Written by: Hirst Press Release Edited By The Classical Source

The opportunity for the public to participate in the judging of a major UK prize AND to listen to seven shortlisted works for violin and piano is available on Wednesday 27 November 2002 at the Purcell Room. With its inclusion of an audience prize, as well as a jury prize and a critics’ prize, the UK & Eire Composition Platform offers professional and amateur composers a major platform for getting their music heard, but also provides an impetus for creating new audiences.

“I conceived this competition partly out of frustration with the relative lack of opportunities to perform recently written works, except in a few specialist venues,” says Adam Summerhayes, founder of the innovative UK & EIRE COMPOSITION PLATFORM. “Contemporary music has suffered from having an ’obscure’ label, partly because it doesn’t always appear in popular venues, and partly because of public perception that it is ’difficult’. Arguably this was true some years ago, but music being written at the start of the 21st century is far more accessible.” By inviting the public to play a role in the competition, an automatic dialogue between listener and artist is constructed. The aim of the concert is to nurture this relationship – which surely brings benefits to all involved!

The shortlist this year has been whittled down to seven pieces, and there is a mix of ’established’ and less well known composers. Since its inception, the competition has been open to all ages and all nationalities, the only proviso is that entrants are UK or Eire residents. This year’s list has Geoffrey Wright, Francis Routh, John Hails, Alec Roth, Tara Guram, Tom Ingoldsby and Keith Gifford. Previous winners have included Jonathan Powell, Rory Boyle and David Gordon.

All pieces are performed by violinist Adam Summerhayes and pianists Catherine Summerhayes and Alan Brown, and recorded at the concert for the SARGASSO label, which will be distributed to international radio stations. With all composers receiving copies of the CD, the competition also secures such vital back-up resources for them.

New music gets heard when it is made accessible: the UK & Eire festival aims to make it just that, through listeners’ participation and encouragement of compositional talent.

UK & EIRE COMPOSITION PLATFORM, 27 November 2002, 7 p.m.

Purcell Room, London

Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions)

Box office: 020 7960 4242 (£1.50 credit card booking fee)

Or book online: (no online booking fee)


For further information, please contact DHPR: Diana Hirst or Joanne Whalley de Lopez, Tel/Fax: 020 8299 1914; email

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