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18-year-old Freya Ireland appointed Royal Philharmonic Society/Wigmore Hall Apprentice Composer, in association with the Duet Group

As part of its commitment to providing professional development opportunities for a new generation of outstanding musical talent, the Royal Philharmonic Society has joined forces with Wigmore Hall to nurture the talents of 18-year-old Freya Ireland, recent winner of the inaugural RPS Duet Prize for Young Composers.


As RPS/Wigmore Hall Apprentice Composer, in association with the Duet Group, Freya, who has just left Pate’s School in Cheltenham, will benefit from both formal and informal teaching and advice from Wigmore Hall Composer in Residence, Helen Grime.  She will attend regular rehearsals and concerts, meet musicians and composers at Wigmore Hall, and assist Helen in secondary school workshops.  Her apprenticeship begins with Helen Grime Day at Wigmore Hall (this Saturday – 15 October) and continues throughout Wigmore Hall’s 2016/17 season, during which time she will also write a new work.


Rosemary Johnson, Executive Director of the Royal Philharmonic Society comments: “The RPS Young Musicians Programme provides unparalleled opportunities for committed, talented young musicians to be mentored by and forge links with the very best in the business. This is about widening horizons, understanding music in a profound and rewarding way, and learning, each generation from the other.


At just 18, Freya is one of the youngest RPS Young Musicians.  She has shown both considerable talent and impressive commitment and this was recognised by her RPS Duet Prize.  We are pleased to now be able to extend our support through this new partnership with Wigmore Hall Learning programme. The RPS, with its track record of supporting composers both now, and throughout its 200 year history, is delighted to be able to play its part in helping to provide her with invigorating new musical experiences.”


John Gilhooly, Artistic and Executive Director of Wigmore Hall comments:

“We are delighted to welcome Freya as the first Apprentice Composer at Wigmore Hall.  For over 20 years our renowned Learning programme has been giving people of all ages, background and abilities opportunities to take part in creative music making.  We have developed this new role of Apprentice Composer in partnership with the RPS so that a composer, in the crucial early stage of their professional career, can benefit from and enjoy closer engagement with the vibrant artistic life of Wigmore Hall. We very much look forward to welcoming and working alongside Freya over the coming season”.





Freya Ireland is 18 years old and attended Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham. She plays percussion, clarinet and piano, and sings in a number of local choirs. As a composer, Freya has had her setting of Jeremiah’s Lamentations performed by The Tallis Scholars and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as the winning piece of the NCEM young composers’ competition 2014. She has recently been commissioned to write a number of works for local choirs including the Tewkesbury Abbey choir, Gloucester Choral Society, and the Oriel singers. In November 2014 she was a finalist in the Nonclassical composers’ competition, with a piece that involved musicians and singers in four different countries playing a work via video links; this piece was singled out for praise in the Daily Telegraph’s review of the event.


In 2016, Freya was principal composer for the National Youth Orchestra, having joined the composing section in 2013; her music has been performed by members of the NYO in Birmingham Symphony Hall, Tate Britain, Royal Festival Hall and other prestigious venues.

Further press information from:

Sophie Cohen on          

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