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Centenary Composition Competition

Bromley Symphony Orchestra (BSO), one of the finest non-professional orchestras in Britain, was founded in 1918.  The BSO committee is seeking a new work for full orchestra to celebrate our 100th anniversary.  (Works previously performed in concert will not be considered.) The adjudicator will be XY, whose decision will be final. S/he will choose the winners from the top three finalists, as voted on by the orchestra.

The winner, who must be a UK resident, will receive £1500. The winning work will receive its first public performance in our 2018-2019 season (concert planned for March 2019). The second prize will be £500. The committee reserves the right to select additional works for performance and may assign additional prize money for this purpose.

The work must be ‘celebratory’ in nature, no longer than 12 minutes in duration and composed for symphony orchestra including triple wind (with normal doublings available).  Please limit percussion to a maximum of three players, and check with us at the email address below before including unusual instruments, electronics etc.  For level of difficulty, composers should be guided by excerpts on our website:

Scores must be submitted by 24th March 2018.  Electronic realisations may be appended. Shortlisted works will require parts prepared and printed for a workshop in June 2018.  The recording made of each of the finalist’s works at the end of the event wsill be sent to the finalists, but the rights will remain with the Bromley Symphony Orchestra. At the workshop final, our playing members will vote on the shortlisted works, so it is crucial that parts be prepared to a high standard, including rehearsal marks and/or bar numbers. The works will be judged on musical merit as well as on practicality of performance. They will all be conducted on the day by our conductor, Adrian Brown.

Scores may be submitted by email (pdf attachment) to  or by post to (address tbc).

Please include contact details (name, email and phone number), a brief biography and a programme note for your work. However, personal details must not appear on the score or parts, as the works will be judged anonymously.

Any questions, please contact (Phil).


Dear Concertgoer!  We need your help!

Our 2018/2019 season will be the Orchestra’s hundredth!  Our co-founder Gwynne Kimpton (pictured) pioneered concerts for children and founded the British Women’s Orchestra in 1924.  She worked with various amateur groups too, including here in Bromley where she was a teacher (with her co-founder Beatrice Fowle) at Bromley High School for Girls. 

It seems that Bromley Orchestral Concerts (also known as the Bromley and Chislehurst Orchestra) emerged from a series of patriotic concerts given during the First World War.  The strings were local amateurs, the woodwind and brass from London professional orchestras.  Those early days saw regular visits by leading conductors and soloists of the time – including Sir Adrian Bolt, Sir Henry Wood, Isobel Baillie and Jelly d’Aranyi.  WH (“Billy”) Reed, friend of Elgar and former leader of the LSO, conducted regularly until the 1940s and dedicated his String Symphony to the Orchestra. 

Marjorie Whyte (one of the four musical sisters who lived at Ripley, now the Arts Centre) was leader of the orchestra from the 1930s until her death in 1963.  Her sisters Dorothy, Jessie and Joyce led the string sections.  Boult wrote a moving tribute to her work in a letter to The Times in August 1963.  Marjorie also conducted the Ripley Choir and there were joint concerts until 1972 when the choir was dissolved. 

We have a comprehensive archive of programmes from 1960 when our longest-serving member, Claire Dillon, first started selling programmes (before joining the violin section a few years later).  But we are very keen to know more about our past.  Perhaps you have connections to a former player or have fond memories of a particular performance or soloist.  Do you remember Ralph Holmes playing the Brahms Violin Concerto in 1980 (or even 1966!), or Alan Civil’s Strauss Horn Concerto in 1970, or the Berlioz Requiem in a Biggin Hill hangar in 1990?  Perhaps you can even fill in some of the blanks before 1960 with programmes or reviews.

So do get in touch with your reminiscences and memories of the Orchestra’s past.  Our aim is to prepare a full history of the Orchestra for our centenary season.

Please use our contact form or speak to any member of the Orchestra.

Thank you: we look forward to hearing from you!