added: “The culmination of projects like Notes from Scotland are always incredibly inspiring. The four finalists have us the full range of emotional responses to the National Trust for Scotland properties which provided their inspiration. Our winner, Alexander Papp, is one to watch!”

Said Notes From Scotland 2017 winner, Alexander Papp: “I am delighted to win this prestigious award! I never thought I would reach the final so winning it was just a dream come true! I would like to thank the RSNO for giving me this immense opportunity. I will remember it for the rest of my life.”

Prior to the final concert workshops for entrants were held at each of the historic sites across Scotland (Culzean Castle; Glen Coe; Hill House; Newhailes; House of Dun) The participants were given tours of the sites before receiving an introductory guide to composing to a theme.

Notes From Scotland 2018 will be announced later in the year but for more information visit the competition website,, or contact the RSNO’s Learning and Engagement team on 0141 225 3557 or email

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