The Winners

We are excited to inaugurate our partnership with Ada Witczyk's enterprising campaign to encourage living composers to explore the rich tonal colours of historical instruments. Each lasting around five minutes, the three winners' submissions for the 2020 competition could not be more different from one another. We hope violinists around the world will follow Ada's lead!


The winning pieces are also filmed in a series of videos.

You can watch Ada perform all three pieces HERE.

Erik Valdemar Sköld: The Spectre

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  • Description

This piece was written in 2020 during a time of extreme isolation and is therefore fuelled by nostalgia and anxiety. The meaning behind the piece’s title is about ghostly spectres from the past that haunt us during our daily lives. The dissonances of the harpsichord creates an atmosphere which our modern ears might experience as dark and uncomfortable.

Click HERE to see the first page of the score.

Oscar Tysoe: Ostinato in Seven

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  • Description

The music of the Baroque era has always had a deep appeal to me with its rhythmic energy, complexity of texture and distinctive harmonic palette. When writing this piece, I wanted to pay tribute to this music that I love whilst still presenting a contemporary work for the Baroque violin and harpsichord.

A recurring feature of the work is the use of various open strings as a pedal, inspired by the writing in the prelude of Bach’s Partita in E major for Solo Violin BWV 1006. As the name suggests, the piece begins with a lively motif in 7/8 using the E string. The piece follows a loose rondo structure with a lyrical B theme and a C theme utilizing double stops across the range of the violin. The work ends with a cadenza like passage, again using the open E and with fretted shapes on the A and D strings, also inspired by Bach’s writing but this time in the opening of the violin sonata in E minor BWV 1023.

The harmonic language is tonal throughout, exploring a variety of extended chords and the lively character of many fast Baroque dance movements can be heard, although re-imagined with irregular meters and patterns.

To conclude, the work represents much of the music that I love, creating a sound world that looks to both the past and future.

Click HERE to see the first page of the score.

Samuel Howley: Yellow

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  • Description

Yellow, for me, evokes summer.

The waving corn and rapeseed fields, sunflowers that follow the passage of the source of LIGHT and gorse on the coastal path that leads to the sea. It is the feeling of JOY when everything is so alive and busy. It is also the HONESTY and passion of paintings by Van Gogh, that suggest WARMTH, long days and ecstatic wonder.

I hope that you’ll be able to hear joy, swallows chattering whilst performing their dance in the sky and OPTIMISM for the future.

Click HERE to see the first page of the score.