Start writing on A4

The A4 Brass Quartet has launched its 4th Composition Competition — and is looking for new works from across the musical world.

A4 Brass Quartet
  The ensemble has gained widespread critical acclaim for its inventive musical approach

The award winning A4 Brass Quartet has announced the launch of their 4th annual composition competition.

It coincides with the ensemble's 10th anniversary in 2023 and comes after a year long hiatus due to Covid-19.

The group is once again looking forward to welcoming entries from around the world.

The past three competitions have attracted nearly 100 new compositions, enabling A4 to showcase new compositional voices and concepts.

Open to all

Spokesperson Jonathan Bates told 4BR: "We warmly welcome submissions from composers at any stage of their musical development and from all backgrounds, in particular those from under-represented demographics."

The brief for the compositions is very free, but the following must apply to each entry:

Compositions must be of 4-8 minutes in duration

Works must never have been performed before

Instrumentation of: Bb Cornet (doubling Flugel), Tenor Horn in Eb, Baritone Horn in Bb (treble clef) and Euphonium in Bb (treble clef)

Mutes are available if required for all instruments

It is not necessary to submit scores anonymously

Please consider score/part presentation, practicality and suitability for concert performance for the entry

Compositions which utilise electronics or audio backing tracks are welcome.

Entries MUST contain a set of both TRANSPOSED score and parts.

We warmly welcome submissions from composers at any stage of their musical development and from all backgrounds, in particular those from under-represented demographicsA4 Brass Quartet

Prize fund

There is a £850 prize fund, and with the aim to encourage a new generation of student composers, a special Under 24 Award is being made (if both 1st and 2nd prize fall into this category, the next highest U24 entry will receive this award).

First Prize: £500 and regular performances on the quartet's 10th anniversary concert series' in 2022/23.
Second Prize: £250
Under 24 Prize: £100

How to enter

Scores can be submitted as either a Sibelius file OR as PDF files accompanied by an mp3/m4a file and need to be emailed to a4brassquartet@hotmail.co.uk with 'A4 COMPOSITION COMPETITION' in the subject line.

The closing date for entries is Friday 2nd September.

Entries will be judged by the four members of the quartet, with the finalists also being judged by external professionals from both the brass performance and composition world.

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    


National Youth Band ensemble provides Gramophone Awards fanfare

October 6 • Members of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain provided part of the entertainment for the prestigious Gramophone Classical Music Awards.


Book for 2024 for Harper's Elgar experience

October 6 • You can now book your place on the 2024 Elgar International Brass Band Summer School led by Cory MD, Philip Harper


Prodige Tour heads into Scotland

October 6 • The Buffet Crampon Prodige Instruments tour is in Scotland today and tomorrow

Report & Results: 2022 German National Championships

October 6 • 3BA Concert Band will head to Malmo after leading a series of excellent performances at the University of Regensburg.

Grimethorpe Colliery Band - Royal Hall Harrogate

Friday 7 October • Ripon Rd, Harrogate HG1 2SY

Regent Hall Concerts - The Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra

Friday 7 October • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London WC1 2 DJ

Watford Band - Watford Band - Last Night of the Proms

Saturday 8 October • St Lawrence Church, High Street, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire WD5 0AS

Grimethorpe Colliery Band - Hull Minster

Saturday 8 October • South Church Side Hull HU1 1RR

Boarshurst Silver Band - Hebden Bridge Band

Sunday 9 October • Boarshurst Band Club. Greenbridge Lane. Greenfield. Saddleworth OL3 7EW

Shrewsbury Brass Band

October 6 • Shrewsbury Brass Band is a hardworking, enthusiastic, friendly, non-contesting band. We are looking for a competent 3rd cornet player to start with immediate effect.

Lydney Band

October 6 • We have a vacancy for a Bb BASS. We are a 3rd section band (West of England), based in the Forest of Dean, Glos. Rehearsal - Friday evenings. Good travel links from Gloucester, South Wales and South Gloucester.

Harlow Brass Band

October 6 • We have vacancies for CORNETS and TROMBONES. We rehearse on a Thursday, 8-10pm.. If you would like to join a friendly, non-contesting band please contact us.

Alex McGee

Conductor & Composer


 © 2022 4barsrest.com Ltd