Sibelius Composer of the Year

Composer David Arnold, whose credits include the Quantum of Solace soundtrack, has declared the standard of entries to the 2008 Sibelius Student Composer of the Year competition as ‘really extraordinarily high.’ The winners have been announced today (Monday 19 January).
 Standard extraordinarily high
David Arnold, Quantum of Solace

Sibelius, whose composition software is used by over 75 per cent of UK secondary schools, runs the competition for 10-18 year olds to highlight the growing importance of technology in unleashing musical creativity in young people.

The 12 winners and runners-up for this year’s competition – which attracted more than 1,800 entries - are:

Film 10-16 age group
Winner – Claire Green (15) from Bristol
Runner-up – Will Haskins (14) from Bristol

Claire Green

Classical/contemporary 10-16 age group
Winner – Eunseog Lee (16) from Coventry
Runner-up – Lucy Arch (14) from Shrewsbury

Eunseog Lee

Classical/contemporary 17-18 age group
Winner – Thomas Chevis (18) from Surrey
Runner-up – Maya Kashif (17) from London

Thomas Chevis

Jazz 10-16 age group
Winner – Ralph Wyld (15) from Hampshire
Runner-up – Chris Wilson (16) from London

Ralph Wyld

Jazz 17-18 age group
Winner – Danny Smith (18) from Surrey
Runner-up – Robert Busiakiewicz (18) from Stratford-upon-Avon

Danny Smith


Arnold, who served as a judge for the Film category of this year’s competition, says, ‘The finalists especially showed a mature and energetic approach to their music. They obviously have become comfortable with using contemporary technology as part of their compositional process and there were several pieces that very successfully blended orchestral and synthetic elements into a single, cohesive whole.

‘I'm sure that as they continue to write and experiment that we will see several of these young composers emerging as singular and exciting voices in the world of composition.’

Steven Kelly from Edinburgh, winner of the Film (17-18) category, says, ‘It’s amazing and really exciting to have won and to know that people like my music.

‘Eventually I hope to compose for film and computer games. The prize money is great and I am really excited to meet the judges in February.’

All the winners will have their compositions performed at a special awards ceremony at the Royal Academy of Music in London on February 12 in the presence of leading musicians including David Arnold and music education ambassadors Howard Goodall and Lord Puttnam.

Winners will also receive £500 prize money and a one to one masterclass with one of the star judges, who include renowned composer Karl Jenkins and leading conductor Leonard Slatkin.

The winners’ schools will each receive a multi-pack of Sibelius 5 software plus keyboards, speakers and software from M-Audio and Digidesign.