rarescale 10th Anniversary Competition

Contemporary music ensemble rarescale celebrated its 10th Anniversary this autumn with two major events.

The group was formed by Carla Rees in 2003 to perform chamber repertoire for alto and bass flutes, and has since premiered several hundred works, in addition to forming its own record label, (rarescale records) associated publishing company (Tetractys) and training flute ensemble (rarescale Flute Academy). The group has developed an international reputation for its work and has performed at a number of leading festivals, including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Spark Festival (Minneapolis) and Sonic Circuits Festival (Washington DC).

To reflect rarescale’s commitment to the creation of new repertoire, it held a competition for composers to mark the 10th Anniversary, hosted by the Royal College of Music. The competition attracted nearly 50 entries from the UK, USA, France, Greece, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Canada and Argentina, from which works were selected for the Student and Professional categories.

The shortlisted works in the student category were featured in a one-day workshop in the presence of the judges, and the category winner was Devon Yasamune Toyotomi with his work Twenty Thousand Folds for Kingma alto flute and guitar. Azlee Babar’s composition Fluorepv for soprano, violin, bass flute and marimba was awarded an honourable mention.

The professional category final was held on 27th September in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall at the Royal College of Music. rarescale performed seven works, ranging from solo alto flute to an ensemble of bass flute, bass clarinet, cello and electronics. The judges were Simon Channing, Daniel Kessner, Carla Rees and Michael Oliva, and the overall winner was Antonis Anestis from Greece, with his work Nights for amplified bass flute, cello and piano.

The winning works in each category will be published by Tetractys, and a compilation CD of selected works from the shortlists will be released by rarescale records in the New Year.