Winners of the ISM inaugural competition for young composers announced Jump to main content

Winners of the ISM inaugural competition for young composers announced

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is proud to announce Toby Young, Kerry Andrew (pictured above) and Stef Conner as prize winners in the ISM’s inaugural competition for young composers. The ISM, the professional body for musicians, called for composers age 23 – 35 to submit an original composition for voices, inspired by the music of Benjamin Britten in celebration of the 100th anniversary year of his birth.

Toby Young’s composition Missa Brevis won the category for children’s voices. The judges also highly commended two works written for SATB chorus - All Things Are Quite Silent by Kerry Andrew, and O Earendel (Hymn to the Star) by Stef Conner.

All three pieces will receive their premiere performances in a special concert conducted by Suzi Digby OBE as part of the ISM Conference at Queens’ College, Cambridge on 4 April 2013.

Toby Young is a composer and singer from London. He studied composition with Robin Holloway at Cambridge whilst also being a choral scholar in the prestigious King's College Chapel Choir. Since winning numerous competitions, most notably the Guardian/BBC Proms Young Composer of the Year (2006), Toby has performed at prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Sadlers Wells, and Cadogan Hall, and with renowned ensembles and orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, Fretwork, Britten Sinfonia and Endymion Ensemble as well as many choirs. Commissions have included orchestral and ensemble works for the St. Petersburg British Music Festival, the City of Oxford Sinfonia, the London School of Economics, the Royal Academy of Music, Opera Up Close, the Tete-a-Tete festival, as well as solo pieces for the 2007 Brighton Festival, Birmingham Conservatoire, Cheltenham Ladies' College, and the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts (who commissioned a collaborative project with the artist Jeremy Millar RA).

Kerry Andrew (pictured above) is a freelance composer/performer and music educator based in London. She specialises in experimental vocal music, choral music and music-theatre, and draws on folk, jazz, electrkonica, and world music traditions. She is a published choral composer with two large-scale choral releases on Boreas Music. Choral and experimental work has been heard on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, 6Music and Classic FM and on national news channels. She won a British Composer Award in 2010, was shortlisted again in 2012, and was 2010-12′s Composer in Residence at Handel House Museum. She is currently writing a community chamber opera for Wigmore Hall as part of their Britten centenary celebrations.

Stef Conner has a Ph.D in composition from the University of York and aspires to convey the emotional intensity of traditional song in her classical works. Her music has been performed by The Kreutzer Quartet, Cadenza, Juice, The Nieuw Ensemble, John Potter, The Philharmonia Orchestra, The Renaissance Singers, The Julian Arguëlles Octet and Ensemble 10/10, at venues including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, York Minster, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, The Royal Festival Hall and on BBC Radio. Awards for her work include the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, Making Music's 'Adopt-a-composer' scheme and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival's' European Composers 'Profession Development Programme'.


Further information and photos are available from Tom Butcher:

[email protected], 020 7079 1203

Notes to Editors:

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK’s professional body for musicians providing a distinctive range of services to its membership of performers and music professionals. The Incorporated Society of Musicians aims to promote the art of music and champion the interests of musicians, raising professional standards, and providing legal advice and other benefits to its members. Its members include performers, composers, music teachers and industry professionals. The ISM has over 100 corporate members including all the music Conservatoires, university music departments, Trinity Guildhall, ABRSM, Association of British Orchestras, Federation of Music Services, Jazz Services, Music for Youth, Oxford University Press, specialist music schools including Chetham’s School of Music and the Yehudi Menuhin School, as well as music industry and trade organisations such as PPL, the Music Industries Association, Yamaha Music, and the International Artist Managers’ Association.


Paul Max Edlin is a founder member and Artistic Director of the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival, and Artistic Director of the Deal Festival. His compositions have been broadcast on BBC 2 and BBC Radio 3, and are performed by such luminaries as Sarah Connolly and the Tippett Quartet. He is Professor of Music at Canterbury Christ Church University, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and the ISM Past President.

Suzi Digby OBE is the ISM President. She is a choral conductor, music educator, and TV and radio broadcaster. In 1993 she created The Voices Foundation, the UK’s leading National Primary Music Education Foundation. She also founded ‘Coro’ and ‘Voce’, two of London’s best chamber choirs. Amongst many TV appearances, she was a judge in BBC 1′s hit show, Last Choir Standing, which has attracted over 10 million viewers. She received the OBE from the Queen for outstanding services to music education in 2009.

Richard Hallam MBE has a lifetime's experience in all aspects of music education including as a teacher, advisor and inspector, Head of Music Service, professional trumpet player and conductor. From 2008 to 2011 he was the National Music Participation Director and was a member of the core team of the Henley Review of the Funding and Delivery of Music Education in England. He is now continuing much of that work as the National Music Education Grant Director. Richard is the ISM President Elect.