In December 2014, we announced a composition competition, in which EU composers were invited to write 3-5 minute pieces that engage with the research of the Old Hispanic Office project, with discussions taking place over the following 9 months via an online forum.
The resulting entries were judged by Paul Mealor, John Pickard, and Emma Hornby, together with (ensemble pieces) Michael Ellison and Neal Farwell, and (choral pieces) Stephen Darlington and Mark Lee.
Twenty composers were shortlisted, and their pieces were workshopped by Kokoro Ensemble, Bristol Cathedral Choir, or Christ Church Cathedral Choir in Bristol and Oxford in March 2016.
As a result, six composers were commissioned to write 15 minute works for Kokoro Ensemble or the Cathedral Choirs, performed in concerts in Bristol in 2017. Each commissioned composer was paid a fee of £3000.
- Mauro Agagliate (Italy) - listen to the concert recording
- David Greenhorne (UK) - listen to the concert recording
- Matias Vestergård Hansen (Denmark) - listen to the concert recording
- Francisco José Carbonell (Spain/USA) - listen to the concert recording
- Euchar Gravina (Malta/UK) - listen to the concert recordings (recording 1; recording 2; recording 3)
- Alison Willis (UK) - listen to the concert recordings (recording 1; recording 2; recording 3; recording 4; recording 5)
Two further composers were Highly commended by the judges:
- Miranda Driessen (ensemble) (Netherlands) - listen to the concert recording
- Benedict Todd (choral) (UK) - listen to the concert recording and a podcast about Todd's piece.
The standard of composition was very high, and it was a privilege to spend five days workshopping the pieces by all twenty finalists: Mauro Agagliate (Italy); Ivan Božičević (Croatia); Kerensa Briggs (UK); Francisco José Carbonell (Spain/USA); William Cole (UK); Yvonne Eccles (UK); Euchar Gravina (Malta/UK); Miranda Driessen (Netherlands); David Greenhorne (UK); Martin Grütter; Chris Hutchings (UK); Edmund Jolliffe (UK); Raphaël Languillat (France/Germany); Manuel Martínez Burgos (Spain); Bernat Gerard Quetglas Torelló (Majorca/Spain); Michael Rosas Cobian (UK); Kathryn Rose (UK); Benedict Todd (UK); Matias Vestergård Hansen (Denmark); Alison Willis (UK).
The Old Hispanic Office team members wish to record their thanks to: all the composers who entered the competition, for their stimulating and inspiring conversations, both online and in person at the workshop; the judges; the singers and instrumentalists; and the ensemble directors for workshopping the music so expertly.