THE life and work of the Scottish composer John Maxwell Geddes is to be celebrated at a special memorial concert in April.

The work of Geddes, who died last year, will also be remembered through a new award for aspiring composers in Scotland.

On his death in September, a colleague and friend, Hal Peterson, gave a donation in John’s name to the Scottish Music Centre (SMC).

Now the Geddes’ family and the SMC have used this money to create the Geddes Peterson Foundation.

The first Geddes Peterson Foundation award winner is a classical accordionist and composer, Aileen Sweeney.

Ms Sweeney, a 23-year-old graduate of The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), has written a piece that will be played at the concert along with works by Geddes.

The concert is to be held on April 29 at St John's Renfield Church of Scotland.

Around 40 professional musicians, including members of the Geddes family,friends and colleagues, are to take part in the concert.

Composer and composition tutor at RCS, Oliver Searle, who was taught by Geddes, said: "John made a vast contribution to the musical scene in Scotland over the course of his life, as well as being a wonderful ambassador for the country in his travels elsewhere.

"He left a lasting impression upon musicians of all ages and stages and it is only fitting that this fantastic award should celebrate his life as a composer and educator to so many around Scotland, as well as offering the chance for John’s legacy to continue into the future, through the support of less-established composers."

Ms Sweeney said she was shocked to win the award, and added: "I am so grateful to have the opportunity for one of my pieces to be performed in such a special concert alongside music by such an outstanding composer.

"Supporting new classical music is essential so that performers and ensembles begin to programme new music more regularly. New music must be supported so that it stands a chance to be heard live in front of audiences."

An acclaimed and prolific composer and winner of several prizes and awards, Geddes studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now known as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, as well as the Royal Danish Conservatoire.

The works of Geddes, who grew up in Maryhill, Glasgow, include three symphonies, many orchestral and chamber pieces, choral works, folk song settings and film scores.

Many noted musicians have played his works, including Lady Evelyn Barbirolli, James Loughran, Christopher Seaman, Bryden Thomson, Karl Anton Rickenbacher, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Alla Vasilyeva, Andrew Manze, Martyn Brabbins and John Wallace, among others.

His association with BBC SSO was a long and distinguished one, spanning 50 years.

BBC commissions include Symphony 1 (1975) Voyager (1985) Alley Cat (2004) An Ayrshire Suite (2012).

His 2014 song cycle A Castle Mills Suite a commission from Live Music Now (Scotland) received 12 performances in Edinburgh and further performances in Glasgow, London, and Melbourne.

His work has been performed at the Proms, the Edinburgh Festival, across Europe, many music festivals - including the St Magnus International Festival and elsewhere.