13-Year-Old Composer is Chosen for Fifteen Minutes of Fame

| September 1, 2011

PDF of sheet music for Boat on a Stormy Sea 

Emma Liddle, 13, has been composing music for the piano for three years.  In July, she learned that one of her original compositions, Boat on a Stormy Sea, was selected by Vox Novus to be performed on September 18, 2011 for the Composer’s Voice concert in New York City featuring pianist Sophia Yan, an award winning pianist and a four-time First Prize winner of the Steinway Society Competition.

Boat on a Stormy Sea is 60-seconds long and will be played with fourteen other original compositions one after another in Fifteen Minutes of Fame, a collection of fifteen one-minute acoustic works composed specifically for a specific performer or ensemble. Vox Novus places a call for scores and fifteen pieces are chosen from the works submitted. The works are then premiered on the Composer Voice concert series. The idea grew out of a celebratory concert for the birthday of Vox Novus’ founder Robert Voisey who is known for his work and the creation of 60×60. Vox Novus is a collective of composers, musicians, and music enthusiasts collaborating together to create, produce, promote, and enjoy the new music of today.

“I was elated,” said Liddle when her piece was chosen.  This was the second time Liddle had entered a composition contest.  The first contest was through Zeitgeist and although she didn’t win the judges complemented her submission and suggested she listen to Prelude by Debussy. They said her piece had similar elements.

Miriam Gerberg, Liddle’s piano teacher, recommended the contests and encouraged Liddle’s composing.

“I like composing because it is a good way to get ideas out,” said Liddle. “I have lots of ideas about different notes.”

Boat on a Stormy Sea is about a boat, a man and a storm.  Liddle said, “A man is floating on the sea alone in his boat and lightning strikes. The rain is pouring and a big wave comes in and the man falls off his boat and goes under. He swims to the top, gets back in his boat, grabs the oars and starts going again out into the stormy sea.”

The Composer’s Voice concert is a free concert at Jan Hus Church, 351 East 74th Street in New York City. Organizers are accepting food and clothing donations for the Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Program.

Although there is no official word yet if Emma Liddle is the youngest composer ever chosen for the Fifteen Minutes of Fame, the voxnovus.com Web site had biographies for 105 previously selected composers which included classically trained musicians, Juilliard alumni, music professors, accomplished composers and award winning conductors.

There have been six Fifteen Minutes of Fame performed since March 27, 2011.  To see past Fifteen Minutes of Fame visit www.voxnovus.com and select Fifteen Minutes of Fame and then Concerts.  Also, check the same Web site after September 18, 2011 to hear Fifteen Minutes of Fame with Boat on a Stormy Sea.


Tags: ,

Category: Music, Top Story, Video

About the Author ()

Founder and publisher of The Bloomington Crow, Gina Szafraniec, produces quality articles, videos and photos about Bloomington news for organizations, schools, businesses and people. While helping her brother, a paraplegic, swim the English Channel in 2002 and swim the Catalina Channel in 2003, she learned the importance and power of sharing one's story. She hopes to empower the people of Bloomington by sharing their stories. She is also a Girl Scout Troop leader, Optimist member and Bloomington Heritage Days board member and marketing director. She lives in Bloomington, Minn., with her family.

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Barb Becker says:

    Congratulations Emma!

    Boat on a Stormy Sea is a wonderful piece. I can see what you describe clearly and certainly see why your piece was chosen. Can we look forward to hearing this in January??

  2. Julian Dittmer says:

    Congrats Emma on your song. Not many kids can write and compose music as well as you did on this piece.

  3. Julian Dittmer says:

    I’m HER cousin!

  4. Sherry Hodge says:


    Your composition was great! The music certainly matched the thought process of the story you were relating. You go Girl and keep up the wonderful work. I truly enjoyed hearing your work.

  5. A very late congratulations to Emma! I just read this article, many months after its publication.
    The piece was very well received and we hope to hear from Emma again this year for our call-for-scores for solo cello works!
    The video of Sophia Yan performing Emma’s wonderful piece can be found at:



    Douglas DaSilva
    Artistic Director-Composer’s Voice