Winners of the 2020 Competition
In 2020 entrants were asked to write a work of 6-8 minutes, for solo organ, that celebrated the music of Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704), in commemoration of her 400th anniversary. The winning piece was chosen from a shortlist by the Master of the Queen's Music, Judith Weir.
On the panel were Festival Director, Vivienne Olive, Ian Clarke (organist), Robert Wakefield (organist of Brixworth All Saints Church), Oksana King (pianist), Peter Dunkley (Patron of the BMF and conductor of the Brixworth Festival Orchestra), and Sarah Small. (specialist in early music and viola da gamba player). Entries were received from Poland, China, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK.
First prize went to Florence Anna Maunders from Newbury, in Berkshire, who won with her piece, "Canons and Inventions". Katarzyna Danel, of Poznań, Poland received an Honourable Mention for her piece "Salve Regina" and Isabelle Ryder from the Wirral, Merseyside, was Runner Up, with her piece, "Toccata Lauda Ierusalem".
Florence's works have achieved success in a number of competitions over the last few years. She says,
"It's hard to put into words just how important and validating it is for me to win a competition like this. A lot of my sense of self-worth is directly related to my composition."
"This piece in particular has a personal resonance - I wrote it at the organ (I'm not a great organist, but I can get through a church service or two) and it's based on a small motif from a piece I love, by a composer I hugely admire, so I'm absolutely delighted that the jury selected it for the shortlist and that it then emerged as the winner."
Katarzyna Danel, of Poznań, Poland Honourable Mention
Isabelle Ryder from the Wirral,
Merseyside, Runner Up,
Brixworth Music Festival first introduced the International Competition for Women Composers in 2018 and we hope it will continue as integral part of future festivals. We are very grateful to the competition's sponsors, who wish to remain anonymous, but who fund the competition prize and facilitate the performance of each new work.