Funding for artists

This page offers information on funding opportunities for individual artists and composers. The resource is based on a mapping exercise carried out in 2011 as part of a review of the PHF Awards for Artists, which supports visual artists and composers.

This is not a comprehensive list, and there will be sources of funding that we have not included. The page will be updated periodically to correct any out-of-date information or to add newly emerging funding streams. Please email us here to inform us of any changes that are necessary.

We cannot be responsible for the content of external websites.

  • Artes Mundi Prize

    • Artes Mundi.
    • Biennially – even-numbered years.
    • Top prize of £40,000, with runners-up awarded £4,000. The work of short-listed artists is displayed as part of the Artes Mundi exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff.
    • Open to any artist of any age and nationality whose work explores the human condition.
    • Focus on international contemporary visual artists who engage with social reality and lived experience.
    • Open call for nominations artists via an online form. Artists can be nominated more than once across successive cycles. Two selectors then determine a shortlist of 5–7 artists for exhibition. Prize winner is selected by a larger panel of eminent judges that does not include the original selector.

    Arts Council of England

    • Arts Council of England, Grants for the Arts.
    • Open applications throughout the year.
    • Grants may range from £1,000-100,000. The average grant made to visual artists in 2015/16 was £17,486.00.
    • The artist’s activity must take place mainly in England. There are some exceptions to this, when artists from England are involved in activities in other countries.
    • The proposal is appraised across four main areas:
      Artistic quality – the quality of the activity and the quality of effect the activity will have on the people experiencing it, or its ongoing effect on artistic practice (or all of these)
      Public engagement – how the public will engage with the activity, immediately or in the long term
      Management – how the activity will be managed and its ongoing effect
      Finance – how realistic the activity is financially and its future effect
    • Grants for the Arts are for activities carried out over a set period and which engage people in England in arts activities, and help artists and arts organisations in England carry out their work.

    Arts Council of Ireland

    • Arts Council of Ireland.
    • Open applications throughout the year.
    • Grant sizes vary depending on the fund.
    • Arts Council of Ireland’s strategic context for the support of visual arts has five priority areas: the artist; public engagement; investment strategy; spatial and demographic planning; and developing capacity.
    • Visual arts include a range of media such as painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, live art/performance, film, video or other digital imaging media.

    Arts Council of Wales

    • Arts Council of Wales and Creative Wales Awards.
    • Open grants are available to any type of artist and ranged from £12,500-25,000 in 2015/16.
    • Applicants should live in Wales and the proposed project should happen in Wales.
    • Arts Council of Wales believes ‘in the power of the arts to transform people’s lives, and to change communities; that everybody in Wales should have access to quality arts experiences and have the opportunity to take part in and enjoy the arts; that artists need to be supported to develop their talents, and should have the opportunity to develop their careers’.

    Baloise Art Prize

    • Baloise and Art Basel International Art Fair.
    • Annual – winners are announced at Art Basel fair.
    • Two top prizes of CHF 30000 (£21,770). Prize includes the acquisition by Baloise of a selection of works by the award winner. Baloise buys groups of works by the prize­ winners with the object of donating them to two lead­ing European museums, currently the MMK, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt and the MUDAM, Luxembourg.
    • Eligibility limited to ‘emerging artists’, but candidates can be of any nationality.
    • Outlook of the award tied up with that of the corporate founder: ‘Baloise believes that the privilege of owning art brings with it the obligation to present it to a wider public.
    • Winners chosen by a jury of five curators and art directors.

    BP Portrait Award

    • National Portrait Gallery.
    • Award of £30,000 for first-prize winner with a total prize fund of £61,000.
    • Unrestricted entry.
    • Focus on promoting young figurative painting. More traditional outlook.
    • In 2015 a new procedure was introduced which required artists to submit a digital image of their work. From these, 456 works were selected for second stage judging where the original paintings were viewed and the exhibition selection made.

    Celeste Prize

    • Celeste International – based in New York.
    • A total of €23,000 in prizes divided across categories of painting and drawing, photography and digital graphics, video and animation, installation, sculpture and performance and a prize for young artists. Other benefits include promotion and expenses.
    • Unrestricted entry.
    • Aims to ‘…promote international contemporary art in its widest sense’.
    • Selection from a shortlist of 50.

    Cnuas Stipends

    • Administered and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.
    • Only available to members of Aosdana. A member may apply for a Cnuas at any time.
    • The Cnuas is a stipend that is available to Aosdana members under certain conditions. It is provided by the Arts Council to assist Aosdana members to concentrate their time and energies on the full time pursuit of their art. A Cnuas is granted for a five-year term. In 2011, the value of the Cnuas was €17,180 per annum.
    • Only members of the Aosdana artistic community can apply for a Cnuas. Membership of Aosdana is limited to 250 individuals. In order to be eligible to receive the stipend, the earnings of the applicant cannot be in excess of one-and-a-half times the value of a Cnuas. Membership of Aosdana is by peer election and candidates must be Irish/Northern Irish or have been resident in the Republic of Ireland/ Northern Ireland for five years. They must have produced a distinguished body of work.
    • The purpose of the Cnuas is to allow artists to immerse themselves fully in their work.
    • Eligibility is based primarily on financial need, as set out above.

    Columbia Threadneedle Prize: Figurative Art Today

    • Mall Galleries.
    • The Columbia Threadneedle Prize champions figurative art today. It is one of the most valuable open art competitions in Europe.
    • One artist will be chosen to win the First Prize of £20,000 and a solo exhibition. A further prize of £10,000 is awarded by visitors to the exhibition, which takes place at Mall Galleries in central London. Five Shortlisted Artists each receive £1,000.
    • The Prize, UK and Europe’s pre-eminent prize for figurative and representational art, showcases important new works by emerging and established artists.

    Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

    • The Photographers’ Gallery.
    • First prize of £30,000, and £3,000 for the three runners-up, with an exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery for all four shortlisted candidates.
    • Artists can be of any nationality and are nominated on the basis of a previous exhibition/publication within Europe.
    • Rewards artists who have made a ‘significant contribution’ to the medium of photography in Europe over the previous year.
    • Candidates are nominated by an independent academy of experts and are subsequently judged by a jury of four.

    Elephant Trust Grants

    • The Elephant Trust.
    • Trustees meet four times a year to consider applications, as advertised on website.
    • Grants of up to £2,000 but with the addition of the Shelagh Wakely Bequest some larger grants of up to £5,000 may be awarded.
    • Awards are available to UK artists for new, innovative visual projects. Small organisations and galleries are also eligible.
    • Aims to make it possible for artists to undertake and complete projects when confronted by lack of funds.
    • Open application by post. Requires projected budget, visual material and CV.

    EVOLVE: Step Change

    • Portsmouth Guildhall and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
    • Programme launched in 2016
    • This award is designed to support an emerging musician with a disability, autism or special educational needs, to develop their practice and take a ‘step up’ in their field.
    • Funding of £3,000 will be available to support one emerging musician over an 8 month period as well as professional mentoring, provision of targeted training and support to plan, develop and present a new piece of work or complete a work in progress.
    • Suitable applicants will be emerging musicians, who are looking for support and guidance, training opportunities and opportunities to develop their work. Applicants do not need to be Portsmouth residents.
    • Through the application process and structured discussions with Portsmouth Cultural Trust, the successful applicant will identify development needs and areas of focus. This will then be supported by the Trust through funding as well as assistance in seeking these opportunities over the 8 month period.

    Flamin Productions

    • Film London and Arts Council England.
    • Two to five awards of between £20,000 and £50,000. Development bursary of £1,000 and access to professional expertise for shortlisted applications.
    • No age limit, but artists must have a London address. They must also have previously exhibited at festivals, cinemas or galleries.
    • Focus on supporting experimental works that represent a significant step forward in the work of the artist.
    • Up to 15 artists shortlisted for two to five awards. Selection carried out by Film London head of production, FLAMIN manager, Film London board member and three external assessors.

    Hugo Boss Prize

    • Guggenheim Foundation, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum.
    • Award of $100,000.
    • No age, gender, nationality or media restrictions on eligibility.
      Nominations include emerging artists as well as distinguished professionals who are due recognition.
    • Focus on rewarding work that represents a significant development in contemporary art. Hugo Boss sees the prize as ‘…underlining our commitment to the arts as an integral part of our corporate culture’.
    • A jury of curators, critics and scholars nominates six or seven artists for the shortlist and subsequently chooses the prize winner

    ING Discerning Eye

    • Discerning Eye, ING and Parker Harris (organizers of annual exhibition).
    • Sponsor’s prize of £5,000 and Founder’s prize of £2,500. Various other monetary awards down to £250. A key reward for this scheme is the exhibition of work in the Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries.
    • Open to all British artists or those resident in the UK.
    • The programme is advertised as providing a unique opportunity for works by lesser-known artists to be displayed alongside those by internationally known names.
    • Combination of invited artists and open submission of works. Six selectors – two artists, two collectors, two critics – curate their own separate exhibitions, taking a minimum of 25% of their final selection from the pool of submitted works.

    Jarman Award

    • Film London, Channel 4 and The Whitechapel Gallery.
    • One award of £10,000 and a broadcast commission from Channel 4, worth £20,000.
    • Any mid-career film-maker from the UK can be put forward for the prize.
    • Focus on innovative artist film-making – ‘…the award is a means of recognizing artists who are changing the rules of the game’.
    • Ten artists shortlisted for a single prize. Winner chosen by a jury of five, including representatives from The Whitechapel Gallery and Channel 4.

    Jerwood Drawing Prize

    • Jerwood Visual Arts.
    • First prize of £8,000, second prize of £5,000 and two student awards of £2,000 each. Between 60–70 artists are also selected for an exhibition.
    • Open to all artists resident or domiciled within the UK.
    • The country’s leading award in drawing, and the largest and longest running annual open exhibition dedicated to drawing in the UK.
    • Selection by panel – artists are invited to submit their works though regional collection centres.

    Jerwood Makers Open

    • Jerwood Visual Arts.
    • Annually for three years.
    • £7,500 for makers submitting proposals for new work. The work will then be exhibited in London before touring the UK.
    • Open submission.
    • Focus on recognising making practices within contemporary visual arts. It offers crucial support in the early stages of their careers, enabling the selected artists to develop their creative ideas independently of specific commissioning structures.
    • Recipients selected by a panel of three.

    Jerwood Painting Fellowships

    • Jerwood Visual Arts.
    • £10,000 bursary and a six-month period of professional development support.
    • The Jerwood Painting Fellowships are specifically for UK artists who are within five years of graduating or setting up their practice.
    • They cannot have committed gallery representation, or have had a UK solo show at the time of applying.
    • Selection panel and subsequent interview.

    John Moores Painting Prize 2010

    • National Museums Liverpool/ Walker Art Gallery/ John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust.
    • Biannually – to coincide with the Liverpool Biennial.
    • First prize of £25,000 with four other prizes of £2,500. In addition, the winner of the popular ‘Visitor’s Choice’ prize will win £2,016 (in 2015). Exhibition at Walker Art Gallery for selected works
    • Artists must live or be professionally based within the UK. Candidates are judged on a particular piece.
    • Marketed as the UK’s biggest painting prize.
    • Open submissions shortlisted by a jury. Works must then be submitted through six depots across the UK and are brought to Liverpool for judging. Paintings worthy for exhibition and prizes are then selected.

    Les Rencontres d’Arles Discovery Award

    • Les Rencontres d’Arles Discovery Award with the support of the Luma Foundation.
    • Annual, since 2002.
    • First prize of €25,000. Winner is chosen from a group of 15 exhibitions featuring the work of 15 nominated photographers and artists. There are two additional prizes: The Contemporary Book Award and The Historical Book Award, worth €8,000 each for the best photo books published during the previous year. (Open call given in April each year.)
    • Candidates can be of any age and any nationality and are predominantly artists whose ‘…work has been recently discovered internationally or deserves to be’.
    • Focus on photographers or artists making use of photography.
    • Five experts from different photographic fields nominate three artists each to exhibit their work as candidates for the Discovery Award. The winner is chosen by a vote of professionals present during the first week of the exhibition.

    Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize

    • Lynn Foundation and Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers.
    • First prize of £15,000, five runner-up prizes of £1,500, young artist award of £2,500. There is also a £5,000 prize for works of the human figure (for artists 30 years or under). Complemented by an exhibition at The Mall Galleries, London, SW1 featuring a wider range of paintings from the field of submissions.
    • Open to all UK based artists over 18 years of age.
      The purpose of the prize is to encourage creative representational painting and promote the skill of draftmanship. All work must be for sale, except commissioned portraits

    Mark Tanner Sculpture Award

    • Standpoint Gallery and the Mark Tanner Charitable Trust.
    • MTSA intends to support the creative work of the recipient over one year. The financial award to assist in the production of a new body of work is £8,000, made in 3 payments over the course of the year, at the end of which there will be a solo exhibition at Standpoint Gallery. All reasonable costs incurred for this exhibition will be met by Standpoint, including publicity, transport and hospitality.
    • Candidates must live and work in the UK. There is no age limit – ‘…we seek to give the award to an artist who demonstrates the development of a mature practice, but to whom the prize would make a considerable difference’. Candidates must have graduated at least one year previously from formal art education.
    • MTSA is aimed at emerging/mid-career sculptors making outstanding work within contemporary fine art practice. The award is particularly interested in work that demonstrates a commitment to process and material.
    • Shortlisting by written application and digital submission of work via a panel including two guest selectors. Final selection through presentation and interview at Standpoint.

    Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust

    • Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust
    • Awards are made in December each year. Applications may be submitted at any time but must be received by 7 October in order to be considered for an award within the same calendar year.
    • Grants range from £250 – £1,000.
    • Small scale grants are available to British artists, designers, writers and performers over the age of 30 who are experiencing financial difficulties in the pursuit of their careers.
    • The Trust welcomes applications from professional or aspiring artists, designers, writers and performers working in any of the following disciplines:
      Visual arts(including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and work in other media)
      Crafts(including ceramics, glass, metalwork, woodcarving, textiles and work in other media)
      Music (musicians, composers and conductors)
      Design (including fashion, product design/innovation and work in digital media)
      Performing arts (actors, dancers and individual performance artists of any other kind)
      Creative writing (poets, novelists, librettists and creative writers of any other kind)
      Film & digital media

    Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants

    • The Pollock-Krasner Foundation (USA).
    • No deadlines – rolling application programme.
    • Grants of varying amounts.
    • Eligibility limited to painters, sculptors and artists who work on paper.
    • The Pollock-Krasner Foundation’s dual criteria for grants are recognizable artistic merit and demonstrable financial need, whether professional, personal or both.
    • Mission of the grants is to aid those individuals who have been working as professionals for a significant period of time.
    • Artists are required to submit a cover letter, an application, and images of current work.

    RA Summer Exhibition

    • Royal Academy of Arts.
    • Several monetary awards:
      • £25,000 (The Royal Academy of Arts Charles Wollaston Award) for the most distinguished work
      • £10,000 (The Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture) for sculpture first prize
      • £10,000 (Turkishceramics Grand Award for Architecture) for the most outstanding work of architecture.
      • Two prizes of £5,000 and £3,000 (The British Institution Awards for Students) for work across a comprehensive range of creative disciplines from painting to architecture
      • £5,000 (Hugh Casson Drawing Prize)
      • £4,000 (Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist) for a painting or sculpture
      • £2,500 (London Original Print Fair Prize) for a print in any medium
      • £2,000 (The Arts Club Award) for an artist aged 35 or under for a work in any medium except architecture
      • £1,000 (The Rose Award for Photography) for a photograph or series of photographs
    • Around 1,200 works are also exhibited each year and many are sold.
    • Unrestricted entry within the UK – works are judged automatically according to their categories.
    • High profile scheme; the largest open contemporary art exhibition in the world.
    • A panel of Academicians judge all the pieces, and prizewinners are announced on non-members Varnishing Day, when exhibitors arrive to view their pieces.

    Roswitha Haftmann Prize

    • Roswitha Haftmann Foundation.
    • The prize is usually awarded annually, though this cycle may vary.
    • Award of CHF 150,000 (£101,671).
    • Prizewinners chosen on the basis of their artistic significance, without regard for age, nationality or gender.
    • Aim of the award is to recognise outstanding achievement in visual arts.
    • Selection process conducted solely by the ‘board’ of the Foundation. This panel consists of six members, four of whom are nominated by institutions. The institutions are the Kunsthaus Zurich, Kunstmuseum Bern, Kunstmuseum Basel and Museum Ludwig in Cologne.

    Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour

    • Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.
    • Various awards open to artists of all ages, both young and established.
    • The annual awards reflect a commitment by the Society to promote and encourage member and non-member artists working in waterbased media.

    Royal Society of Sculptors Awards

    • Royal Society of Sculptors Awards
    • The Royal Society of Sculptors offers three awards: The Gilbert Bayes Award, First@108, and Spotlight.
    • Gilbert Bayes Award supports early career sculptors (previously the Bursary Awards) and is given annually by the Society to a small group of outstandingly talented sculptors.
    • First@108 is open to any artist working in three dimensions, providing a unique and rare opportunity for the winner to build a track record in the competitive arena of public art.
    • Spotlight is an annual collaboration between the Royal Society of Sculptors and the William Benington Gallery which awards a Society member with a solo exhibition in a commercial contemporary gallery in London.

    St Hugh’s Arts Awards

    • The St Hugh’s Foundation.
    • Award between £1,000–£15,000 in our area of benefit (the City of Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (including North and North East Lincolnshire)).
    • Applicants must be resident and regularly working in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire East Riding or the City of Hull. Projects considered in any art form.
    • The Foundation aims to help established arts practitioners and producers to develop their professional careers in the arts, and in doing so, to contribute their own knowledge and experience to the wider growth and dissemination of arts practice in the region.’
    • Initial application by form downloaded from website. Candidates are then shortlisted and interviewed by the trustees for the final decision.

    Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

    • Taylor Wessing and National Portrait Gallery.
    • First prize of £12,000, second prize £3,000, third prize £2,000, fourth prize £1,000. National Portrait Gallery exhibition of the work of 60 artists. Elle magazine commission for the winner.
    • Any photographer of any nationality may enter, as long as they are over 18. In 2009/2010, 2,500 photographers submitted more than 6,700 pieces. Each artist can submit up to six photographs.
    • Aims to ‘…showcase the work of the most talented emerging young photographers, photography students and gifted amateurs alongside that of established professionals’.
    • A panel of six whittles down the entries to 60 for the exhibition. The prize winners are then chosen.

    The Arts Foundation Futures Awards

    • The Arts Foundation.
    • Up to six £10,000 awards, each for a practitioner of a different art form. Categories rotate each year. In 2016, the categories are Arts in the Urban Space, Children’s Theatre, Producers of Live Music, Jewellery Design, Literary Translation and Materials Innovation.
    • Eligibility limited to artists living and working in the UK. The award is given to emerging artists who have achieved some professional standing. Selection based on both talent and need.
    • Aims to provide artists with stability to explore new forms at a critical stage and to facilitate cross-artform networking.
    • Shortlist for prizes drawn up by nomination. ‘The Foundation uses leading practitioners and experienced professionals whose key positions enable them to identify the most talented and deserving artists.

    The Gilchrist-Fisher Award

    • Rebecca Hossack Gallery.
    • First prize of £6,000.
    • Open to artists under the age of thirty whose work deals with the broad theme of landscape.
    • Application by written form and electronic submission of selected portfolio. Shortlist of six is chosen to produce work for an exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery. Prize winners chosen on the basis of exhibition.

    The Jameel Prize

    • Victoria and Albert Museum.
    • A single prize of £25,000 is awarded to the winner at a prize-giving ceremony.
    • Entry is by nomination only. Nominations are invited from a wide range of specialists with a knowledge of contemporary art and design inspired by the Islamic tradition. More than 200 artists are put forward in this way.
    • The prize is truly international. It is not restricted to entrants who are Muslim or from the Islamic world, but is open to designers for any nationality, creed or age.
    • The aim of the award is to ‘…explore the relationship between Islamic traditions of art, craft and design and contemporary work as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture and its role today’.
    • The shortlisted artists and designers are invited to show examples of their work in a special exhibition at the V&A.

    The Leverhulme Trust Arts Training Bursaries

    • The Leverhulme Trust.
    • Next call for applications will be in spring 2018.
    • The aim of these awards is to provide training opportunities across the whole range of artistic disciplines in the fine and performing arts. Arts Scholarships may be in the form of (a) Bursaries to enable individuals to develop their talent and/or (b) Innovative teaching awards to provide new and original training opportunities for the students concerned.
    • Individual scholars or students may not apply directly to the Trust

    The Prix Pictet

    • Pictet & Cie.
    • 18-month cycle.
    • A single prize of CHF 100,000 and a commission in which a shortlisted photographer is invited to undertake a field trip to a region where Pictet & Cie is sponsoring a sustainability project.
    • Entry is by nomination only.
    • Mandate is to use the power of world-class photography to raise awareness of a global audience to the social and environmental challenges of the new millennium.

    Turner Prize

    • Tate.
    • Annual.
    • £25,000 for the winner and £5,000 for each of the other nominees. Shortlisted artists present works in a show normally held at Tate Britain before the winner is chosen.
    • British artists under 50.
    • High-profile prize to celebrate new developments in contemporary art.
    • Nominations are invited each year and are judged by a rotating independent jury. Members of the jury in 2014 were: Stefan Kalmar, Helen Legg, Sarah McCrory, Dirk Snauwaert and Penelope Curtis.

    Wellcome Trust Arts Awards

    • Wellcome Trust.
    • Several awards each year.
    • Two types of award. Up to and including £40,000 for small-to-medium sized projects projects – delivery of small-scale productions, investigation of new methods, development of new collaborations. Above £40,000 for large projects – significant productions that will have high levels of impact.
    • Applicants must live and work in the UK or Republic of Ireland and are usually affiliated to third-party organisations (e.g. galleries). Collaborative projects are welcomed. Projects should involve the creation of new artistic work and must have some biomedical scientific input.
    • Scheme aims to stimulate interest, excitement and debate about biomedical science through the arts.
    • Slightly different application process for small and large projects. The former requires a written form that is assessed on merit and need by a funding committee. Initial applications for large grants are assessed by the Arts Awards Advisory Panel, which then invites successful applicants to develop a full proposal.
  • Adopt a Composer

    • PRS for Music Foundation, Making Music, Sound and Music, BBC Radio 3, Phillip and Dorothy Green Trust.
    • Annual cycle.
    • Scheme pairs six emerging composers with six amateur ensembles – choirs, orchestras etc. They collaborate over a year and produce a piece for the ensemble to premiere. The composition is also aired on BBC Radio 3. Each pair is mentored by an established professional composer.
    • Both composers and ensembles must be UK-based.
    • Aims to draw contemporary composers and performing groups together and nurture mutually beneficial relationships.
    • Open application. Selections and pairings are made by the coordinating organisations.

    Arts Council England

    • Arts Council England.
    • Total amount awarded to individual musicians and composers in 2010 was £579,373. Average grant was £21,181.
    • The artist’s activity must take place mainly in England. There are some exceptions to this, when artists from England are involved in activities in other countries.
    • Artistic quality is assessed by looking at three factors: the idea (the concept or artistic impetus behind the work), the practice (the effectiveness of how the work is put into practice and the impact it has on those experiencing it) and development (the contribution the work makes to the development of the artists, the art form and the arts more widely).
    • Arts Council England looks for organisations, artists, events, initiatives and others to apply for our funding and help us achieve the mission of great art and culture for everyone.

    Arts Council of Ireland

    • Varying deadlines.
    • Grant sizes vary depending on the fund.
    • The Arts Council embraces a number of critical tasks in relation to music, seeking to:
      • support the work of professional artists in all music genres, including performers, composers, conductors and choral practitioners;
      • support a number of resource organisations that play an important role in the development of music in Ireland;
      • ensure that high-quality musical experiences are available to all irrespective of means, disability, geography, education, age or experience;
      • complement the work of other organisations dedicated to the support and promotion of music;
      • understand and respond to each individual musical genre in its own terms.

    Arts Council of Wales

    • Arts Council of Wales, Creative Wales Awards and Creative Wales Ambassadors.
    • Open grants are available to any type of artist and fall into three categories: small project awards of £250–£5,000; mainline production awards of £5,001–£20,000; small training grants of £250 to £2,000. There are also four Ambassador awards available at a value of £25,000 each which aim to ‘recognise significant individual achievement in the arts, raise the profile of Welsh culture outside of Wales and provide financial support to enable the artist to develop a new programme of work’
    • Applicants should live in Wales and the proposed project should happen in Wales.
    • Arts Council of Wales believes ‘…in the power of the arts to transform people’s lives, and to change communities; that everybody in Wales should have access to quality arts experiences and have the opportunity to take part in and enjoy the arts; that artists need to be supported to develop their talents, and should have the opportunity to develop their careers’.

    Barlow Prize

    • Barlow Endowment and Brigham Young University.
    • Annual (judged during the summer).
    • First prize is $12,000 (£7,391). The money should provide for a new composition.
    • There are no restrictions or preferences with regard to musical style, or to eligibility.
    • Composers may not be included among the premiering performers, conductors, directors, or agents of the commissioned work.
    • Open application with submission of representative work. Judged by the Barlow Endowment Board of Advisors and representatives of performing groups.

    BBC Proms Inspire Scheme

    • BBC and BBC3.
    • Winners pieces are performed by professional musicians at the Inspire Proms Plus event and are also broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Prize also includes a commission to write a new piece to be performed at a high profile event. There are up to three winners in each of the two age categories.
    • Open to UK residents aged between 12–18. There are two categories: 12–16 and 17–18.
    • ‘There are no restrictions on the type of music you can enter – whatever your style and inspiration, we want to hear it!’
    • Open application and a two-stage selection process featuring a jury.

    BPF Commission Grants

    • Britten-Pears Foundation.
    • Grants of up to £5,000 to support the commissioning of a substantial musical work (in total grants to be awarded in 2016 will be up to £100,000).
    • Eligibility limited to UK composers or composers based in the UK, but there is no age limit.
    • Intended for composers who have demonstrated a real gift for their craft and whose potential project will represent the highest artistic quality. Resulting composition should preferably be performed on more than one occasion.
    • Open application, with input from the relevant institution or performer. Submissions reviewed at biannual panel meetings.

    British Composer Awards

    • British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA).
    • No cash prize. Each category has three nominated works, with a physical award given to each category winner. In 2010 there were thirteen categories, including chamber, orchestral, vocal and choral. The awards seek to raise the profile of the nominated works and composers, and the ceremony is broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
    • Eligibility limited to UK nationals or long-term residents of any age. For the international category, nominated composers must have been born outside the UK. Submitted works must have had their premiere in a public performance.
    • Founded in 2002, the awards seek to promote the art of composition and the composing community, and to further the commissioning of new music. The awards celebrate a wide range of winners, from established names to new emerging talent.
    • Candidates cannot apply, but are nominated by any source. Shortlists are drawn up in every category and judging is performed by separate juries chosen by BASCA.

    Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme

    • Free courses for emerging musicians and composers led by high-profile musicians.
    • No upper age limit, but expected most Young artists will be at least 18 years of age, and either current students or recent graduates of a major music performance or composition degree course.
    • Despite British focus, there is no nationality restriction – auditions are open to all.
    • Scheme aims to bridge the gap between Music College and professional life.
    • Open application. Candidates must submit scores and recordings of one or two recent works and two letters of recommendation from established musicians.

    Composers’ Fund

    • PRS for Music Foundation
    • Rolling applications for up to £10,000
    • The fund invites composers to make the case for support of any activity that would enable them to make a significant step change in their career.
    • It aims to support the creative and professional development of composers with a clear track record of success, enabling access to finance at critical moments in their careers.
    • UK-based composers who are already making a significant cultural contribution in the UK, writing primarily for live performance and who are members of PRS for Music are eligible to apply.

    Concours de Geneve/Geneva International Music Competition – 
Composition Prize

    • Concours de Geneve/Geneva International Music Competition.
    • The Composition Prize 2019 is for a work composed for Oboe and ensemble.
    • First prize is CHF 15,000 (roughly £11,730) and second prize is CHF 10,000 (roughly £7,820). Other prizes include Audience Prize, Young Audience Prize and Student Prize. Prizewinning work is published by the Geneva Music Competition.
    • Open to composers of all nationalities under the age of 40.
    • An international selection committee whittles down the first round of open applications. The official jury then chooses its winner from the short-listed pool.

    Ernst von Siemens Music Prize

    • Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.
    • Award is €200,000 (£174,340).
    • Prize given to composers and performers alike. Otherwise, there are no theoretical restrictions on eligibility, but this is a high-profile lifetime achievement award.
    • The award is intended to reward achievement rather than engender the production of innovative new work. ‘It does not reward the hopes vested in a musician but the achievement he has brought forth.’ Previous recipients include Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein and Yehudi Menuhin.
    • Prize is awarded by the organisation’s board of trustees. The panel comprises of leading composers, experienced cultural managers and

    Finzi Scholarship Awards

    • The Finzi Trust.
    • Grants made in the region of £2,000–£5,000 for music-based projects in the UK or abroad. Projects should last between three and eight weeks and might show creative initiative, education or research.
    • Eligibility limited to UK residents between 18 and 80 years of age. No formal qualifications are necessary but applicants should prove that they can carry out their proposals.
    • ‘The Finzi Scholarships seek to recognise and perpetuate the philosophical, creative and enabling breadth of vision of the English composer Gerald Finzi.’

    Fondazione Valentino Bucchi International Composition Contest

    • Fondazione Valentino Bucchi.
    • Annual
    • The winner will receive a study expenses bursary of €4,000, the publication of their winning work by Rai Com Editions and will be involved in a future concert as part of the artistic activities of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana.
    • The competition is well-known and enjoys broad recognition.
    • Open submission of works, with selection performed by a jury of notable personalities from the international music world.

    Franz Schubert and Modern Music Composition Competition

    • The International Chamber Music Composition, Franz Schubert and the Modern Music
    • Triennial competition.
    • ‘With around €100,000 prize money, the FS&MM is one of the highest-paying music competitions worldwide.’
    • The Franz Schubert and Modern Music competition focuses on chamber music in the disciplines of voice and piano, as well as trio for piano, violin and cello. The Composition competition is organized in the framework of this competition, and the prizewinning piece is a compulsory piece in the piano trio section.
    • Open submission of a 12–15 minute composition for piano, violin and cello.
    • Jury of seven executes selection process.

    Grame Residency

    • Grame – the Centre National de Création Musicale (France).
    • Rolling applications programme.
    • Residency intended to allow composers, performers or researchers time to work on a specific project. Grame provides accommodation and living expenses, while covering the costs of studio time.
    • No restriction on eligibility.
    • Aim is to ‘…assist in the production of contemporary music for concerts, the theatre, and events related to other areas of present-day culture’.
    • Open application by CV and written project proposal. A selection committee meets at regular intervals to make its choice of resident.

    Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition

    • University of Louisville School of Music
    • Award is $100,000 (£77,469).
    • Open to all, but prize is for a work premiered during the last five years.
    • There is broad acceptance of many genres – ‘choral, orchestral, chamber, electronic, song-cycle, dance, opera, musical theatre, extended solo work etc’.
    • Candidates must be nominated by a professional musician or music organisation. After initial screening, a jury of three is appointed to short-list entries. These go forward to the final committee.

    Help Musicians Awards

    • Help Musicians UK have several awards and funds with open applications, varying in their criteria and funding.
    • Some are purely financial awards, others focus on support and professional development.
    • Help Musicians UK also has an extensive database of funding sources which can be found here:

    Hinrichsen Grants

    • The Hinrichsen Foundation.
    • Rolling applications programme.
    • Average grant is £1,000. In addition, the Hinrichsen Composition Bursary has been awarded six times since 1994, with an average grant of £11,666.
    • Open to composers of any age. No mention of restrictions on nationality, but the scheme essentially has a UK reach.
    • Focus on permitting the performance of new work. ‘The majority of awards have been made to subsidise the public performance of works by living composers – in concert halls, churches, railway stations and other conventional spaces.’
    • Open application by written form. The Foundation has a body of trustees who meet to review applications and administer grants.

    International Uuno Klami Composition Competition

    • Uuno Klami Composition Competition Patrons’ Association and Finnish Cultural Foundation.
    • Held at intervals of five years, the inaugural competition was held in 2003–4 and then 2008–9, 2013-14, 2018-19.
    • First prize of €11,000, second prize of €9,000, third prize of €7,000.
    • Competition is open to citizens of any EU Member State, Nordic country, or of Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldavia, Monaco, Montenegro, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine or the Vatican City State.
    • Focus is on writing for a small orchestra of sinfonietta type.
    • Open submission of work and subsequent shortlisting of three to five candidates by jury.

    Isang Yun International Composition Prize

    • Isang Yun Peace Foundation (Korea).
    • First prize is KRW 30,000,000 (£20,676), whilst five runner up prizes range between KRW 20,000,000 (£13,784) and KRW 2,000,000 (£1,378).
    • No limit on nationality, but candidates must be below the age of 40.
    • Submitted piece should be 10–15 minutes long and scored for a full-size symphony orchestra. It must be entirely original and cannot previously have been performed in public. Isang Yun was most prolific in the arena of chamber music.
    • Open application and selection by an international jury of five.

    ISCM World New Music Days

    • International Society for Contemporary Music.
    • Selected works are performed by international orchestras and groups at the annual ISCM World New Music Days event. Each year, the festival takes place in a different city.
    • Open to all, but works must not be more than five years old.
    • Broad range of genres supported, including symphony orchestra, electronic music and jazz orchestras. There is also a regional flavour to the offering, determined by the host city’s location.
    • Initial open application managed by national host centres. Sound and Music acts as administrator for the British section of the ISCM and puts forward six submissions to an international jury. The jury meets in the host city and selects a number of winning entries from across the world.

    Ivor Novello Award

    • British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA).
    • No cash prize. The accolade comes in the form of a statuette and wider recognition. The awards honour excellence and achievement in British and Irish songwriting and composing across a number of categories.
    • Open to British or Irish songwriters and composers of any age. N.B. There are specific eligibility criteria for each category.
    • Founded in 1956, the awards celebrate, honour and reward excellence in British and Irish songwriting and composing. Focus on popular music.
    • Nominations can be submitted from any source during the submissions period. The awards recognise works released in the previous year. The Ivor Novello Awards represent peer recognition and each category is judged by individual juries, the majority of whom are songwriters and composers, chosen by BASCA.

    Jerwood Opera Writing Programme

    • Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Aldeburgh Music.
    • Two elements: Foundation and Fellowship. Foundation comprises three, week-long workshops at Aldeburgh where participants perform creative tasks and write short pieces. A wide range of industry professionals give seminars and living costs are covered with a small bursary. Fellowships feature graduates of the Foundation and allow an opera to be put into production. Bursaries provided for the creative team.
    • Open to British composers, writers, directors – no age limit.
    • Focus is on professional artists who are established in their field but have little or no experience of opera writing and wish to broaden their horizons to create new, contemporary work.

    LSO Panufnik Young Composers Scheme

    • London Symphony Orchestra and Helen Hamlyn Trust.
    • Identifies and nurtures a group of six emerging UK-based composers each year, offering them the chance to write for a world-class symphony orchestra. Renowned composer Colin Matthews acts as composition director and mentor to participants who are encouraged to build collaborative relationships with LSO players in order to increase their orchestral writing skills, expand their knowledge of the sector by undergoing sessions with industry professionals and participate in a public workshop with the LSO and a renowned conductor. One of the six composers is then selected to write a larger scale commission for the LSO Barbican concert season.
    • Open to UK-based young composers of any nationality and from all compositional backgrounds. Applicants do not have to be conservatoire trained.
    • Aims to identify emerging talent, nurture the orchestral writing skills of young composers and give valuable exposure to a world-class symphony orchestra and professionals within the composition sector.
    • Open application and selection by an expert panel including composers, LSO players and other industry professionals.

    Mendelssohn Scholarship

    • Mendelssohn Scholarship Foundation. Administered by the Royal Academy of Music.
    • Award of £5,000 for further study in the UK or Ireland.
    • Eligibility limited to composers under the age of 30. Any nationality, but must be resident in the UK or Republic of Ireland.
    • This is a prestigious award. It is managed by RAM and the next award is in 2016. Former PHF grantee Luke Bedford was the recipient in 2000.
    • Selection within the host organisation.

    NCEM Young Composers Award

    • National Centre for Early Music and BBC Radio 3.
    • The winning works will be premiered by Theatre of the Ayre in a public performance which will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show.
    • Two awards are on offer – one for the 18 and under category and another for the 19–25 category.
    • Open to all UK residents within the age ranges set out above.
    • Aims to encourage young composers in the arena of early music.
    • Open application with submission of application form and scores. A shortlist of up to eight is drawn up by a jury consisting of representatives from the NCEM, the BBC and Fretwork. A professional composer also sits on the judging panel. Candidates on the shortlist subsequently attend a workshop followed by a public performance, where their pieces are performed in front of the judges. Winners are chosen on the basis of the performance.

    Oppenheim-Johns Downes Memorial Trust

    • Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust
    • Awards are made in December each year. Applications may be submitted at any time but must be received by 7 October in order to be considered for an award within the same calendar year.
    • Grants range from £250 – £1,000.
    • Small scale grants are available to British artists, designers, writers and performers over the age of 30 who are experiencing financial difficulties in the pursuit of their careers.
    • The Trust welcomes applications from professional or aspiring artists, designers, writers and performers working in any of the following disciplines:
      Visual arts(including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and work in other media)
      Crafts(including ceramics, glass, metalwork, woodcarving, textiles and work in other media)
      Music (musicians, composers and conductors)
      Design (including fashion, product design/innovation and work in digital media)
      Performing arts (actors, dancers and individual performance artists of any other kind)
      Creative writing (poets, novelists, librettists and creative writers of any other kind)
      Film & digital media

    Peter Whittingham Jazz Award

    • Musicians Benevolent Fund.
    • £5,000 is available for a creative jazz project and recipients will also benefit from career guidance from the Musicians Union.
    • This award is open to emerging jazz musicians or groups showing talent and innovation. Candidates must be British or have been resident in the UK for at least 5 years.
    • Aim is to provide crucial help at the start of an artist’s career.
    • Also see ‘Funding Wizard’ for other awards, scholarships and grants:

    Postgraduate Performance Awards

    • Musicians Benevolent Fund.
    • Awards range from £1,000–£5,000. Help Musicians UK also offers professional development opportunities.
    • Application is by nomination only from UK music colleges and conservatoires. Eligibility is limited to postgraduate students on full-time performance courses. Candidates must be British or Irish or have been resident in the UK for at least 5 years.
    • Aim is to help cover maintenance costs while studying to give outstanding performers the support they need to enter the profession.
    • Also see ‘Funding Wizard’ for other awards, scholarships and grants:

    Prince Pierre of Monaco Prize for Musical Composition

    • Prince Pierre Monaco Foundation.
    • Every three years.
    • Prize of €45,000, as well as a commission of work. The foundation will ensure the promotion of the commissioned work from the award-winning composer.
    • No limit on age or nationality.
    • Focus on contemporary music work composed within the past three years.
    • No unsolicited applications – ‘…the prize winner is submitted by the music council’. This music council comprises of 10 multinational composers.

    PRS Awards for Music Creators

    • PRS for Music Foundation.
    • There are three rounds of grants each year.
    • Grants of up to £5,000.
    • Focus on supporting the creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre
    • Open application via written form. Selection is comprised of a three-stage process, featuring PRS staff, trustees and advisors.

    Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition

    • Queen Elisabeth Competition – member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions.
    • The award was last made in 2012.
    • Prize of €10,000 and 12 performances of the winning composition broadcast live on radio and television. Piece is also incorporated into a performance competition. Finalists each receive €1,500.
    • Open to composers of any nationality under 40 years of age.
    • Focus on music for symphony orchestra, plus a solo instrument. In 2011, candidates are required to write for orchestra and violin. In 2012, candidates will be asked to write for orchestra and piano.
    • Application by form and score submission. Two stages for short-listing and a pool of five finalists. Selection made by jury.

    RPS Composition Prize

    • Royal Philharmonic Society, Delius Trust, RVW Trust, BrittenPears Foundation and others
    • Five commissions. Winning composers receive a commission between £1,000-£3,000 and a professional performance. Three of the winners will join the Philharmonia’s Young Composers Academy, attending regular workshops and seminars throughout the year and eventually writing a piece each. The fourth winner receives the Susan Bradshaw Composers’ Fund commission to write a chamber work for the Cheltenham Festival. The fifth winner receives £1,000 for a solo piece for the Presteigne Festival.
    • Open to composers under the age of 29 who have studied at any conservatoire or university in the UK.
    • Aims to give young composers the chance to write a work for a prestigious professional performance.
    • Open application. Selection based on a submitted portfolio of three compositions and a CD recording of one work.

    RPS Music Awards

    • Royal Philharmonic Society with the support of Boosey and Hawkes and the Boltini Trust
    • 13 categories in total, including those for performers, composers, inspirational arts organisations and education. No cash on offer, but these are prestigious accolades.
    • Open to all – young and established, British and international. All awards are for work that has taken place in the UK in the previous calendar year.
    • Awards scheme governed by the society’s guiding principles: excellence, creativity and understanding.
    • Members of the RPS and the music profession are eligible to nominate candidates for the first stage of selection. A shortlist is then drawn up and winners are selected by an independent jury.

    RVW Trust Awards for postgraduate study

    • RVW Trust.
    • Awards available on a yearly cycle.
    • Awards are intended for composers who have been accepted on MMus courses in composition at British universities or conservatoires. The money – four bursaries of £4,000 each – can be put towards fees or maintenance.
    • Applicants must be British nationals under the age of 30. They should have completed a BMus at a recognised institution.
    • Focus of the scheme, and the Trust more generally, is to assist young British composers who have yet to achieve a national reputation.
    • Open application by written form and assessment by a panel of composers and teachers. N.B. The Trust also has a more general awards scheme for individuals and organisations looking to promote the music of British composers of 20thand 21st

    Snape Maltings Residencies

    • Snape Maltings.
    • Open to musicians and other artists at all stages of their career to experiment, take risks, develop new skills.
    • Residencies usually last for a week – longer, sometimes, in the case of composers.
    • Groups or individuals are generally funded for their accommodation, food and UK travel.
    • Residents will be expected to allow public access to the work that’s being undertaken in the form of an informal Open Session performance.
    • Residencies are planned at least six months in advance.

    Take Five

    • Serious, PRS For Music Foundation and Jerwood Charitable Foundation.
    • Professional development programme giving young jazz musicians and composers the opportunity to take time out to develop their craft. Each of the participating artists benefits from one-to-one sessions with mentors to identify areas of interest. Two residential periods are also provided, exploring composition, studio technology and strategic direction.
    • Those selected for the eleventh edition in 2016 receive a residential week to work collectively on creative ideas, benefit from business oriented workshops and meet influential music industry contacts. Participants also receive one-to-one sessions outside the residency, with help and advice for specific creative projects.
    • Scheme is open to young, British jazz artists.
    • Aim is to help participants develop their future careers.
    • Selection by nomination. A panel of industry experts choose candidates based on proven excellence, potential and distinctive contribution to jazz.

    Toru Takemitsu Composition Awards

    • Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation.
    • Total sum of prizes is JPY 3,000,000 (£22,862). The judge may withhold the prize or divide the prize among multiple entries.
    • Open to candidates of any nationality, not more than 35 years old.
    • Stated guidelines are that compositions should be ‘…for an orchestra, except concerto’. This is an internationally renowned competition.
    • Open submission of work with no fee attached. Shortlist is drawn up of pieces to be performed at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. Winner is chosen on the basis of performance.

    Visby Residency

    • Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC). Situated in Gotland, Sweden.
    • Rolling applications programme.
    • VICC is intended as a work and meeting place for composers. Residencies give practitioners the time and space to create new work. Accommodation and generous studio facilities are offered free-of-charge, but visitors generally pay for their own travel and living expenses.
    • No limits on age or nationality.
    • Aim is to promote contemporary music.
    • Open application by written form. Decisions are made continuously by a selection committee and are reviewed by the board of directors.

    We Are Listening Contests

    • We Are Listening.
    • A series of contests with various deadlines.
    • Many awards on offer:
      Free International Songwriting Competition.
      The Singer/Songwriter Awards.
      The Lyric Writer Awards.
      Breaking the Band.
      World of Music Awards.
    • The first three have values of $6,000 and the fourth,$15,000 , though prizes tend to be delivered through recording sessions, album production and work placements, rather than cash payment.
    • Open to all, but song lyrics must be in English.
    • Focus on popular contemporary music. ‘We are Listening is the leading provider of international music contests for recording artists, songwriters and lyricists.’
    • Open submission – application fees apply. We Are Listening uses panelists who are renowned in the music industry.

    Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition

    • Worshipful Company of Musicians, Wavendon Foundation.
    • Annual
    • Two prizes for original jazz composition: £1,000 for a composition for Big Band and another £1,000 for a composition for Small Ensemble.
    • Eligibility limited to UK composers under the age of 28.
    • Focus on new jazz music, mostly by current students. Prize winners’ concert attracts significant coverage in the sector press.

    Young Composer Competition, Barcelona

    • Frederic Mompou International Award.
    • The award for 2016 consisted of €4,000, publication and marketing of the winning score and a premier performance of the work in concert.
    • Any composer who is not over 35 years of age on December 31st2016 may participate. Works to be submitted must not have been previously performed, published or disseminated. Each year a different musical formation is selected with 2016 being for Woodwind Trio.
    • Selection by jury.