The competition in 2014 grew significantly from its inauguration in 2013, attracting over 100 entries from 16 different countries. There were two categories: (1) oboe quintet and (2) electronic (where at least one instrument had to be synthesised). The winner and runner-up from each category are listed below.
Oboe Quintet Category
Winner: Roman Falkenstein
Roman Falkenstein is a composer, arranger and music producer from Riga (Latvia). After graduating from a private studio in piano Roman went to the Music Academy of Latvia at the Department of Percussion Instruments and received a bachelor’s degree. Roman began to compose early, and his first success came when his songs were heard in the final rounds of the Latvian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Pieces written for symphony orchestra have been performed at the festival named after composer Jazeps Vitols. In 2011 Roman arranged the concert program of famous Latvian singer Gustavo named as “Riga portal”. Later an album under the same name was recorded and released. As a composer and arranger Roman has collaborated with many popular Latvian musicians, including: Gustavo, Lauris Reiniks, „Camillas”, Ketta, conductors Martins Bergs and Kaspars Adamsons, and pianists Liene Circene and Rihards Plehanovs.
Runner-Up: Andrew Pisanu
Andrew Pisanu (oboe quintet category) is a composer and songwriter living in London. Graduating from Nottingham University in 2000, he has since led many bands on vocals, guitar and keyboards, toured the UK numerous times, won Covent Garden’s “Busker Idol”, and released several albums, notably the recent solo work “Collecting Diseases”, an album of introspective songs accompanied by piano and orchestra, which received an array of positive reviews and features in magazines such as GT, Beige, and Meat. Andrew has written scores for theatre from Chekov to newly commissioned works, from the Leicester Square Theatre to the Barons Court. In film he has been approached for orchestral scores and electronic music for shorts in the Horror and Drama genres, and songs for a forthcoming Canadian feature film.
Winner: Liz Muir
Originally from Glasgow, Liz Muir started her musical life as a pianist and cellist before shifting her focus more towards composition and orchestration after moving to study music at the University of Edinburgh in 2009. During her time at Edinburgh, Liz won the Emre Araci String Orchestra Competition, resulting in her winning piece ‘Light and Shade’ being performed on Edinburgh University String Orchestra’s annual tour, where it was premiered in Iona Abbey. After gaining her BMus (Hons), Liz decided to make the transition into the slightly different yet far more interesting and exciting area of media composition. Liz is nearing completion of a Masters in Composition of Music for Film and Television at the University of Bristol, studying under composers John Pickard, William Goodchild and Martin Kiszko.
Andrew Cooke has written numerous works for choir, orchestra and chamber groups, and has had works performed by, amongst others, The National Chamber Choir of Ireland, The Trinity Singers, Trinity Orchestra and The Gaudete Singers. Andrew has also released albums on iTunes under the moniker The Evening Watch, a (mostly) solo songwriting/electronic music project that he has toured, to positive acclaim, around various venues and festivals in Dublin. In addition he has arranged for and played with several other successful Irish bands. Over the past two years Andrew has enjoyed concentrating on collaborations with directors and producers, and has scored many short films and animations, and provided music for documentaries and computer games. He despairingly hopes to continue as a media composer upon completion of his Masters.