Meet the RPS Young Classical Writers 2022

24 Jun 2022

We are pleased to announce this year’s winners of our prize for young people writing about classical music.

Our engagement with classical music is often enriched by the written word. Someone sharing their perspective and insights of a piece can lower the drawbridge to it, welcoming us in, lighting the way, and easing any uncertainties we may have.

Last year, we introduced a new initiative to encourage more young people to pick up a pen and think about how words of their own might entice more people to classical music. The RPS Young Classical Writers Prizeis made possible with funds from the estate of the late classical music writer Gerald Larner who wrote extensively for The Times and The Guardian and created one of the definitive biographies on Ravel.

Like us, Gerald would have been enthused by the range and quality of applications received for this year’s prize, from entrants across the UK aged 16 to 25. With this year’s guest panellists – clarinettist, writer and producer Kate Romano and the Editor of Gramophone, Martin Cullingford – we were impressed by the spirit and imagination of the writing, plus the broad and refreshing range of works that young people wanted to tell us about.

Our panellists commend all entrants, and have chosen the following three finalists:

First Prize – £500 and the chance to write for a major classical music organisation later this year – goes to Cara Houghton, a 24-year-old flute player studying for her Masters degree at the Royal College of Music, who has written about the Irish composer Ina Boyle.

Second Prize – £250 – goes to 18-year-old guitarist Luke Horsey from Hertfordshire, who is planning to study music at university next year, for writing about Poulenc’s Cello Sonata.

Third prize – £100 – goes to 24-year-old Kai Konishi-Dukes, currently studying for his doctorate at Oxford, for writing about a late 15th century mass by Josquin.

You can read each of the winning entries by clicking the names of the entrants above. We hope you are as inspired by their writing as we have been.

If you’re a young person with a passion for classical music, you may like to enter yourself when we re-open applications later this year. This year’s terms remain on our website here to give you a flavour of what’s required. Follow our social media @RoyalPhilSoc towards the end of 2022 for further details and – until then – do keep writing about the music you love!