Philip Bates Prize for Composers and Songwriters

Prize for Composers and Songwriters

The 2019 Philip Bates Prize for Composers and Songwriters, jointly run by the Philip Bates Trust and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, is now open for entries.

Young composers from all over the UK are invited to enter the 2019 Philip Bates Prize for Composers and Songwriters. Composers between the ages of 16 and 25 may submit works in any style by the entry deadline of Monday 30 September 2019. Finalists will be announced by Monday 11 October.

Shortlisted entries will be given a public performance at the competition final at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on Tuesday 26 November, when the winning pieces will be chosen. Shortlisted composers must supply their own pre-rehearsed performers at the final and the chosen winners will receive a cash prize. 

This year the rules have been amended in several ways. Purely instrumental pieces are now allowed, as well as those with a vocal element: however the composition must be inspired by a text or texts in some way. Also, the composition can be for any number of performers and the minimum duration requirement has been dropped, although there is still a maximum duration of 12 minutes.

Composition competition prizes

The competition offers three cash prizes:

  • £400 awarded by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • £400 awarded by the Philip Bates Trust
  • £200 awarded by the audience.

An opportunity will be given for one of the prize winning works to be performed again at A Touch of Basil in September 2019, a concert organised by the Philip Bates Trust.

In memory of Philip Bates

Philip Bates, a young man from Castle Bromwich with a promising musical future ahead of him, was tragically killed shortly after his nineteenth birthday in March 2000.

To honour his memory, the Philip Bates Trust (founded to encourage young musicians like Philip) and leading music college Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (part of Birmingham City University) jointly run the annual Philip Bates Prize for Composers and Songwriters.

Competition Entry Requirements

This exceptionally broad competition has recognised talent in a variety of genres in the past.

It encourages entries in everything from classical, jazz and folk to singer-songwriter ballads, Asian music and rock, as long as the work is suitable for live performance and appealing to a wide range of concert-goers.

Entries should last up to a maximum of 12 minutes and instrumentation is up to the composer. Only one entry may be submitted per composer.

How to Enter

To enter the competition, please download and read the conditions of entry and submissions document below and follow the instructions.  

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