Since 2009 the Alvarez Chamber Orchestra has  organised  an annual composition competition for composers of any age and nationality. For the first competition, the only requirement was that the work contained a harp.

The winner was Swedish-based American composer Molly Kien for her Song of Britomartis

The adjudicators of the first competition, left to right, were Diane Burrell, Paul Patterson,
Geoffrey Alvarez, Simon Campion, Elżbieta Baklarz and Roxanne Panufnik.
In the previous year, 2008, the ACO had held a 60th birthday celebration of Diane Burrell at St John's Smith Square, which included a notable performance of her Flute Concerto with Rehanna Browne. Polish composer Zygmunt Krauze, having just received  the Légion d'honneur, also performed with the ensemble. The ACO later commissioned Spider's Web from Paul Patterson, with funds from the PRS foundation.
 
Since the first competition was held others have joined the adjudicating team in recent years including Linda Hirst, Patrick Ardagh-Walter, Edwin Roxburgh, Richard Stoker and Giles Swayne. The 2015 competition jury was delighted to meet at the headquarters of the Incorporated Society of Musicians following a successful competition the previous year.
The 2015 competition, Single-Minded 
called for works for solo piano with a first prize of £1,000
and a second prize (Mullord Award) of £500.
 
To promote the prize-winner of this competition, previous awards,
and an expression of gratitude to jury members, the ACO has decided to curate a piano recital, in association with Markson Pianos Concert Series and is delighted to welcome on board virtuoso pianist Matthew Schellhorn.
 
Matthew was on the adjudication team for the competition, and will be performing the winning work, Jitterbug by American composer Roger Briggs and piano pieces by previous prizewinners and adjudicators whilst contributing one of his own choice to the rich fayre - Colin Riley's As the Tender Twilight Covers.  A student of Yvonne Loriod, he has commissioned many distinctive piano works such as a collection of studies by Nicola LeFanu, six miniatures by Tim Watts and a solo CD of the music of Ian Wilson. 
Programme:
 
Giles Swayne: Canto

Massimo Lauricella: Nuances • winner of the 2011 and 2014 competitions Going for a Song & Musique sans Frontières

Richard Stoker: Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 26
 
Molly Kien: Symmetrical Swans - premiere • winner of the 2009 competition Plucked from Nowhere

Geoffrey Álvarez: Toccata Wagogo and Fuga Errata - premiere

Torsten Herrmann: Prometheus Tanz • winner of the 2010 competition - Freestyle


Edwin Roxburgh: Prelude and Toccata
 

Richard Stoker: Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 26
 

Edwin Roxburgh: Prelude and Toccata

João Oliviero: Piramides de Cristal • winner of the 2012 and 2013 competitions Anything Goes & Keyed Up
 

Colin Riley: As the Tender Twilight Covers • Matthew Schellhorn's choice

Winner of 2015 composition prize:


Roger Briggs: Jitterbug
The Alvarez Chamber Orchestra is delighted that this event is produced in association with Markson Pianos Concert Series, a well established promoter of imaginative and distinguished and distinctive recitals showcasing their distinguished Concert Grands.
 
Tickets are available on the night, alternatively advanced bookings may be made from the
Markson Piano website   here