Composition Competition Information for Applicants

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra invites you to compose ‘A Hero’s Overture’ for the chance to hear your work performed in the Oxford Beethoven Festival 2020. 

Composition specification:

  • Title: ‘A Hero’s Overture’
  • Theme: How you interpret the theme presented by the composition title is up to you You will have the opportunity to explain your musical ideas with your submission
  • Duration: 3-5 minutes
  • Instrumentation: 2/2/2/2 – 2/2/0/0 – Str [no perc]
  • Difficulty: To be performed by a high level youth ensemble (Grade 7/8) and playable on two short rehearsals. Please note players will not have extensive knowledge of extended techniques


  • John Traill (Composer, Conductor of Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra, Director of Music at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford)
  • Deborah Pritchard (Composer)
  • Jamie Hutchinson (Sub-Principal Second Violin of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Anthony Robb (Solo Flute of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra)


  • Winning work to be performed by Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra at an Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra pre-concert event at the Sheldonian Theatre on Saturday 25 January 2020
  • Winning composition to receive a cash prize of £500
  • Winner and runner up to receive a set of bound parts of their composition
  • Composers on shortlist to receive feedback on their composition

How do I apply?

We welcome applications from everyone who is:

  • Aged 23 or under on 31 August 2020
  • An Oxfordshire resident or student

Applicants will need to provide the following materials:

  • PDF of score
  • Supporting audio file (e.g. midi, mp3)
  • 500-1000 words outlining your inspiration and anything you would like the panel to know about your musical ideas and choice of compositional technique

Application deadline: Friday 15 November 2019, 12:00


Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra
London office
29a Teignmouth Road,
London NW2 4EB

Box Office 01865 980 980

General Inquiries 01865 987 222
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