Liverpool Philharmonic is delighted to announce 22-year-old Carmel Smickersgill as the winner of its annual Christopher Brooks Composition Prize in association with The Rushworth Foundation and Lancashire Sinfonietta Legacy Fund

Carmel wins a cash prize of £1,000 made possible through the support of the Lancashire Sinfonietta Legacy Fund and The Rushworth Foundation and a year’s complimentary membership of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors (BASCA). All three organisations are supporting the competition for a fourth year running.

The Christopher Brooks Composition Prize provides Carmel with a unique opportunity over the next year to develop her talent. Carmel 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.

Carmel’s year will culminate in her writing a new work for performance by Ensemble 10/10, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s new music group, which will be premiered in autumn 2019.

Carmel will also 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.

Carmel is a composer based in Manchester having recently finished an undergraduate degree in composition with Gary Carpenter at the RNCM. Her music has been performed on Radio 3. She has recently been commissioned by Brighter Sound and has previously written for ensembles and performers such as Psappha, No Dice and CoMA.

As a performer, Carmel has directed her own ensemble Smudge and has been part of a collaboration between visual artist Liam Gillick and the band, New Order. She has previously been awarded the Terence Greeves Prize for big band composition as well as the Edward Hecht Prize for composition during her time in college.

On winning the Christopher Brooks Composition Prize 2018, Carmel said: ‘I’m thrilled to be the recipient of the Christopher Brooks prize this year. It’s such a privilege to have the chance to work with such an inventive group of world-class musicians as well as being able to see, first hand, the inner workings of an ensemble such as the Liverpool Philharmonic.’


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