Nicola LeFanu awarded the Elgar Bursary 2014

16 Jun 2014

Composer Nicola LeFanu has become the fifth recipient of the RPS Elgar Bursary, created to support the work of mature composers. She will write a new work for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, her first large-scale orchestral commission since 1987.

When the surviving members of Sir Edward Elgar's family commissioned Anthony Payne to elaborate Elgar's sketches for the unfinished Third Symphony, it was decided to use the royalties from the symphony to set up a bursary in Elgar's name.

Elgar enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the Royal Philharmonic Society, and became an RPS Gold Medallist in 1925. With this history in mind, the Elgar family asked the Royal Philharmonic Society to administer the bursary on their behalf.

The RPS Elgar Bursary has the specific intention of supporting the work of mature composers by providing financial support to allow for the creation of a new work which "may push back musical boundaries, but not at the expense of accessibility and integrity: in short, a work of which Edward Elgar himself might have approved."

Nicola LeFanu is the fifth recipient of the bursary since its inception in 2002, following in the footsteps of Lyell Cresswell, Dominic Muldowney, Edwin Roxburgh and Jonathan Lloyd. She will write a new orchestral work to be premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in its 2016/17 season; her last work for symphony orchestra was written in 1987.

Rosemary Johnson, Executive Director of the Royal Philharmonic Society, comments: “The Elgar Bursary is the perfect complement to the RPS’s prizes for younger composers and thanks to the generosity of the Elgar family and the BBC Symphony Orchestra provides an important high profile platform and broadcast for composers who deserve to be heard more often.”

Nicola LeFanu was born in England in 1947; her mother was the Irish composer Elizabeth Maconchy and her father, William LeFanu, was from an Irish literary family.

She has composed around one hundred works which have been played and broadcast all over the world; her music is published by Novello and Peters Edition Ltd. She has been commissioned by the BBC, by festivals in the UK and beyond, and by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists. She has composed eight operas, which have been staged in UK, Ireland and USA. The latest, 'Tokaido Road, A Journey after Hiroshige', will be premiered on July 6th 2014 at the Cheltenham Festival. She is active in many aspects of the music profession, as a composer, teacher, director and as a member of various public boards and new music organisations, and was Professor of Music at the University of York from 1994-2008.

Read the press release
About the Elgar Bursary

16 June 2014