When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Young composer's Royal Opera honour
9:40am Monday 30th April 2012 in News
He may be just 17, but already Oxford schoolboy composer Bertie Baigent has links to some of the country’s most prestigious musical institutions.
And now the Cherwell School pupil is to add the Royal Opera House as another string to his bow, after winning a contest organised by the prestigious London venue.
Bertie is one of 10 young composers who has written an original 30-second fanfare which will be played to audiences in the Royal Opera House auditorium to remind them to take their seats.
More than 300 budding composers came up with fanfares before judges from the Royal Opera House selected the top 10.
He will work with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and The Royal Opera’s music director, Antonio Pappano, to record his composition on Saturday, May 19.
Bertie, who lives in Navigation Way, North Oxford, said: “I’ve heard a computer synthesized version of it and it was played by four or five musicians at a workshop but this will be the first time I get to hear it performed by a full orchestra.
“Part of the prize for the composition is I am invited on the first day the 10 fanfares are played and I think that should be interesting – it will be nice to hear how they all work together.”
Bertie is already one of the National Youth Orchestra composers, and has heard his music performed at London’s Royal Festival Hall.
One of his pieces will be sung at St John’s College, Cambridge, later this year, and another will be played at the Royal College of Music.
Bertie, who has a diploma in the cello, Grade Eight in piano and organ, and Grade Eight theory of music, has set his sights on Oxford or Cambridge and hopes to be an organ scholar.
He said: “I would like to persist in a career in music, something with classical music, probably a conductor and composer.”
Cherwell School head of performing arts Tom Anderson said: “Bertie has demonstrated an unusually high capacity to understand and write out very complex textures, forms and soundscapes in his music.
“I am sure we will be hearing a lot more from this very talented young man in future years.”