ROYAL Northern Sinfonia has launched its Young Composers Competition, which will form part of the orchestra’s Beethoven celebrations next season.

With 2020 marking 250 years since Beethoven’s birth, Royal Northern Sinfonia will commission five young composers to write a piece for chamber orchestra in response to his body of work. The new pieces will be performed by the orchestra around the North-East as part of a Beethoven symphony cycle in 2020.

Last year’s winner was Alex Dakin, a University of Manchester music student, who won with his work ‘Firework Spirals’. It was premiered at Sage Gateshead in January.

He said: “It was a real honour and privilege to have my piece premiered by Royal Northern Sinfonia.

"The workshop was a great learning experience in the practicalities of writing for chamber orchestra, and it inspired some vital revisions to all of the shortlisted composers' works. The orchestra did a fantastic job with the pieces.”

The deadline for submissions is Monday, June 17. Those shortlisted will be asked to develop a piece from their proposal which will then be workshopped by Royal Northern Sinfonia in the autumn. Five composers will then be commissioned to complete their original piece to be performed by Royal Northern Sinfonia. They will also receive £1,000 each.

The competition is open to all students, including EU citizens currently studying full or part-time at a UK university or conservatoire at undergraduate or post-graduate level during the 19/20 academic year.

Previously performed or commissioned works, and previously shortlisted composers or award winners are not eligible.

For more details on how to apply, visit sagegateshead.com/rns-young-composers-competition-open.