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University composer awarded world-renowned honour for original score

AN ACADEMIC from the University of Chichester has received a prestigious award for his large-scale orchestral showpiece.

Dr Jonathan Little, of the Department of Music, was awarded the 2017 Rudolf Nissim Prize for best original score for his Terpsichore work, recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra.

The prize, widely regarded as one of the concert world’s most illustrious awards, is bestowed by ASCAP – the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers – itself one of the oldest musical institutions in the USA.

Dr Little, a Reader in Music Composition and Music History, said: “I feel deeply honoured and very grateful for this latest unexpected award not least for the continual reminder it carries of the high standards and extraordinary work achieved by Dr Rudolf Nissim.”

The University of Chichester lecturer becomes the first Australian-born composer to be awarded special distinction in the Nissim Prize competition which is judged on the ‘significance and overall artistry and compositional elements of the musical work’.

Dr-Jonathan-LittleDr Little was personally congratulated on his award by Cia Toscanini: Vice President of Concert Music at ASCAP and great grand-daughter of acclaimed conductor Arturo Toscanini.

Nissim Prize awardees are selected by a panel of leading professional concert music conductors which, this year, included Gerard Schwarz the music director of the All-Star Orchestra – an ensemble of top musicians drawn from America’s leading orchestras.

The award honours Dr Rudolf Nissim who served as head of ASCAP’s foreign department for four decades and established the ASCAP concert music department.

Between 2006 and 2012 Dr Little won seven successive ASCAP awards for Concert Music – adjudicated by leading US conductors and New York Times critics.

In October last year Dr. Little received a special invitation to hear his choral work That Time of Year performed at BBC Maida Vale Studios by BBC singers led by Judith Weir CBE, Master of the Queen’s Music, and conducted by James Morgan.

Earlier this month one of his earliest compositions, Fanfare, was chosen to feature on BBC Radio 3’s flagship In Tune early-evening music programme as a prelude to the announcement of the international opera awards shortlist.

BBC Singers Workshop with Judith Weir and Jonathan David Little in Oct 2016

To find out more about Dr Jonathan Little and his research go to or visit

Alternatively for more about studying with Dr Little witihin the Department of Music at the University of Chichester’s

Photo caption: BBC Singers choral workshop being observed by Judith Weir and Jonathan Little (far right) at BBC Maida Vale Studios, with James Morgan conducting (courtesy Natalie Bleicher / BASCA)