Edinburgh boy, 12, wins award for composing his own symphony

Young Viktor composes music 'every day and everywhere'.

Viktor conducted his own symphony at the 20th Anniversary of the British Wind Band Association. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

A 12-year-old Edinburgh music student who composes music ‘every day and everywhere’ has won an award for writing his own symphony.

Viktor Seifert wrote the piece as part of a competition for the 20th anniversary of the British Wind Band Association.

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He was the runner-up and was the only amateur composer to be given an award.

Viktor conducted his own symphony at the 20th Anniversary of the British Wind Band Association. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

Viktor, who was ‘honoured’ to win the award, then conducted the piece played by Edinburgh’s Capital Concert Band at a rehearsal in January.

Enrolled in St Mary’s Music School along with his younger sister Klara, Viktor plays the piano, clarinet and violin, and takes lessons in composition.

“Viktor composes nearly every day and everywhere. Most days it is the first thing he does when he comes back from school at 5pm,” said mum Iris.

“He asks ‘When will dinner be ready? May I compose until it’s ready?’”

“When he takes a break from practising the violin, the piano, or the clarinet, he often composes to relax. And he composes waiting at railway stations, on holiday, sitting in Granny’s garden, etc.”

German-born Viktor has also recently been given an award in the Jugend Komponiert competition, one of the most prestigious accolades for young German musicians.

His compositions were performed at the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre and City Chambers in Edinburgh last year, as well as at the International Marine Conference in Glasgow.

He also plays the clarinet for Scotland’s National Youth Orchestra.

The youngster, who is ‘constantly searching’ for people to perform his music and commission pieces, often finds himself asked to write music which specifically describes a certain subject or occasion.

“This is an aspect that I particularly enjoy, as it forces you to think hard what musical elements to apply to a composition to capture the subject,” he said.

Alongside these constraints, he gains inspiration from other composers including Stravinsky, Messiaen and Sibelius.

Viktor’s parents are currently looking for sponsorship for Viktor and his sister Klara to take on summer music courses, especially the residential courses of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain, as Edinburgh City Council does not support individuals.

“The positive effects of these orchestra courses include meeting like minded children with the same passion for music and the same ability to make music together, working hard as a team to reach their full potential,” said Iris.

“Each course culminates in a public concert in exciting venues, adding an invaluable experience for the children.”

Paul Stubbings, Director of Music at St Mary’s Music School, said: “Viktor is a talented young musician who has always shown a great interest in composition and orchestration.

“He is also quite an accomplished conductor.

“We are delighted that many of his compositions are being performed and receiving the recognition they deserve.”