Clifford Chance Competition Prize

1st prize £500


To write a piece of music no longer than 3 or 4 minutes.

The piece should be for piano up to Grade 4 standard, plus a single melodic line that can be played by any instrument or group of instruments (in any suitable register) of around Grade 1 standard. The winning piece will be a work which can be played either as a piece for piano and solo melodic instrument or as a piece for piano and multiple melodic instruments.

There are no specific stylistic guidelines, but please write in your normal style, not as if for children or beginners.

The piece might be initially performed in one or more of the following contexts:

  • Children in the GCSE music class at the Thomas Tallis school in Kidbrook (teacher playing the piano part, children the other melodic line)
  • Adult pianists who are members of the Clifford Chance piano club (more advanced player playing the piano part, a beginner playing the other melodic line, as a piano duet)
  • In a professional duo concert for piano and cello or violin


This competition is open to all current Trinity Laban composition students plus all alumni of Trinity Laban Composition Department.


The competition was launched at the Trinity Laban Composers Ten Year Gathering event on Thursday 5 December 2013.

After 5th December, information about the competition was sent to all Trinity Laban composition students and alumni contacts. 


Scores should be sent either in hard copy to 

Dominic Murcott
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Old Royal Naval College Greenwich
London SE10 9JF

or as a PDF to [email protected]

Closing date: 15 February 2014


Entries will be judged by Thalia Myers (pianist and contemporary music specialist), Dominic Murcott (Head of Composition at Trinity Laban) and Esther Cavett (Governor of Trinity Laban).

There will be one winner who will be awarded a prize of £500. Judges may, but need not, state that a further two compositions are highly commended.


Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Esther Cavett and Clifford Chance retain the right to perform any submitted pieces and to publish or record them for marketing purposes excluding commercial release. Copyright is retained by the composer.

Background to the prize

The prize money has been donated by Esther Cavett. Esther is a governor of Trinity Laban and had a  first career as a professional musician, after which she became a lawyer. When she retired from her law firm partnership earlier this year, her partners at Clifford Chance gave her some money to commission a composition for her to play. She is a keen pianist and has a special interest in contemporary music. She decided to ask Dominic Murcott to find an appropriate context in which to disburse this prize money and they have together agreed this specification, having also consulted with Thalia Myers.