By Oliver Farrimond
A SCOTTISH student has claimed the top prize in a national music competition – hitting all the right notes with a star-studded panel of judges.
Steven Kelly, 18, secured the award for an original one-minute score, set to a clip of British short film ‘Inferno’.
The judges – including Oscar-winning composer Dario Marianelli – deemed Steven’s score to be the best in the 17-18 year-old category.
And not only did the Napier student beat off national competition to win the award, he also finished the piece in just one day.
Steven said: “There were eight clips to choose from and after watching a couple I was worried that there wouldn’t be one that I’d connect with.
“But when I saw the clip that I selected to use I could hear the music in my head and I started mapping it out as the clip played.
“The actual recording was sequenced on computer and I wrote and produced the piece in one day.”
Steven, from Edinburgh, will receive a master-class in composing from one of the judges as part of his prize, as well as a bundle of music equipment with which to kick-start his career.
He will collect his award at a glittering ceremony at the Royal Academy of Music in London on February 12, where he will see his entry screened.
Napier University lecturer Kenneth Dempster said: “I have been his composition teacher since September and I’m really enjoying that special, quite exciting, musical relationship that can exist between a teacher and his student.
“Steven is a talented young composer with a natural ability to capture instantly, in his music, a powerful and distinctive mood.
“These qualities, aligned with a kind of ‘visual’ musical imagination, means that scoring for film comes quite naturally to him.
“Receiving this award is a dream come true for a composer at the outset of his career – his CV is already beginning to look impressive.”
Steven said that he was surprised to win, and didn’t even think he would be shortlisted.
He said: “I was reluctant to enter because the competition was so big, but I’m so happy to have won and I’m really looking forward to the awards ceremony.”