Competition to compose ‘From the heart’

'Von Herzen – möge es wieder  zu Herzen gehen!'  ' From the heart – may it return to the heart!'

These are the immortal words of Beethoven, on the title page of his great Missa Solemnis score.

In February, Crouch End Festival Chorus invited UK-resident composers of all styles and traditions to submit their intepretation of these words in a five minute original composition for unaccompanied mixed choir to complement a performance of Missa Solemnis this autumn.



Launching the competition in February 2019, Music Director David Temple said "I simply cannot wait to see what is created as a result of this competition and I hope the variety of styles is breathtaking!"

The competition judging panel, which included Debbie Wiseman OBE and the choir’s Music Director David Temple MBE, had the privilege of assessing an array of pieces that all hit a very high standard.

Following judging, we are delighted to announce Ian Lawson as the winner of our ‘From the heart’ competition.

It was the judges' unanimous decision to select Ian Lawson as the winner.  Ian's work echoes beautifully the simplicity of the words, 'From the heart - may it return to the heart!' and the judges felt that it would sit perfectly as a scene-setter to Beethoven’s monumental Missa Solemnis

The runner-up is Ben Heneghan, whose piece was admired by all the judges and lost only only by a whisker.

Congratulations to winner Ian and runner-up Ben, and thank you to all the composers who entered the competition.


The premiere

Ian Lawson’s winning piece will be premiered by the choir before Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at 19.30 on 5 October 2019 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

Tickets for the concert are available now - Book here

From the heart - may it return to the heart!: Lawson 
Missa Solemnis
: Beethoven

Sarah Fox soprano
Jess Dandy mezzo-soprano
Robin Tritschler  tenor
Neal Davies bass

Crouch End Festival Chorus
London Mozart Players

David Temple conductor


About the winner

Ian Lawson was born in Liverpool in 1955 but grew up in Wrexham, North Wales. He studied with Alun Hoddinott at Cardiff University.

Although Ian has composed much music for film and television, choral music has always been an important part of his output. In March this year, the Llandaff Cathedral Choral Society premiered One World – a forty-minute cantata for choir, soloists and orchestra.  In 2016 he won the Fourth Choir’s international composition competition with Three Years, a setting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 104. 

Ian is working on a second large-scale cantata and preparing a new edition of his catalogue of over thirty various choral works.



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