The ERSO emerging composers’ competition: “A Fanfare for Ernest Read”

The Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra (ERSO) is one of London’s leading and longest established amateur orchestras. We are proud to champion developmental opportunities for emerging professional musicians through our ERSO Talent Programme and are strongly committed to giving concerts for children and young people.

For ERSO’s 90th birthday we are looking for an inspiring, contemporary classical Fanfare for full symphony orchestra which celebrates the huge contribution to music made by our founder, Ernest Read.

Composers who are aged 16 - 30 years old on January 15th, 2020 and who are UK residents are invited to submit original works to ERSO’s emerging composers’ competition.

Up to 10 composers will be selected as Finalists and invited to workshop their Fanfare with ERSO. These composers will benefit from feedback by our Panel which includes conductor Christopher Stark, leader John Crawford (Professor at Trinity Laban) and renowned British composer Emma-Ruth Richards. The workshop will be recorded, and each Finalist will be given a recording of ERSO playing their Fanfare to use as part of their portfolio.

The composer of the winning Fanfare will be awarded a prize of £250. They will also receive a commission of £1,000 to create a piece for soloist and orchestra for the winner of the 2020 ERSO Soloist of the Year competition. The winning Fanfare and the soloist piece will both be performed in ERSO’s 90th Birthday Gala concert which will be held in the prestigious Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy of Music in Spring 2021.

The composer of the winning Fanfare will benefit hugely from the exposure of having two new pieces performed at the Birthday Gala concert in front of a large audience. The concert will be recorded, and the winner will be given copies of the recordings of the Fanfare and soloist piece for their own use.

Entry to the competition is free.

The Fanfare must be an original work for orchestra, between 2 – 3 minutes in length.
The Fanfare should be orchestrated for performance by a full symphony orchestra. Works requiring soloists or employing electronics, digital technology, and/or sound reinforcement will not be considered.

For more details of the competition including the application process and permitted orchestration visit

Applicants should make submissions to by 15th January 2020.

Contact: Any questions should be sent to

15 Jan 2020
British Pound (GBP)