Royal Carillonschool 'Jef Denyn'  

MECHELEN - The Royal Carillon School "Jef Denyn" at Mechelen organized the Composition Competition 2002, in cooperation with the city of Mechelen, the Association for Tower and Carillon and the alumni of the school. No less than 16 entries were received from composers in Belgium, America and Russia. Theofficial prize-giving ceremony took place on Friday March 14, 2003, in the Hall of Columns of the City Hall in Mechelen. The winning score then became an obligatory work for the Queen Fabiola Contest to be held in 2003.

The members of the international jury were: John Courter (USA), Jo Haazen (Belgium), Gaston Nuyts (Belgium), Jaak Maertens (Belgium), Kristiaan Van Ingelgem (Belgium) and Boudewijn Zwart (The Netherlands).

The rules stipulated that the composition should be of some 5 minutes duration and be suited to the carillon of the Mechelen Sint-Rombouts Carillon which comprises 49 bells: bes0 – c1 – d1 – chrom. – c4 the c1-bell sounds as g0). The jury focused on:

  • Suitability: is the entered composition suitable for a carillon as an instrument and can it be played by an experienced carillonneur?
  • Originality: how inventive is the piece?
  • General musicality: does the composition appeal to the general music-lover?
Each participant was allowed to submit one or more original compositions. The winning scores remain the property of the Carillon School with rights to publish.

The "Jef Denyn" Award of EUR 1,000 was presented to "Ronald Glethreed", a pseudonym of Geert D'hollander. His composition, entitled We Ring, We Chime, We Toll, was inspired by various characteristic bell sounds. The English change-ringing and chiming, the festive tolling bells, the solemn hour strike, sparkling tintinnabula and the rhythmic Russian chiming are repeatedly restated and assimilated into the composition. Familiarity, combined with repetitive themes, soft colours and an open, transparent style, result in an amenable, contemporary work.

The "Prize to Encourage A Young Talent", worth EUR 150, went to Tom Van Peer for his composition Nocturne No. 1 for Carillon. This prize and the "Jef Denyn" Award were both donated by SABAM.

The special "Staf Nees" award of EUR 300, to be awarded for a work based on a folksong, was presented to Elena Sadina (Russia) for her composition Over De Wijde Velden. This prize was donated by the Royal Carillon School "Jef Denyn".