National composition competition for 12-18 year-olds

Notes from Scotland offers young composers the chance to have work performed and recorded by RSNO musicians


The fifth annual national competition for 12-18 year-olds, Notes from Scotland, invites applications from the countries’ budding composers.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s (RSNO) Notes From Scotland invites young composers to write a two to five-minute work for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet. Following the closing date for entries in June, five works will be selected for performance by an RSNO ensemble at the Orchestra’s New Auditorium in Glasgow.

This Saturday the RSNO will host a Notes from Scotland composition workshop at the RSNO Centre, Glasgow, for an afternoon session where participants will meet and share ideas with fellow composers and take part in composition masterclasses hosted by Oliver Searle and RSNO musicians.

The Notes from Scotland Final will be held at the RSNO Centre, on Sunday 1 July from 2.00pm to 3.00pm where five shortlisted works will be performed and recorded by RSNO musicians in front of an audience and panel of judges.

RSNO Director of Planning and Audience Engagement Bill Chandler: “This is an exciting and all-too-rare opportunity for our younger composers to have their work performed by professional musicians and have the chance to integrate and communicate with their fellow contemporaries as well those who have established their careers in the business. We very much look forward to meeting our participants for 2018 and hearing their ideas.”

BAFTA, GRAMMY and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Craig Armstrong OBE, famed for his soundtracks to blockbusters such as Moulin Rouge!, Love Actually and The Great Gatsby, welcomed the initiative: “This is a fantastic idea to engage young people in composition and to bring them together with existing composers and musicians to pass on their knowledge and skills. I’m sure it will be an invaluable experience for all concerned.”

For more information and to download the application form visit the competition website,, or contact the RSNO’s Learning and Engagement team on 0141 225 3557 or email The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 19 June 2018.