Friday, 20 November 2015

Composers competition celebrates Shakespeare's sexuality

The Fourth Choir has announced a choral composition competition to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, which falls on 23 April 2016. The winner receives a prize of £1000 and their composition will be premiered by the Fourth Choir on 23 April 2016 in London’s historic Middle Temple Hall. 

The choir has created the competition so that as part of the celebrations for the anniversary, we are celebrating Shakespeare's sexuality. To that end the competition is it set one of Shakespeare's sonnets which were originally written to an unknown young man. 

Composers must write a setting for unaccompanied choir (SATB or SSATB) of one of the following Shakespeare Sonnets:
  • Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws (Sonnet 19)
  • Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed (Sonnet 27)
  • Against my love shall be as I am now (Sonnet 63)
  • My love is strengthened, though more weak in seeming (Sonnet 102)
  • To me, fair friend, you never can be old (Sonnet 104)
  • Two loves I have of comfort and despair (Sonnet 144)
The Adjudication Panel will consist of the Fourth Choir’s Artistic Director, Dominic Peckham, its Associate Music Director, Andrea Brown, and its Resident Composer, Alexander Campkin. There is no entry fee for the competition,, the closing date is 15 January 2016, and further information on how to enter can be found at

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