Notes From Scotland 2018

Notes from Scotland is an exciting competition for young composers aged 12-18 years.

Attend an afternoon workshop, where you can gain top composing tips from experts, before submitting a short work for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet. Competition entries will be shortlisted with the project culminating in world premiere performances of five finalists’ works, where the pieces will be performed and recorded live by RSNO musicians for an audience and panel of judges. The winning composer will receive a pair of Bose SoundLink® headphones and enjoy VIP access to RSNO concerts.

How To Submit Your Composition

The only rules are that the composition must be your own original material, is between two- to five-minutes and must be written for instruments found within the RSNO.

There are no restrictions on the genre of music you can submit, compositions can be influenced by any stimulus, you will be asked to share this with us on the application form.

Required files
- A completed entry form (see below for download)
- An audio recording of your piece (this can be audio taken from notation software package)
- A copy of your full score and individual parts

The closing date for entry is Tuesday 19 June 2018.

For further details of if you have any questions please contact a member of the RSNO Learning and Engagement team by emailing or calling 0141 225 3584.

Please note, attendance at the workshop day on Saturday 2 June 2018 is optional. Submissions will be accepted from composers unable to attend the workshop day.

Terms & Conditions

- The personal information you provide such as name, age, email address will only be used by the RSNO for the purposes of the administration of the competition and will not be passed on to third parties.
- However, shortlisted candidates’ names, ages and a short biography will be published on the RSNO website and any associated publicity materials for the competition.
- With your permission, we may also contact you in the future with information about the RSNO and our activities.
- Only one submission per person will be accepted.
- All work must be your own.
- Composition entries will still be accepted if the composer is unable to attend the workshop day on 02/06/18.
- Compositions must be for chamber ensemble of either trio, quartet or quintet.
- The work must be between two- to five-minutes in length.
- The only restriction on instrumentation is that the instrument must be found within the Orchestra.
- There are no restrictions on the genre of music you can submit, compositions can be influenced by any stimulus.

Notes from Scotland 2018 – Workshop

Saturday 2 June 2018, 2pm–5pm

Join us for an afternoon at the RSNO Centre in Glasgow where you can meet other young composers, share ideas and take part in a workshop session led by professional composers and RSNO musicians.

Workshops will include:

  • Writing for instruments of the Orchestra. Sessions led by RSNO musicians on the individual challenges of writing for each instrument of the Orchestra, including exploring extended techniques.
  • Score writing masterclass
  • Writing for experimental instrumentation
  • Q&A session
  • Sign up for 1-to-1 sessions with composers. Participants are encouraged to bring along any materials that they are currently working on to these sessions.

Sign Up For The Workshop

To sign up for a free place at the workshop afternoon please email with your name, age and contact telephone number.

Please note submissions will be accepted from composers unable to attend the workshop day.

Notes from Scotland 2018 – Final

Sunday 1 July 2018, 2pm–3pm

The live final will be held in the New Auditorium at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall where five shortlisted pieces will be performed and recorded by RSNO musicians for an audience and panel of judges.

Notes from Scotland 2018 – Final

Join us for the live final of Notes from Scotland 2018 – the fourth national competition for young composers.

Notes from Scotland is a national competition where young composers aged 12–18 are asked to write a two- to five-minute piece of music for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet of their…

Sun 1 Jul 2018, 2.00PM
New Auditorium, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
Box Office:

Notes from Scotland 2018 – Final

Notes From Scotland 2017

Sixteen-year-old Alexander Papp was the winner of the 2017 Notes from Scotland. Following the closing date for entries, four works were chosen to be performed by an RSNO ensemble at the RSNO Centre in front of a panel of judges including Scottish composers Jennifer Martin and Oliver Searle. Alexander received an iPad Pro with music software packages included, as well as VIP access to future RSNO concerts. The theme for the competition was taken from Scotland’s outstanding landmarks; Culzean Castle, Ayrshire; Glen Coe, The Highlands; Hill House, Argyll and Bute; Newhailes, Edinburgh, and House of Dun, Angus.

Alexander Papp
Composition Title: Progeny
Inspired by Glen Coe
Alexander, age 16, is in Year 11 at Bedford School, where he is a Music Scholar. Alexander studies violin at Junior Guildhall (JGSM) with Gonzalo Acosta and composition with Paul Whitmarsh and Emma-Ruth Richards.
Currently, he is an Associate Composer with the Britten Sinfonia Academy, who performed his piece The Book of Hours at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and workshopped his piece Divergent on stage at the Barbican with Sir James MacMillan.
In September 2017, Alexander took up a scholarship at the Purcell School, following which he intends to pursue a career as a composer.

Panelist and RSNO Artistic Director for Learning and Engagement William Chandler:
“The year’s Notes from Scotland composition competition was the largest and most competitive one ever. Pieces were submitted from as far away as New York City and from composers as young as twelve years old. I don’t envy the judges’ task in choosing a winner this year but am thrilled that Progeny by Alexander Papp has been awarded the top prize. Congratulations to Alexander for a truly remarkable work and a huge thank you to all who entered.”

Panelist and Composer Jennifer Martin:
“The culmination of projects like Notes from Scotland are always incredibly inspiring. The four finalists have us the full range of emotional responses to the National Trust for Scotland properties which provided their inspiration. Our winner, Alexander Papp, is one to watch!”

Notes From Scotland 2017 winner Alexander Papp:
“I am delighted to win this prestigious award! I never thought I would reach the final so winning it was just a dream come true! I would like to thank the RSNO for giving me this immense opportunity. I will remember it for the rest of my life.”

© Royal Scottish National Orchestra 2018