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BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, University Of Aberdeen Music Prize

Written by Alan Cooper, The Herald

reproduced with permission

article | The Herald

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, University Of Aberdeen Music Prize

At a Gala Concert in the Cowdray Hall in April 2007, the young South Korean composer Jun Lee's piece Langsam Musik for String Quartet came first out of the five finalists selected from more than 400 initial entries. He was the second winner of the University of Aberdeen Music Prize, open to composers young or old of any nationality. His prize was a £5000 commission to write a piece for full orchestra to be played at a concert in the Music Hall by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

On Friday night this new piece had its premiere. Its title Marea, which means "tide" in Spanish, offered a clear inroad to the significance of the piece. A gentle whisper on percussion opened up a soft seascape. Jun Lee merged his orchestra into a single homogeneous entity to create a continuous wall of sound. This iridescent mass of orchestral colour heaved and fell, punctuated only by soft chimes. It suggested something broad and expansive: a being of tremendous power asleep and softly breathing. The overall effect was both beautiful and restful.

At a reception before the concert, Dr Paul Mealor of Aberdeen University Music announced the launch of the third Music Prize. Composers from around the world are invited to submit new works for any combination of clarinet and string quartet of between five and 10 minutes duration. The sole judge next year will be the distinguished Scottish composer James MacMillan and the closing date for applications is 5pm on May 29, 2009.

reproduced by kind permission of Alan Cooper and The Herald.

events mentioned
  Date Day Time Location Event Details

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24Fri 7.30 pmAberdeenBBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra