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Winner of Alumni Composition Competition chosen

7 November 2018

Gareth Olubunmi Hughes
© Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru/National Eisteddfod of Wales

Gareth Olubunmi Hughes (PhD Music 2016) has been selected as the winner of the School of Music’s inaugural Alumni Composition Competition.

The winning piece, Anial Llwyd (Pale Wilderness), was chosen by the judging panel for its ‘visceral energy and colour’.

Written in early 2017, Gareth originally composed the piece as a possible soundtrack to a modern detective drama, before developing it into a contemporary orchestral piece for the concert hall.

Cardiff-born composer Gareth completed his PhD in Contemporary Composition at the School of Music in 2016. He has twice won the Composers’ Medal at the Welsh National Eisteddfod in 2016 and 2012.

Speaking about the competition, he said: “I chose to enter as I had recently composed a new jazz-influenced orchestral piece and I felt it would be suitable for performance by a university orchestra. I hope that some of the jazzy sections in the piece will be fun to perform too!

“It’s a great feeling to have won. I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying and researching at Cardiff University and I will now get a chance to return to the School of Music and be a central part of their activities once again!”

Dr Arlene Sierra, organiser of the competition, said of Gareth’s win: "The competition had a wonderful response, with some twenty scores from alumni of different ages and nationalities demonstrating a remarkable range of musical expression and interests.

“It was a challenge for us on the panel (myself with conductor Mark Eager and academic staff member Dr Nicholas Jones) to settle on just one score, but we are delighted to choose Anial Llwyd (Pale Wilderness) by Gareth Olubunmi Hughes as this year's winner and the most suitable for March’s upcoming programme.

“There are other scores that we hope can be programmed at a later date as well. We thank all the participants for sending in their music and making this first round of the competition such a success, and we look forward to another round of the competition next year."

Gareth’s winning composition will be performed by the Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra at a concert in St David’s Hall on 31 March 2019.

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