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Prestigious commission for local composer

TWENTY-six year-old musician Thomas Gibbs, a former Kennet School and Berkshire Maestros student is one of 16 composers selected by the Wigmore Hall through its Lockdown Commissions Scheme

Wigmore Hall’s 120th anniversary celebrations culminated recently with the winners announcement of the largest ever one-off commissioning scheme in the history of the hall.

The 16 composers aged 24 to 63, spanning five nationalities, have been chosen as winners of Wigmore Hall’s ‘Lockdown Commissions Scheme from more than 700 applications that responded to the October 2020 call-out.

Thomas Gibbs
Thomas Gibbs

Each winning composer, over the age of 18 never before commissioned by Wigmore Hall, will write new music reflecting each individual lockdown experience, to be premiered at the hall over the next four years.

Having commissioned or co-commissioned over 600 new works since 2005, Wigmore Hall’s ongoing commitment to new music is further underlined by the ‘Lockdown Commissions Scheme.’

John Gilhooly, Director of Wigmore Hall, said:

“The ‘Lockdown Commissions Scheme’ is the largest single initiative Wigmore Hall has ever undertaken to find new voices, and a fitting way to celebrate an important anniversary as we look to the future. It has been a great joy to hear new music of such quality and invention from such diverse talents across the globe. I am looking forward to programming the premieres with these new friends.

I must thank the distinguished members of the jury for their time and expertise. I am also particularly grateful to the Marchus Trust for underpinning this scheme with a lead gift, and supporting Wigmore Hall in this major new initiative for contemporary music.”

The panel of judges are:

Richard Baker (composer)

Charlotte Bray (composer)*

Toks Dada (Classical Music Programmer)

Daniel Fardon (composer)*

Dani Howard (composer)*

Daniel Kidane (composer)

James Murphy (Chief Executive, Royal Philharmonic Society)

Laurence Osborn (composer)

Josephine Stephenson (composer)*

Freya Waley-Cohen (composer)

Errollyn Wallen (composer)

*Round one

Another winner Alex Tay (26) also learnt music with Berkshire Maestros before further education. “Certainly great news that Maestros as an overall organisation have 2 alumni featured!

Last year Thomas was shortlisted for an Ivor Novello award for his work. The Ivors Composer Awards 2020 celebrate the best new works by composers writing for classical, jazz and sound art.

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