Michael Hurd Fund Winners & Awards

Previous Prize Winners in the Festival of Young Composers Competition

Biennially The Michael Hurd Fund for Young Musicians hosts The Festival of Young Composers competition. Works are performed to an adjudicating panel at a public performance, and selected winning compositions may be performed in a Youth Concert during the Festival. This year entrants may present their music either through a live performance or as a digital recording. In either case, entrants must submit a written or printed score by the closing date and attend the Performance and Adjudication Day when their composition will be played.

Here’s what previous Festival of Young Composers entrants say about the influence of the competition on their musical development


↓ Tim Braithwaite (Prize Winner 2010)

Tim Braithwaite

‘Winning the Petersfield Festival of Young Composers was an extremely influential experience in my early development as a musician, and the opportunity to submit and perform my composition in front of such an esteemed panel of judges was an immense privilege. There is no doubt in my mind that winning the competition helped to mould me into the musician I am today.’


↓ Shoshana Yugin-Power (Prize Winner 2016)

Shoshana Yugin-Power

At age 9 Shoshana was surprised and excited to be selected to present her work to the adjudicators, and amazed to win her category. This was the motivation for her to continue to compose, and in 2020 she was one of 15 composers to win the BBC ‘30 second Composition Challenge’ as part of the ‘Proms at Home’ season. Most recently, aged 14, she was a finalist in The National Centre for Early Music and BBC Radio 3 competition to create a new work for the recorder quartet Palisander.


↓ Thomas Baynes (Prize Winner 2018)

Tom Baynes

’The fund provided me with the opportunity to get expert feedback, to have my music performed to a whole new audience and enabled me to purchase new audio equipment, which has allowed me to explore my interest in electro-acoustic composition and broaden my musical style in new and exciting ways. I am delighted to now be working as a professional composer.‘


Previous Michael Hurd Memorial Fund Award Holders

Michael Hurd (1928–2006) was an internationally respected composer, author and broadcaster who was born in Gloucester on 19 December 1928. He read music at Pembroke College, Oxford studying with Sir Thomas Armstrong and Dr Bernard Rose and privately with Sir Lennox Berkeley. From 1953 to 1960 was Professor of Theory at the Royal Marines School of Music. He eventually settled in Liss and devoted much of his time and energy to music in the Petersfield area. Michael was deeply involved in the Petersfield Musical Festival from 1971, was elected chairman in 1985, and subsequently President of the Society in 1991, until his death in 2006. Read more about Michael Hurd.

Here’s what previous recipients of awards say about the influence of the Fund on their musical development.


↓ Helena Moore (2008, 2012)

Helena Moore

‘I was fortunate enough to receive a grant from the Michael Hurd Memorial Fund for which I will be forever grateful. Whilst studying at music college there are many financial implications on top of tuition fees, such as sheet music, strings, instrument servicing to name a few. The generous grant from the Michael Hurd Memorial Fund enabled me to pursue my passion whilst alleviating some of the stress of financial burdens.’


↓ Josh Hall (2010)

Josh Hall

‘The Michael Hurd Memorial Fund was able to help me purchase a quality instrument when I began my studies at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Without this grant I’m not sure I’d have been able to make the progress in my early years of study which have helped me pursue a freelance career with orchestras such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Opera North.’


↓ Lousa Denby(2010)

Louisa Denby

‘Giving a bassoon recital less than twenty-four hours after being savaged by a squirrel (with consequent trip to A&E) was not quite how I envisaged my Michael Hurd Memorial Fund award impacting on my musical development, but it was a useful exercise in resilience and putting the idea that “the show must go on” into practice. The award itself enabled me to study with former LSO Principal Bassoonist Martin Gatt, an experience which had a huge impact on my musical development.’


↓ Pippa Bint (2012)

Pippa Bint

‘I am so grateful for the award which opened the door to wonderful musical opportunities including the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, masterclasses with Maxim Rysanov and Lawrence Power, and winning the RCM String Quartet Competition. At RCM I enjoyed working with conductors such as Jurowski, Ashkenazy and Haitink, and during post-graduate studies at the Guildhall, I played with the LSO and performed with Sinfonia Cymru and Orchestra of the Swan.’


↓ Matt Parkinson (2013)

Matt Parkinson

‘I received a grant from the Michael Hurd Memorial Fund back in 2015 which I put towards my postgraduate studies at The Royal Academy of Music. Since graduating, I have maintained a busy career as a freelance drummer, percussionist and composer. I am very grateful for the support, which allowed me to take an important step forward in my career.’


↓ Victoria Puttock (2014)

Victoria Puttock

‘I was very grateful to receive an award from the Michael Hurd Memorial Fund for Young Musicians in 2014. This helped me to purchase a new soprano saxophone mouthpiece whilst I was studying for my masters at the Royal College of Music. This award also provided me with the opportunity to perform in the award holders’ concert in St Peter’s which was lovely as I’m from Petersfield.’


↓ Pradip Tran (2016)

Pradip Tran

The Michael Hurd Fund for Young Musicians, supported Pradip’s growth as a violinist. After only one year of practice, Pradip joined PASSO, and the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra in 2016. The same year he was accepted as the youngest ever member of Petersfield Orchestra where he was nurtured by Robin Browning. Pradip attended the International Musique Cordiale Festival in the south of France in August 2018, and has had the benefit of marvellous teachers – Ishani Bhoola, Sara Struntz-Timossi, Savely Shalman, and finally, in February 2019 he met Felix Andrievsky. He has performed solos in the UK and in France and was also the recipient of ‘Awards for Young Musicians’ for three years in a row.


↓ Maria Luc (2021)

Maria and Kenji Luc

‘My award from the Michael Hurd Memorial Fund will enable me to have a series of five lessons with Ron Abramski. I am currently working on the Schumann Fantasie which I would like to gain more insight about with my mentor. The support from the MHMF will help me on my journey as a professional musician, and it is especially encouraging to see that these funds are available to young adults who are connected with the local area.’


↓ Rebecca McNaught (2021)

Rebecca McNaught

‘I'm very grateful to the Michael Hurd Fund, who helped me to purchase my cello, a beautiful instrument from the 18th century from the workshop of John Betts. This instrument is helping me to forge a career in the music industry as a performer and teacher, and the support came at a time that has been very challenging for many musicians.’