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James Chan, aged 18, has been praised as one of the nation’s brightest young composers. He entered the prestigious BBC Proms Inspire Competition, in the Senior Category for 17-18 year olds. There are two winners in each category, and it has just been announced on BBC Radio 3’s flagship music programme In Tune that he has won with his composition, Litany, for string orchestra.

The annual BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition for 12-18 year olds provides what most composers only dream of: the chance to have their music performed by professional musicians at the BBC Proms and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Not only this – winners also receive a BBC commission for a high-profile performance and are mentored throughout the process by a professional composer. James’s winning piece Litany will be performed by the Aurora Orchestra, conducted by the highly regarded Nicholas Collon, at the BBC’s iconic Radio Theatre at New Broadcasting House on Monday 15 August and recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

In making their decision, the judges looked for music that is original, unique and inspiring. The 2016 judging panel comprised composers Anna Meredith, Joe Cutler, Fraser Trainer, Jonathan Dove, Judith Weir CBE, Kerry Andrew and BBC Proms Director David Pickard.

James Chan is a highly proficient performer on clarinet, flute and saxophone, as well as being a gifted conductor and composer, and his other compositions have been performed by the Lancing College Chamber Ensemble in public concerts. He also sings in all of the school’s prestigious choral ensembles and plays the piano and guitar.

James said: “I am thrilled to have won this prize and excited at the prospect of hearing my music performed by professional musicians. I’m very grateful for the amazing support I have received from the Music Department at Lancing College.”

Ian Morgan-Williams, Director of Music, Lancing College said “My colleagues and I are absolutely thrilled with James’ success in the wonderful BBC Inspire competition. James is one of two Lancing composers on their way to study on the prestigious Manchester Joint Course, reading for degrees in music at the University of Manchester and as first study composers at RNCM. James is a talented and prolific composer, who has spent his time at Lancing absorbing and analyzing as much music as possible. I have every confidence that his name will feature strongly in the new music world over the next few decades. Our congratulations go to James for this well-deserved accolade.”