The BBC Proms Inspire scheme has offered a platform for over 900 young composers aged 12 - 18 year olds from across the UK to develop their skills, share their ideas and get their music heard. In 2017 the scheme continues, offering composers of the future new opportunities and year-round events to encourage and support their development.

At the heart of the scheme the BBC Proms Inspire Competition for young composers offers its winners the unrivalled opportunity to have their composition performed by professional musicians at the BBC Proms, the world’s largest classical music festival, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, as well as a coveted BBC commission. The search for the 2017 Inspire Competition winners opens today (Monday 9 January) and runs for four months. The closing date for entries is Thursday 25 May. Every night this week BBC Radio 3’s drive time programme In Tune will mark the launch of Inspire with recordings of pieces from previous competition winners including Jack Robinson, James Chan and Shoshanah Sievers, as well as interviews from judge Kerry Andrew and 2016 winner Sam Rudd-Jones.

The judging panel for the 2017 Inspire Competition is made up of renowned composers including Mark-Anthony Turnage, Kerry Andrew, Charlotte Bray, Hannah Kendall and Fraser Trainer as well as Director of the BBC Proms, David Pickard.

Past competition winners and highly commended composers are also invited to join the team of Inspire Ambassadors, who act as a sounding board and champion the work of the Inspire scheme across the UK. Announced today, the 2017 Inspire Ambassadors are: Sarah Gait, Electra Perivolaris, Grace Mason, Sofia Swenson-Wright, Tammas Slater, Thomas Brown, Alex Jones, Ellis Howarth, Max Bilbe, William Kidner and Sarah Jenkins.

“The BBC Proms Inspire scheme is a unique gateway for young composers wanting to develop their talent and find a showcase for their work. I am thrilled by Inspire’s continuing growth and the enthusiasm and talent of those who take part.” David Pickard, Director BBC Proms

"Being a part of the BBC Proms Inspire scheme has opened up incredible opportunities to work alongside professionals and other young composers, as well as increasing my confidence and love for music - I would truly encourage anyone with a passion for composing to apply." Sarah Jenkins, Inspire Ambassador and highly commended composer 2016

As part of the BBC Proms Inspire scheme young composers have the opportunity to take part in projects and sessions aimed to further encourage and develop their skills. In 2017 these will include:
>International Women’s Day
Following on from Radio 3’s ground-breaking celebration of Women Composers on International Women’s Day in 2016, the station will once again celebrate International Women’s Day in 2017, devoting itself to contemporary women composers on 8 March. Members of the BBC Proms Inspire scheme will be invited to take part in a special Inspire project with contemporary composer and Inspire Competition judge Hannah Kendall. Young female composers will work together to create a new piece of music incorporating spoken word. The project will culminate in a live performance to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune on 8 March.
>Inspire Session with Sir James MacMillan
The BBC Proms Inspire scheme will continue its strong relationship with the BBC Orchestras and Choirs, who will be offering young composers across the UK the opportunity to work with their professional musicians. On 2 April 2017, composer James MacMillan will be running a masterclass with musicians from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, in connection with his concert at Glasgow City Halls on 30 March. The workshop will be open to anyone aged 12-18.
>BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion: Philip Glass at 80
The Inspire scheme will be inviting entrants of last year’s BBC Proms 2016 Inspire Competition to take part in an exciting project to create a new piece of music for the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion: Philip Glass at 80 on Saturday 28 January at the Barbican Centre. Led by composer Fraser Trainer and supported by a team of professional musicians, the project will enable the young composers to collaborate across three workshops to devise a new composition inspired by the music of Philip Glass. The project will culminate in a Barbican foyer performance before the evening BBC SO concert.

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