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TL composer wins Liverpool Philharmonic’s Rushworth Composition Prize 2021

Fri 8 October 2021

Master’s student Nneka Cummins commissioned to develop new work as part of emerging talent award

Composer and music producer Nneka Cummins is the 2021 recipient of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual Rushworth Composition Prize.

As the winner, Nneka will have a unique opportunity to develop their talent over the course of the next year through a programme of workshops, masterclasses and mentoring sessions from a variety of leading industry figures.

The award will culminate in Nneka writing a new work for performance by Ensemble 10/10, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s new music group, which will be premiered in Autumn 2022.

In addition, they will receive £1,000, made possible through the support of the Rushworth Foundation, a year’s complimentary membership of the Ivors Academy, the UK’s leading professional association for music creators, and additional opportunities to produce new works and commissions for Liverpool Philharmonic and its associated ensembles.

Previous winners of the Rushworth Composition Prize include Carmel Smickersgill, who was nominated for the Ivors Academy Rising Star Award in 2020, and Grace-Evangeline Mason, who premiered new orchestral work ‘The Imagined Forest’ at this year’s BBC Proms, co-commissioned with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

A former full-time solicitor, Nneka is currently completing their Master’s in Composition at Trinity Laban, where they have been awarded the Gareth Neame Scholarship and the Trinity College London Scholarship.

Earlier this year Nneka’s piece Blend was performed by an ensemble from Chineke! in the Cheltenham Music Festival 2021 and they will have new a work premiered by Trinity Laban Symphonic Winds at Blackheath Halls on Friday 15 October. Find out more about the programme and book tickets.

On winning the prize Nneka commented –

“Liverpool is where my passion for music was nurtured and as a teenager, I played in venues across the city as part of Saturday Morning Music Centre’s Liverpool Youth Orchestra. I’m grateful to Liverpool Philharmonic for this opportunity and very much look forward to working with Ensemble 10/10. It’s great to be deepening my musical connection to Liverpool.”

Find out more about composition at Trinity Laban.