The Philharmonia Composers’ Academy, presented in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society and allied to the Orchestra’s prestigious Music of Today contemporary music series, annually offers the opportunity for three talented emerging composers to write an original chamber work for a Philharmonia Ensemble.
Their ten-minute new works are premiered by an ensemble of Philharmonia musicians at a Music of Today concert at the Royal Festival Hall prior to a full Philharmonia Orchestra concert. In addition to this high-profile performance, the composers are guided through the writing process by Music of Today Artistic Director Unsuk Chin, as well as benefitting from specially curated seminars, masterclasses, instrument exploration sessions and a ‘works in progress’ workshop.
From 2017 a recording and release on the NMC Recordings label has been included, enabling the works to have an international platform via online stores and streaming platforms.
Austin Leung's Music from the World includes hints of Argentine tango, and folk melodies. Eugene Birman's Adagio draws on time he spent in the far north, "the experiences of the never-ending forests and lakes in the Baltic countries and Finland that I remember from childhood", and Freya Waley-Cohen's Ink has a jaunty, jazzy quality, the title inspired by a poetry book on her shelf at home called Bottled Air – "it always gives me the image of capturing the writer’s breath and bottling it into ink".