Jasmine Simons - 2019 New Music Winner
After an inspiring and challenging day way back in 2019 playing the four shortlisted pieces with the composers present, conducted by Stuart Hazelton, YLSS announced that Jasmine Simons had won the 2019-20 competition with her piece Fantasia for string orchestra.

Jasmine Simons is a composer, clarinettist and educator, originally from Leeds and now based in Greater Manchester. She studied for her MusB and her MusM in Instrumental Composition at the University of Manchester, under the supervision of Dr Richard Whalley and Dr Camden Reeves. She is particularly interested in the application of composition within music education to encourage more young people to make their own music.

We are extremely grateful to composer Howard Skempton who advised us throughout this competition, offering his expertise generously and enthusiastically to each of the finalists and to the Selection Panel. The Panel was unanimous that this was the one for us – a challenge that we could rise to, that would produce a piece with ‘real magic’, in Howard Skempton’s words! This is a truly original piece, written for YLSS.

Sadly, due to the pandemic, our plans to perform the world premiere of Jasmine’s composition were put on hold. However, we were able to have one collaborative rehearsal with her before the restrictions were imposed in 2020 and now, at last, we are looking forward to working with with her again as we prepare her piece ready for its premiere which we are delighted to announce will take place on Sunday, 10th July, 2022 . The venue and time will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Programme Notes: Fantasia for String Orchestra

By Jasmine Simons

'Fantasia' was written in July 2019 for Yorkshire Late Starters Strings' New Music Competition. The piece was initially inspired by my love of folk music. I am fascinated by the juxtaposition between the freedom of the oral folk tradition and the necessity for more precise direction within larger ensembles. During the composition process I was motivated by using relatively simple and consonant individual lines within the ensemble, which subsequently come together to create something more dramatic, and at times dissonant.


The New Music Competition

YLSS’s competition for new music is a series of biennial competitions through which we seek to engage with emerging or established composers interested in creating a 10-15 minute piece of high musical quality. The £500 prize will not make its winner rich, but offers an opportunity to work with an enthusiastic orchestra and a renowned composer.

Find out more about how you can support the competition.