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The Peter Tranchell Foundation Composition Prize


In 2022, the Centenary year of his birth, the Peter Tranchell Foundation held a composition competition for organ, inviting composers to take their inspiration from Tranchell's Sonata for Organ, musical encodings of his name, the Tu Es Petrus melody, and any aspect of Tranchell's life and music. The competition resulted in eight short-listed submissions all of which impressed the Judging Panel, with three prizes awarded. The winning composition, 'Five Portraits of Peter' by Sarah Cattley, and the second-placed work, 'Partita Petrus' by Robert Fielding, were performed by Kevin Bowyer at the Peter Tranchell Centenary Concert on 26 November 2022. Many of those present commented on the quality of the winning entries and on the success of the competition in promoting appreciation of Peter Tranchell’s work and supporting contemporary composers. The 2023 competition was similarly successful, and the winning work Cantemus in omni die, by Dónal McCann, has been performed several times to great acclaim, including in BBC Radio 3's Concert of Contemporary Carols, recorded and broadcast live from the Temple Church by the BBC Singers.

The Peter Tranchell Foundation Composition Prize is now being awarded an annual basis. This initiative is being made possible through the generous support of subscribers and donors (find out how to support the Composition Prize here).

The 2024 Competition

In 2024, composers are invited to submit two or more songs for solo voice and piano, suitable for performance by professional singer and accompanist, on a theme of 'Tranchell's Lost Songs'. See below for the detailed brief.


Anyone is eligible, including established composers, regardless of age, gender, nationality, religion, sexuality, politics or any other criteria.

Judging Panel

The judging panel comprises acclaimed composers, performers and directors/conductors: David Hill (Chair), Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Mary Bevan, William Vann, Lucy Colquhoun, Jonna Wikeley, and last year's winner Dónal McCann.

The panel's decision will be made and announced by the end of October 2024 and cannot be contested.


The winning composer will receive:

2nd and 3rd prizes may be awarded at the judges' discretion, with commensurate value. The Peter Tranchell Foundation reserves the right not to award any prizes if no entries of sufficient quality are received. 

The Brief: Peter Tranchell's Lost Songs

Tranchell wrote hundreds of songs - see the complete list of songs in the Classified Handlist. Many of the songs have gone missing, and are known only from Tranchell's own lists, such as the Thematic Catalogue, which also contained musical motifs. We are inviting composers to use the titles of these lost works as inspiration for new songs. Examples include 'Tenement Cantata', 'The healing of thy wings', 'No hunting', and 'Dot's douce'. A list of the lost song titles can be obtained here:

Or: download a text file containing the list of names here.

  1. Two or more songs should be submitted, using titles from the list of lost songs, with total duration up to ten minutes. There is no restriction on the length of each song within this (i.e. two four/five-minute songs is fine, as is one two-minute and one eight-minute song, or five two-minute songs, or eight one-minute songs).
  2. Lyrics may be derived from any source, or newly written for the works (see conditions below). 
  3. Where the Thematic Catalogue includes a musical motif from the original song, composers may make use of it in any way they like, but are not required to.
  4. The songs may be presented as a pair/set/cycle for performance together, or may be unrelated. 
  5. The songs should be suitable for concert performance by a professional singer and accompanist.
  6. The songs should be for a tenor with range A2-A4 (James Gilchrist) and/or Soprano with range B♭3 to B♭5 (Mary Bevan). The set of submitted songs may be for one or both voices (but not in duet - each song should be for solo voice).
  7. We would like composers to draw additional inspiration from the following:


  • Each composer may submit only one entry (comprising two or more songs).
  • The songs should not have been previously performed in public, or any recording released, prior to submission.
  • The work should not comprise or include material generated by 'AI' (artificial intelligence).
  • The composer must ensure that any text used is in the public domain, or that permission to publish, perform and record the work has been obtained.
  • The composer must correctly acknowledge sources of texts.
  • The composer grants the Peter Tranchell Foundation a perpetual, non-exclusive right to publish, perform and record the work.
  • In any performances, publications and recordings of the work that do not directly involve the Peter Tranchell Foundation, the composer shall acknowledge that the work was composed for the Peter Tranchell Foundation Composition Prize 2024.
  • The winning composer is expected to attend the performance and reception. Composers do not have to attend to be eligible for the award, but we do encourage participation in the event. 


Entries are to be submitted as follows:

By email to

  1. a PDF score suitable for printing on A4 paper and for use in performance. A separate vocal score is optional. NB the name of the composer or other identifying information must not appear on the score.
  2. a biography of the composer (no more than 500 words) as Word or PDF document. This should include the composer's full name.
  3. an account of the uses of the themes in the Brief, including information on the source of lyrics in a Word or PDF document (no more than 500 words). NB the name of the composer or other identifying information must not appear on this document.
  4. if possible, MusicXML of the score.
  5. A scan or photo of the printed, completed and signed registration form. Alternatively, the printed, completed and signed form may be posted to The Peter Tranchell Composition Competition, c/o 1 Fronwen Terrace, Cradoc Road, Brecon, LD3 9HB

Submissions will be forwarded to members of the judging panel anonymously.

All items must be received by 23:59 on Saturday14th September 2024.