The Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award

Young Composer Award

The Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award is an annual competition named in memory of John Macleod.

Composers aged between 16 & 25 years of age are invited to submit an original piece of music in a single movement or suite, lasting no longer than 10, and no less than 8 minutes, suitable for either:

a) Solo Clarsach / Lever harp, or
b) Clarsach / Lever harp and up to 3 other instruments and/or voices

The composition should be for the standard-sized lever harp: 34 strings with a range from C two octaves below middle C to A three octaves above middle C.  The lever harp is most commonly tuned in E or A flat major but can be tuned to any key (click here for a visual guide).

The award is £500 plus a premiere performance at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival.

Competition Rules

1. All entries must be received by 5pm on the closing date.
2. The work must be the unaided work of the entrant and be an original composition. It
must not have been previously performed, published or disseminated in anyway.
3. The full score in PDF format plus recording of the composition in MP3 format must be submitted together.
4. The recording must match the score.
5. The composer’s name should not be stated on the score or MP3 file.
6. Entrants under 18 years of age must have permission to enter this competition.
7. The successful entrant must also be willing to write a short report on winning the
award for publication in the Society’s Annual Report and on its website.
8. The copyright of the music shall remain with the composer.
9. The cost of the premiere performance only, including travel costs for musicians involved
(limited to travel within the UK), will be met by the Edinburgh International Harp Festival.
10. The composer must be available to perform their composition at the next Edinburgh
International Harp Festival.
11. In the case of a non-harpist submitting a work, it is the composer’s responsibility to find
the artist(s) to perform the work at the premiere performance.
12. The judges’ decision will be final.

Entries are now closed for 2020: please check back again soon for details of next year’s competition.

The Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award Winner 2019 

Ruth Lee

Ruth Lee is an award-winning composer, harpist and vocalist working primarily in acoustic and electro-acoustic music.A dynamic soloist, who studied with Eleanor Turner, Ruth is a graduate of the University of York (First-Class BA Hons. Music), where she was awarded both The Wilfrid Mellers Prize for Music and Concerto Award.

Her original music for solo harp has received several awards, including First Prize at The Future Blend Project 2018/19 and First Prize at the Wales Harp Composition Competition 2015. award-winning composer, harpist and vocalist working primarily in acoustic and electro-acoustic music.

To discover more about Ruth you can visit her website and social media pages: