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A4 look to invigorate quartet writing with new initiative

The A4 Brass Quartet is hoping a new composer competition will help reinvigorate the art of brass ensemble writing...

  The A4 Quartet has become one of the most in demand brass groups in the UK

The ever inventive A4 Brass Quartet is launching a brand new composer initiative.

The Manchester based brass chamber music ensemble is currently enlisted on the Royal Northern College of Music's 'International Artist's Diploma' scheme, and as part of what promises to be a very busy 2018 schedule, including a concert tour across Europe, they have launched a new composition competition.

Award winners

Now in their fifth year together, A4 originated whilst first year undergraduate students at the RNCM, and went on to win both the Philip Jones Brass Chamber award and the Christopher Rowland Ensemble of the Year. More recently they have won a prestigious Tunnell Trust Ensemble award in Scotland.

The group has just made their debut appearance at London's internationally renowned Wigmore Hall, in which they premiered a new work by Bramwell Tovey.

New composers

A4 member Jonathan Bates told 4BR: "The aim is to help try and find the next generation of brass chamber music writers — and reinvigorate a form of brass composition that has been somewhat neglected in recent years."

The entry requirements for age are quite open, although there is an under 24 award aimed at encouraging current students to enter.

Jonathan added: "The works need to be between 4-8 minutes in duration and there is an overall prize fund of £600 to be awarded. We want as many young composers to try their hand at writing — and to make our decision as difficult as possible."

The aim is to help try and find the next generation of brass chamber music writers — and reinvigorate a form of brass composition that has been somewhat neglected in recent yearsA4 Brass Quartet


The works must be submitted in either PDF or Sibelius 7 format, alongside an audio file. The group's instrumentation consists of a Bb Cornet (doubling Flugelhorn), Eb Tenor Horn, Bb Baritone (treble clef) and Bb Euphonium (treble clef).

Contact and closing date

The closing date for entries is 23rd February 2018. For more details contact

Award winners will be notified and announced in early March, 2018.


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