Delius Prize

Founded in 2004, The Delius Prize was inaugurated with the purpose of introducing young musicians to the music of Delius. It was felt that the challenge of a prize competition held at a music academy would provide an encouragement to investigate this repertoire and to study it to a level suitable for public performance. This has proved to be the case, as well over 100 music students have entered the competition since its inception.

The Delius Prize is in two parts: a preliminary round, held in private at the music academy, and a public final. An eminent musician is invited to adjudicate the final event.

Finalists in the Delius Prize 2022, with adjudicator, Sir Mark Elder

The Delius Prize 2022

Open to pianists, string and voice duos, and vocal or chamber ensembles who are current students of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the Delius Prize 2022 was held in Birmingham in November.

There were eight entrants, of whom four were selected by Chris Marshall of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire for the final, which took place on Sunday 27 November. The Delius Society is enormously grateful to its president, Sir Mark Elder, for adjudicating the final.

Entrants were required to prepare a programme of their own choice, lasting not more than 20 minutes, with at least 10 minutes of that being a complete work or works by Delius. The programme could also include a work or works (part or whole) by other composers who were contemporaries of Delius (1862-1934).

The programme of the public competition was as follows:

Thomas Carter, piano
Ravel: Oiseaux Tristes, II from Miroirs
Delius: Six Piano Pieces
York Bowen: Preludes Op 102, Nos 1 and 15

Yujie Wang, viola
Robert Markham (staff), piano
Delius: Caprice and Elegy
Reed: Rhapsody
FIRST PRIZE (£1,500)

Antonida Kocharova, soprano
Ishan Bhadra, piano

Delius: Black Roses
Tchaikowsky: We were sitting with you from Six Romances Op 73
Delius: Three Shelley Songs
Tchaikowsky: Tell me, of what in the Shadow of the Boughs from Six Romances Op 57

Yi Wang, violin
Robert Markham (staff), piano
Delius: Violin Sonata No 3

The Delius Prize 2019

The public competition for The Delius Prize 2019, sponsored by The Delius Society, took place on 9th June 2019 at the kind invitation of its Principal, Julian Lloyd Webber, at the new Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. This was the fifteenth annual Delius Prize.

The Adjudicator was Paul Guinery, the Chairman of the Delius Trust and a well-known pianist and broadcaster.  All the competitors, selected from ten entrants at the preliminary round held the week before, satisfied the rules of the competition and were heard in ideal conditions in the Conservatoire’s Recital Hall.

The programme of the public competition was as follows:

Bora Kim (cello)
Robert Markham (staff) (piano)
Delius: Sonata for Cello and Piano
Delius: Caprice for Cello and Piano. arr. Eric Fenby
Delius: Serenade from the Drama Hassan, arr. Eric Fenby

Edward Leung (piano)
Delius: La Calinda from the opera Koanga, arr. Harold Perry
Delius: Zum Carnival,Polka for Piano
Delius: Sleigh Ride, arr. Robert Threlfall
Percy Grainger: Irish Tune from County Derry
York Bowen: Toccata, Op. 155

Jeffrey Armstrong (violin)
Orestis Magou (piano)

Delius: Violin Sonata No. 2
Richard Strauss: Violin Sonata Op. 18, Finale (Andante – Allegro)

Tom Pickles (cello)
Olivia Chew (piano)

Frank Bridge: Four Short Pieces
Delius: Sonata for Cello and Piano
FIRST PRIZE (£1,000)

The annual Delius Prize competition was first held in 2004.  The first five competitions took place at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  The following five were held at the (former) Birmingham Conservatoire, apart from the 2012 event, which was national in scope and held as part of the Chetham’s School, Manchester, Delius Festival in October 2012.  The Delius Prize competition returned to the Royal Academy from 2015 to 2018.