Skip to main content

Composition successes

Composition successes

  • Date30 March 2023

Congratulations to RHUL Music PhD graduate Gavin Higgins on a prestigious 2023 RPS Award and to lecturer Dr Tonia Ko who has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall


Gavin Higgins (PhD 2022) received a 2023 RPS Award for best Large-scale Composition for his Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra. Gavin's work was described as "a love letter to the bands in which he found his musical calling. Brought to life by Tredegar Town Band and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, this visionary work unites two great national traditions, unleashing extraordinary lyricism and energy.” He was congratulated on “an outstandingly imaginative and engaging large-scale work receiving its first UK performance, presented for a live audience or digitally”. The work was premiered at the 2022 BBC Proms by Tredegar Band and the National Orchestra of Wales under conductor Ryan Bancroft.

Composition Lecturer Dr Tonia Ko's music will be featured on Carnegie Hall’s 2023-24 season with a new work for the American Composers Orchestra. Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, this world premiere will take place on 12th March 2024 in Zankel Hall, part of “Fall of the Weimar Republic: Dancing on the Precipice” – a festival exploring the upheaval and legacy of Germany’s Weimar era.

“Through music spanning the 1920s to today, the American Composers Orchestra explores the United States’ influence on the Weimar Republic, and, conversely, aspects of the Weimar legacy that resonate now in American culture. They perform Antheil’s Jazz Symphony, one of the first significant classical pieces influenced by jazz; short works by Duke Ellington, which caused a sensation during Sam Wooding and the Chocolate Kiddies’ 1925 tour of Berlin and Hamburg; and “My Ship” from Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. New works include a world premiere by Tonia Ko, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall; a world premiere by John Glover, featuring mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams and accordionist Felipe Hostins; and the New York premiere of Clans from Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate’s Lowak Shoppala’."







Related topics

Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones.

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start.

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help.

Discover more about our academic departments and schools.

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Royal Holloway is a research intensive university and our academics collaborate across disciplines to achieve excellence.

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway.

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future.

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today.

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable.

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today.