top of page



 Listen to William Howard's performance of Chanson Perpétuelle bu Chia-Ying Lin here

 Listen to William Howard's performance of Herz an Herz by Frederick Viner here

 Competition winners

 Here is the full list of winners and runners up of the love song composing competition.

 For biographical details and programme notes click on the names below:

Over 25 category

1st                 Chanson Perpétuelle (Taiwan)
2nd                                Daniel Josiah is Sleeping (Britain)
3rd                          Saudade (Britain)

under 25 category

1st                 Herz an Herz (Britain)
2nd                                         love holds me captive again (Britain)
3rd                                    Arbophillia (Malaysia)

See William Howard's latest Blog


Patron: Judith Weir CBE, Master of the Queen’s Music


Judging Panel: Judith Weir, Piers Hellawell, Bernard Hughes, Howard Skempton, William Howard


See Events page for performance details. Regular updates also on William Howard’s Facebook page 

526 PIeceS: 374 over-25, 152 UNder-25, 61 countries

William Howard’s composing competition was launched in June 2016 and closed at the end of October 2016 with an overwhelming 526 entries from 61 different countries. Entrants were divided into two categories – over-25 and under-25 and were invited to write a ‘memorable, individual and truly contemporary piece’ for solo piano that can be described as a love song. Pieces had to be of maximum four minutes’ duration. The winning composer in each category received a cash prize and a professional video recording of their piece. The winning pieces and two other pieces in each category were premiered by William at a concert at Hoxton Hall, London on Wednesday 26 April 2017. William Howard was joined on the judging panel by Judith Weir, Piers Hellawell, Bernard Hughes and Howard Skempton.  

17% Female Composers (0ver-25)

31% female composers (under-25)

William Howard writes: "I am thrilled by the enthusiastic response to this competition. It has been fascinating to sift through the incredibly varied responses to the brief of the competition.The panel of five judges (four composers and myself) has now finished its work and we are pleased to be able to announce the results. Up until now all the pieces have been anonymous to the five of us, but now that the judging is finished, it will be interesting to see which parts of the world particular pieces have come from, and learn more about the composers themselves and about some of the stories behind the pieces."

age range 13 to 90

Judith Weir, Patron of the competition, writes: "A huge amount of the music and songs ever written have been written about Love. But classically trained composers from the twentieth century onward seem on the whole to have avoided the subject. Music of this period, great though it may be, has often centred around alienation, anxiety, loss – and understandably so.


We wondered – if we invited composers around the world to send us Love Songs written for piano solo, would they respond, and how? What aspects of this emotion would they be responding to, and would we be able to tell what it was by playing and hearing the music ?...

DETAILS of Competition winners


Winner Over-25 category


Chia-Ying Lin, born in 1990, is a Taiwanese composer. Her works have been performed in Taiwan, Italy, Finland and the UK. She is currently based in Rome with a two-year scholarship from the Taiwanese government.

Read full biography and programme note


Winner Under-25 category


Frederick Viner (b.1994) is a composer and pianist currently undertaking an MA in composition at the University of Oxford. Winner of the Sage Gateshead’s Mozarts of Tomorrow Composers Competition, he is also currently artist in residence for Newcastle’s Young Sinfonia Orchestra.

Read full biography and programme note


2nd Over-25 category


Simon Mawhinney was born in 1976 and is currently Head of Area (Music) at Queen’s University Belfast. His catalogue of compositions runs to over 75 works, for a wide range of media, from instrumental works to electronic compositions.  

Read full biography and programme note


2nd Under-25 category


Nathan James Dearden is currently Performance Manager at Royal Holloway Department of Music, Conductor of the New Voices Consort and New Music Collective and Postgraduate Research Scholar at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Read full biography and programme note


3rd Over-25 category


Daniel Fardon is currently studying for a PhD in Composition at the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Michael Zev Gordon. He has written for groups such as The London Symphony Orchestra, BCMG, Psappha, The Britten Sinfonia, Kokoro, and CHROMA Ensemble.

Read full biography and programme note


3rd Under-25 category


Samuel Cho was born a Malaysian citizen in 1996 in Brunei Darussalam. Upon graduating from high school in 2014, he travelled to Germany to study the language and was accepted in the Musikakademie Kassel in 2015. He is currently doing a Bachelor of Music studying piano under Michael Kravtchin and composition under Frank Gerhardt.

Read full biography and programme note

Chia-Ying Lin
Simon Mawhinney
Daniel Fardon
Frederick Viner
Nathan James Dearden
Samuel Cho Lik Heng
William Howard
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
bottom of page