LSO Panufnik Scheme Commissions Announced

The LSO is delighted to announce the two Panufnik Scheme composers who receive commissions to be performed in the LSO's 2020/21 season.

Each year since 2009 the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme (established in 2005) has commissioned two of its six participating composers to create five- and ten-minute works for performance in the LSO’s main Barbican season. These commissions support emerging composers at a critical stage in their careers, providing them with the time, resources and support to develop their musical ideas and orchestral writing.

Following the public workshop on Monday 25 March 2019 the London Symphony Orchestra is delighted to announce the two 2018 composers who will be receiving this year’s commissions for performance in the 2020/21 season:

GS 400pxGeorge Stevenson

Scottish composer George Stevenson receives this year's five-minute commission following his three-minute piece False Summit, which was first heard at the Panufnik Workshops last month. The title of False Summit came from one of the greatest psychological challenges of mountaineering. The mountaineer arrives at what they thought was the peak, only to discover that the real summit is further on, and that more climbing is now required. His piece deals with the analogous frustration of expectations though a series of orchestral swells and false climaxes as well as through musical material that builds tension without resolution – at least not as it might be expected.

George has worked with musicians of the Russian National Orchestra, Psappha Ensemble and BCMG NEXT ensemble, as well as dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet. In the UK, his works have been heard at the Barbican, Sadler's Wells, St Magnus Festival and the Royal Academy of the Arts. He studied with Julian Anderson and Joseph Phibbs, and holds a Masters degree from Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 


IMG E0230 400pxJoel Järventausta

Finnish composer Joel Järventausta receives this year's ten-minute commission. His three-minute piece Suns Extinguished drew its inspiration from a passage by French Enlightenment philosopher Paul-Henri Thiry:

‘Suns are extinguished or become corrupted, planets perish and scatter across the wastes of the sky; other suns are kindled, new planets formed to make their revolutions or describe new orbits, and man, an infinitely minute part of a globe which itself is only an imperceptible point in the immense whole, believes that the universe is made for himself.’

Joel is studying towards a PhD in Composition at King's College London under the supervision of Sir George Benjamin. His recent orchestral work Ripped Tapestry won First Prize in the Orchestre National d’Ile de France's Ile de Créations Composition competition. Massahumu – co-written with four other Finnish composers – was premiered by the Finnish National Opera orchestra and chorus, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, opening the Helsinki Festival on national Televsion and radio. 


Before being premiere in the 2020/21 season, both new works will be publicly workshopped on Thursday 26 March 2020 alongside three-minute works by the 2019 Panufnik composers: Joe Bates, Caroline Bordignon, James Chan, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Louise Drewett and Jonathan Woolgar.

The LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme is generously supported by Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust.