2016: Freya Ireland

RPS-Duet Prize Young Composer Prize winner

Awarded: £1,500 and professional UK commission

Freya Ireland is 18 years old and attended Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham. She plays percussion, clarinet and piano, and sings in a number of local choirs. As a composer, Freya has had her setting of Jeremiah’s Lamentations performed by The Tallis Scholars and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as the winning piece of the NCEM young composers’ competition 2014.

She has recently been commissioned to write a number of works for local choirs including the Tewkesbury Abbey choir, Gloucester Choral Society, and the Oriel singers. In November 2014 she was a finalist in the Nonclassical composers’ competition, with a piece that involved musicians and singers in four different countries playing a work via video links, this piece was singled out for praise in the Daily Telegraph's review of the event.

In 2016, Freya was principal composer for the National Youth Orchestra, having joined the composing section in 2013; her music has been performed by members of the NYO in Birmingham Symphony Hall, Tate Britain, Royal Festival Hall and other prestigious venues.

Freya was appointed RPS/Wigmore Hall Apprentice Composer, a new initiative announced in Autumn 2016 in association with the Duet Group. Freya will benefit from both formal and informal teaching and advice from Wigmore Hall Composer in Residence, Helen Grime. Her apprenticeship will run throughout Wigmore Hall’s 2016/17 season, during which time she will also write a new work. (October 2016)

Hear Freya's commission "Puzzled" below, performed by the Cavendish Winds:


Read more about...

RPS-Duet Prize for Young Composers
RPS-Duet Prize for Young Instrumentalists
Ensemble Philharmonic


Diana Burrell, composer and Artistic Director of the Harwich Festival, Essex: The RPS is such an important organisation - where would music be without it?


Richard Wagner was musical director of the 1855 Philharmonic Society Season and conducted all eight concerts.