Partnership with University of Cambridge announced


The King's College/Hartley Rogers CBSO Scholarships in Orchestral Composition are the result of an exciting new partnership between King's College, the University of Cambridge Music Faculty and the world-renowned City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and made possible through a visionary gift from Hartley Rogers, a former pupil at King’s College School and a former member of the School Choir.

The two 2017–2018 Scholarships will each allow a Cambridge student – regardless of College affiliation – to compose a new work for the CBSO and to hear it rehearsed and professionally recorded in two separate workshops. This is an unrivalled and invaluable opportunity for young composers interested in composing for orchestra. The Scholarships are aimed at giving advanced student composers experience of working with a top-level professional orchestra.

Each Scholar will be given two one-and-a-half hour rehearsal sessions with the full orchestra of eighty players in which a substantial new composition can be worked on in detail. The two sessions will be separated by a substantial gap, so that ideas can be refined and revised in the intervening period. The first session offers a chance to hear the work in draft form (which, aside from extended passages, may also include trying out specific ideas, e.g. a chord sequence scored in several different ways) before preparing a final version in time for the second session. The schedule is designed to allow composers to be bold, inventive and to take risks.

We are delighted to announce that in 2017–18, Scholars will have the opportunity to work with Ilan Volkov, one of today’s most adventurous and energetic conductors. Ilan Volkov is a highly sympathetic and experienced interpreter of new music, having held posts with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra amongst many others.

Both workshops will be recorded in their entirety. This enables composers to go back and review a comprehensive record of how various aspects of the piece worked, and revisit comments made in rehearsal by the players and conductor. At the end of the project, Scholars will come away with a recording of professional quality which can be edited into a complete performance for their own use. The recording can be uploaded to the internet but it may not be released commercially.

In addition, Scholars will have a smaller ensemble work performed in a special concert in King’s College by players from the Orchestra.

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