Village composer to support ‘shameful’ loss of music talent with new charity

PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 August 2018

Julian Leeks

Julian Leeks


A composer has set up a new musical charity in a North Somerset village to help correct the ‘shameful’ loss of young talent.

Sound World has been set up by Claverham resident Julian Leeks and aims to work across the South West to support the region’s brightest musical minds.

It will also offer an opportunity for disadvantaged children to get involved in concerts featuring music created by young composers.

Julian said: “Our maxim – great music for everyone – is intended to reflect a commitment to the highest artistic and educational standards.

“Young people respond to this, you don’t need to dumb things down or dress them up.

“It is about getting the right balance between challenging and nurturing.”

The project has already gained support from celebrities including writer and director Armando Iannucci, and percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie.

Dame Evelyn said: “Sound World moves beyond simply offering great educational outreach. It seeks, via the commissioning programme, to increase professional development opportunities within a thriving musical community.”

Sound World’s work will be carried out through composing workshops, long-term mentoring and concert opportunities.

Julian hopes that with the celebrity backing the charity can eventually expand to help young musicians across the country.

Julian added: “It is fantastic to have support from people like Armando Iannuci and Evelyn Glennie, but I don’t think they would have come on board if they hadn’t recognised the real need for what we are doing.

“Music departments are closing down, fewer and fewer people are learning music and the amount of talent slipping through the system unnoticed is shameful.

“As always, the problem is particularly acute at schools in less affluent or deprived areas.”

Sound World is fundraising and plans to host its first events in the autumn.

These will include professional composers and performers working with disadvantaged children in Bristol.

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