Calefax Composers Competition

Patrick Jones and Nina Shekhar

Nina Shekhar (US) and Patrick Jones (UK) are the winners of our international composers competition for reed quintet. They share the first prize for their compositions Uncanny Vale (Patrick Jones) and Red (Nina Shekhar).

The winner wasn’t announced at the annual Calefax’ PAN Festival as in previous years, since it was cancelled due to the coronavirus, but was announced online. The jury consisted of all five musicians from Calefax with composer Joël Bons as external chairman. All 58 submissions were assessed anonymously.

The jury about Uncanny Vale (Patrick Jones)

Uncanny Vale is a compact work that combines long melodic lines with energetic outbursts. The piece is a lively and engaging conversation for 5: whirlwinds alternate with lyrical passages, in which the individual players take the lead in turn. The jury was impressed by the excellent – often virtuosic and detailed – instrumental writing.

The jury about Red (Nina Shekhar)

Red is based on one strong idea: ’the unpredictability of a flame’. In the composer’s words: ‘It is an attempt to capture the dance-like quality of a flame’s volatile movements’. That is exactly what the piece does in imaginative and inventive ways. Red strikes by its drive, free spirit and playful capriciousness, without losing track.

Shekhar and Jones share the sum of € 2.000 for the winning compositions. The premieres of Uncanny Vale and Red by Calefax will take place in 2021. In addition, the winning composition will be performed by various other reed quintets around the world.

Special Mentions from the World Wide Reed Quintet Network
In 2012, Calefax started the ‘World Wide Reed Quintet Network’. A platform for all reed quintets in the world, groups that follow in the footsteps of Calefax, the ‘inventors’ of this new genre. Since seven years, a growing number of reed quintets from the network have joined the composers competition, so that the winners and other participants can look at performances of their work around the world. Four reed quintets from this network chose their own winner from the entries and Calefax shared their own special mention:

from Nexus Reed Quintet (CH):
Red by Nina Shekhar (US)

from Blattwerk (CH):
Cuélebre by Demian Rudel Rey (AR)

from Northern Reeds (UK):
Last but not Least by Tak-Kei Wong

from Reeds in Motion (CH):
Uncanny Vale by Patrick Jones (UK)

from Calefax (NL):
Amaru van Daniel Cueto (PE)

Via our own publisher, the Calefax Edition, and via the website, Calefax shares compositions and arrangements that were written especially for reed quintet.