6TH PETER ROSSER COMPOSITION AWARD 2023
We are delighted to announce that the three finalists for the 6th Peter Rosser Composition Award 2023 are
Laura Heneghan, Sam Chambers and Kevin Free.
A massive thank you to all that submitted! The ensemble spent a long time reviewing all of the submissions and it was a very difficult process to narrow down our selection.
Congratulations to this years chosen finalists, Laura, Sam and Kevin. We look forward to working with them and performing their pieces in our 'Ink Still Wet VII' concert this January.
Laura Heneghan (b.1999) is a Mayo-born composer and pianist, who predominantly composes chamber and vocal works. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree (Music) at the University of Galway in 2022, where she worked on her compositions with Dr Amanda Feery. Soon after, she relocated to Glasgow to pursue master’s studies in composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she has worked with Dr Bekah Simms and Dr David Fennessy.
Laura’s most notable work has been performed by Chamber Choir Ireland, the Gaia Duo, Con Anima Chamber Choir, Contempo Quartet, Irish Chamber Brass, and Dutch-Hungarian Duo Rosanne Phillippens and Zoltán Fejérvari. As a result of winning the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition 2023, Laura currently holds the Seán Ó Riada trophy and had work premiered by Chamber Choir Ireland at the Cork International Choral Festival 2023. She also recently took part in an emerging composer development scheme with Con Anima, James Weeks, and Sound Scotland, resulting in the creation of a new choral work and a premiere at Sound Festival 2023. Shortly after this, she was announced as winner of the West Wicklow Festival Emerging Composers Competition for Brass Quintet.
With music described as "memorable and strongly conceived" (The Scotsman); Her work has been described as making "vivid use of the [ensemble]'s sonic potential in a compelling and convincing musical argument”.
Laura is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary collaboration and composed a piece in collaboration with St. Andrews researcher, Holly Fleming. The piece was based on Holly’s research topic titled ‘To Know or Not to Know. What are the ethical, legal, and social implications of early cancer diagnoses?’ She has also composed music for students in the film, ballet, and vocal studies departments within the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Laura hopes to continue cross-disciplinary collaboration in her future career, and delve into the world of electronic composition.
I began studying piano with Francis King at age thirteen and later studied organ with Philip Stopford at Belfast Cathedral. Most of my early musical training was based around the German classical traditions of the 18th and 19th centuries, and it was not until I started undergraduate music study at Queen’s University Belfast that I became acquainted with more modern and contemporary music. This is also when I began composing music seriously, but at the time my main concern was with musicology, and I went on to complete my master’s in musicology at the University of Oxford. It was during that time, however, that composing emerged as my dominant area of interest and I have been focussing solely on writing music since then. I am currently working on a PhD in composition at Queen’s University Belfast.
Kevin Free is a Dublin-born composer and percussionist, currently doing postgraduate studies in composition at TU Dublin Conservatoire with Gráinne Mulvey. He is interested in layering textures, and ideas on top of each other, using musical ideas as found objects, and creating music collages from advertisements, instructional videos, and Irish traditional tunes. Kevin has had music performed by Sandbox Percussion, the RTE ConTempo String Quartet, the Chatham Saxophone Quartet, Kate Ellis, and members of Ensemble Offspring. In 2023 he participated in the Words on Music course at the Darmstadt Summer Course with Kate Molleson and Peter Meanwell. In 2022 he was featured on the albums by the Irish Composer’s Collective, with his pieces A Good Onion for cello and electronics, and Limits for bass clarinet and percussion. In 2021 he won the Walter Beckett Cup for original song for voice and piano for a second time with a setting of the G.M. Hopkins poem Trees by their Yield.