The judges — freelance conductor and Director of Music at Somerville College, and University Lecturer and composer Dr Martyn Harries — were overwhelmed with a superb range of 35 entries to the composition competition. They thank everyone who submitted entries for the inaugural edition of what has already become a heavily contested competition!
The winners are:
1st Roger Teichmann, Warm are the still and lucky miles
2nd Daniel Swain, O Magnum Mysterium
3rd Stephen Wilkinson, Violence (Linear IV)
You can listen to the winning entry, Warm are the still and lucky miles, as an MP3 at the bottom of the page.
Roger Teichmann, whose entry was a setting for piano and solo vocalist to the well known Auden poem, responds to his victory:
"I have always been fond of Auden’s poetry, and a few years ago set several of his poems to music, grouping them together into a sort of cycle, Love in Time. ‘Warm and Still are the Lucky Miles’ is one of those settings. I had already set some of his poems when writing a cantata, The Human Form, in which Auden rubs shoulders with William Blake and Primo Levi.
“If you use Auden in your compositions you are of course inviting comparison with Britten’s notable settings, but I don’t think I was conscious of any actual influence when writing Love in Time – indeed, when I set ‘Now the Leaves are Falling Fast’ I either didn’t know of, or had consigned to forgetfulness, Britten’s version of the poem, and am rather glad that was the case.
“I’ve written quite a lot for voice or for voices, with various forms of instrumental accompaniment, from piano to orchestra. My most recent compositions are three songs for baritone, oboe and string trio, to poems by Yeats, which will be premiered on June 15th in Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry, in Oxford. This will be the result of a commission, for which I am to receive a painting from the man who commissioned the music, a fine local artist. Paintings and Tokaji seem the best kinds of remuneration for a composer!"
The judges were disappointed that there were no female winners, and also noted that all of the entries were classical and/or choral in nature. Although to be expected, the judges wondered if Oxonians generally were aware that the Faculty of Music now teaches a syllabus that includes, amongst others, feminist musicology, Scandinavian music, and global hip hop – and noted that it was a shame that many of the world’s musical traditions had been neglected.
Click below to listen to 'Warm are the still and lucky miles' by Roger Teichmann