Liverpool Philharmonic Announces Winner of Rushworth Composition Prize 2022

Liverpool Philharmonic has announced Christopher Cook as the winner of its annual Rushworth Composition Prize. 

Christopher, a post-graduate music student, will receive a £1,000 cash prize, made possible through the support of the Rushworth Foundation, and a year’s complimentary membership of the Ivors Academy, the UK’s leading professional association for music creators. 

The Prize will give Christopher a unique, year-long experience to develop his talent at Liverpool Philharmonic. Christopher will participate in a programme of masterclasses, workshops and mentoring sessions delivered by conductors, composers, performers and other professionals associated with Liverpool Philharmonic. There will also be additional opportunities to create new works and commissions for Liverpool Philharmonic ensembles. Christopher will write a new work for performance by Ensemble 10:10, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s contemporary music group, in Autumn 2023.

Christopher is a Manchester based composer currently studying for a post-graduate diploma in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music under Professors Emily Howard and Adam Gorb, having received a scholarship from the Richard Newitt Fund. In 2021, he was a finalist in the John Armitage Memorial Prize, working alongside Paul Mealor with players from the LSO and Onyx Brass. In 2022, he won the Rosamond Prize, collaborating with the poet Katherine Collins on his piece, ‘They Multiply Their Wings’ and this year, he was also a finalist in the RNCM’s Gold Medal competition with his Piano Trio ‘Apeirophobia’.

On winning the prize Christopher said, “I am incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity by the Liverpool Philharmonic, to be able to work alongside players of such calibre is an immense privilege I could never have imagined I would get. Over the coming year, not only am I hugely excited to be able to bring my visions to life with the chance to work with the wonderful Ensemble 10:10, but also for the possibility to meet and form connections with so many inspiring musicians who I know will help push me to further develop my compositional craft.”

Peter Garden, Executive Director – Performance and Learning at Liverpool Philharmonic commented, “The Rushworth Composition Prize is an integral part of Liverpool Philharmonic’s long term and wide ranging support for emerging talent in the North West. We are delighted to award the Prize to Christopher this year. The standard of entries is always very high and we thank everyone who put themselves forward. I am looking forward to hearing more of Christopher’s music over this next year, culminating in the performance of a new commission by Ensemble 10:10 in 2023.”

On Wednesday 26 October, Ensemble 10:10 performed 2021 Rushworth Composition Prize winner Nneka Cummins’ new work Metal Tapestry.

Previous winners of the Rushworth Composition Prize include Grace-Evangeline Mason, who premiered new orchestral work The Imagined Forest at the 2021 BBC Proms, co-commissioned with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and Carmel Smickersgill, who was nominated for the Ivors Academy Rising Star Award in 2020. 

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