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Summary:Chamber Orchestra Competition
Deadline: 15 February 2018
Date Posted: 01 February 2018
Details: Update: We have had a lot of interest for the competition but some fantastic entries do not fit the orchestration requirements. For this reason, we are extending the closing date until 15th February to allow composers to ensure their composition is written for the correct instruments as stated below.

We are excited to announce the third running of the English Schools' Orchestra's prestigious composing competition. This year we will be launching our latest competition for musicians aged between 14 and 25.

The Three Finalists
Following the highly succesful Competition and Finalists' Concerts in 2014 and 2016, the English Schools’ Orchestra, in association with PRS for Music and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, are once again proud to support a nationwide search to find the brightest young creative musical talent of the 21st century.

Three finalists' compositions will be performed by the English Young Artists’ Sinfonia, a professional chamber orchestra consisting of former members of the English Schools' Orchestra, during a prestigious concert in London during Spring 2018. A cash prize of £250 will also be awarded to the winning entry.

English Schools' Orchestra
The finalists will have the opportunity of hearing their composition rehearsed and performed by the Orchestra as well as receiving feedback from the performers and the competition judges Edward Gregson, Scott Stroman and Richard Sisson.

We are passionately committed to helping young musicians to develop their creative and performing talents and this competition provides an exciting venture in fulfilling this aim.

For details of our previous competitions, Finalists' Concerts and to hear a recording of one of the finalist's compositions see the competitions menu at the top of this page.


You can complete an online entry here. Alternatively, send your completed composition as a Sibelius file to together with a completed entry form. Please read the terms and conditions before entering.


• By entering the Competition, the entrant will be deemed to accept these terms and conditions and entrants agree to be bound by the decisions of the judges, which shall be final and binding.

• The entrant may enter the ESO Composing Competition by submitting a completed entry form.

• Entries must be sent in a Sibelius file using the online entry or by sending to together with the completed entry form.

• The Competition is open from 14th October 2017 until 15th February 2018.

• Entries received after the closing date will not be accepted.

• There is no fee to enter the Competition.

• Entrants must be aged 14-25 and a UK resident.

• Only one composition per entrant will be accepted.

• Each participant may submit one composition lasting a maximum of 8 minutes, which must be written for a designated Chamber Orchestra instrumentation (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timps and strings).

• By entering the Competition, the entrant is agreeing to let ESO use their name and composition in public, should they be shortlisted.

• A shortlist of three or more compositions will be prepared by the director of ESO.

• The shortlisted compositions will be announced on the ESO website and will be performed by the English Young Artists' Sinfonia at a date and venue to be confirmed.

• After the performance, the panel of judges will choose the winning composition. This will be announced at the concert and on the ESO website.

• The prize consists of £250 for the winning Composition.

• The prize is as described and no cash or other alternative will be offered.

• The Winner agrees to participate in any reasonable publicity for the Competition as well as any other promotional events.

• The Winner agrees that the Composition can be used in promotional activity related to the competition including hosting it on ESO website and the winner agrees to up to three performances of the Composition as part of such promotional activity.

• Entrants will not be able to withdraw their composition once entered.

• Personal details of entrants, such as email and phone numbers, will be kept confidential by ESO and not passed to third parties. The name of the shortlisted composers will be revealed by ESO in publicity and programmes for the concert.

• Any further enquiries can be made via email to terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and each party submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.