OPUS 2018 Competition

Britten Sinfonia’s OPUS 2018 competition for unpublished composers has been announced with a call for scores. For the first time, composer Sir James MacMillan will join OPUS as mentor.

Now in its sixth year, OPUS offers unpublished composers the chance to receive a professional commission as part of Britten Sinfonia’s award-winning ‘At Lunch’ Series.  This year, the commission will be for folk singer Hannah Rarity, BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2018 and a piano quintet of Britten Sinfonia musicians.  The winning work will be premiered in March 2019 in Norwich, Cambridge and at Wigmore Hall London as part of Britten Sinfonia’s award-winning ‘At Lunch’ concert series.  The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 19 October 2018.  Full details of how to apply at: https://www.brittensinfonia.com/creative-learning/opus/

All scores are judged blind; as part of the OPUS process, five composers will be shortlisted.  Each will receive mentoring from Sir James MacMillan and the opportunity to workshop their pieces with Hannah Rarity and a Britten Sinfonia Ensemble at Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden, where Britten Sinfonia is Resident Orchestra.  The winner will receive a commission fee, a recording of their piece and at least three performances. The workshop day will be open to the general public for the first time, who will vote for an audience prize winner, with the overall winner selected by a jury including Britten Sinfonia musicians.

Over the past five years, over 1000 composers have applied to OPUS with winning composers Mark Bowler, Sohrab Uduman, Edward Nesbit, Patrick John Jones and Ryan Latimer writing for a range of instruments including harp, oboe, bassoon, horn, clarinet, piano trio, as well as strings.

David Butcher, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Britten Sinfonia comments:

‘In something of a musical departure, OPUS2018 brings folk into the mix and we’re delighted to have Sir James MacMillan, who has enjoyed a long association with Britten Sinfonia, as this year’s OPUS mentor and the hugely talented young Scottish folk singer Hannah Rarity as an artistic partner.  OPUS always reveals interesting compositional voices and part of the pleasure is seeing these develop through working with Britten Sinfonia’s exceptional musicians and leading composers during workshops and in performance.  It’s great to see how much musical activity is taking place right across the UK, much of it ‘under the radar’; if we can help some of this largely hidden composing talent to shine, then all the better.”

The OPUS2018 winner will receive a commission for a piano quintet of Britten Sinfonia musicians and folk singer Hannah Rarity as part of Britten Sinfonia’s award-winning ‘At Lunch’ concert series