Four composers selected for the 2022 Young Composers Program

Clockwise from top left, Sun Keting, Thomas Metcalf, Claire Victoria Roberts and Ben Nobuto

The four composers chosen for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) The 2022 Young Composers Program is Sun Keting, Thomas Metcalf, Claire Victoria bathroberyouand Ben Nobuto.

The all-expenses-covered initiative was created to support composers in the early stages of their careers, who are formative in the development of a full-fledged composer. In addition to mentorship, each composer will receive a personal innovation fund of £500 to undertake their own creative endeavours.

The Young Composers program is specifically designed to support emerging composers from a wide range of backgrounds, races and musical genres. According to NYCGB Press release, they “strive to build an inclusive community” in hopes of achieving “meaningful and balanced representation in the fields of composition for vocal ensembles”. The program “strongly encourages young people of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds to apply for this program.”

NYCGB Artistic Director and Composer Ben Parry will lead the professional mentorship. Previous guest mentors include Errollyn Wallen, John Rutter, Roxanna Panufnik, Richard Allain, Anna Meredith, Alexandra Harwood, Jonathan Dove and Eleanor Alberga.

A brief presentation of each composer:

Ben Nobuto is an English-Japanese composer whose works often explore themes of attention and fragmentation, drawing on internet culture and popular idioms in playful, ironic and surreal ways. His works have been performed by Manchester Collective, Manchester Camerata, Ligeti Quartet, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and broadcast on BBC Radio 6, Times Radio and Resonance FM. He was recently shortlisted for Sound and Music’s 2021 “New Voices” program.

Sun Keting is a Chinese composer and artist based in London. His recent work focuses on performing arts and instrumental sound exploration, combining Eastern cultural, spiritual and philosophical elements. Sun’s music has been performed in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia. She has composed music for the London Symphony Orchestra, Silk Road Ensemble, Chroma Ensemble, Tangram, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan. She has collaborated on projects with many established artists and organizations such as The Wellcome Collection, The Bristol School of Animation and the Leeds Lieder Festival.

Described as writing “music of mood and muscle” by Wales Arts Review, Claire Victoria Roberts is a composer, singer and violinist who creates rich, scintillating music, drawing on a variety of influences: from her love of lyrical jazz to traditional violin music and impressionistic orchestral textures. Claire is the winner of a 2019-2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, as well as a 2017 winner of the Mathias Prize for Composition and a 2019 winner of a Francis Chagrin Prize. It was broadcast on Radio 3, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru.
Thomas Metcalf is an Oxford-based composer and researcher. He recently completed his doctorate in music at Oxford University, where he researched extensions of the ancient concept of ‘ekphrasis’ (description) to contemporary music. His work has been published in various conferences across Europe and published in several academic journals. This research forms a central part of Thomas’ compositional approach, and recent projects have included pieces for the Kreutzer Quartet, Lonelinoise Collective, Horizon Voices and Psappha. In 2021, Thomas’ music has been performed across the UK, as well as in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Mexico.

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