Liverpool Philharmonic announces winner of Composition Prize

Thu, October 31st, 2019

Liverpool Philharmonic is delighted to announce 24-year-old Athanasia Kontou...

Liverpool Philharmonic is delighted to announce 24-year-old Athanasia Kontou as the 2019 winner of its annual Christopher Brooks Composition Prize for young composers.

 Athanasia (b.1995) wins a cash prize of £1,000 made possible through the support of Lancashire Sinfonietta Legacy Fund and The Rushworth Foundation, and a year’s complimentary membership of The Ivors Academy of Music Creators. All three organisations are supporting the competition for a fifth year running.

The Christopher Brooks Composition Prize provides a unique opportunity for a young North West composer to develop their talent and access mentoring and guidance from leading artists and music industry professionals, culminating in writing a new work that will be premiered by Ensemble 10/10, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s new music group, in October 2020.

Previous recipients of the Prize are now composing, arranging and conducting for national organisations, including BBC Proms, BBC Radio 3. BBC Radio 4, Cheltenham Music Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe. Works and arrangements by three of the winners were recently performed at the launch of mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston’s residency at Liverpool Philharmonic in September 2019 with a programme of songs dedicated to Liverpool.

Athanasia will be supported with a bespoke programme of workshops, masterclasses and mentoring sessions from resident and visiting musicians, conductors, composers, performers and other industry professionals associated with Liverpool Philharmonic.

The prize also offers Athanasia the chance to develop her composition and teaching practice through access to Liverpool Philharmonic’s programme for children and young people, including Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company, Youth Orchestra and Choirs, higher education partnerships and the transformative In Harmony Liverpool programme in Everton and Anfield.

Athanasia Kontou is a composer and pianist from Greece. Currently studying composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, her music has been workshopped by the BBC Singers, Elias String Quartet and ensemble deCompagnie (BE). Her first orchestral work was premiered by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra in May 2017, and other works have been performed in Greece, London, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Austria.

On winning the fifth Christopher Brooks Composition Prize, Athanasia said:

‘It is a great honour to be this year’s recipient of the Christopher Brooks Composition Prize. I am most grateful to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society for this incredible recognition and the chance to work with the fantastic Ensemble 10/10. I have no doubt that it will be an experience of a lifetime.’

Peter Garden, Liverpool Philharmonic’s Executive Director (Performance and Learning) said:

‘We are delighted to welcome Athanasia to Liverpool Philharmonic this year. We look forward to supporting her journey through The Christopher Brooks Composition Prize and celebrating the performance of her new composition, as part of our strong commitment to commissioning new music.’

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