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 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.
- 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 –
- 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.
- 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 – 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: https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/creative-programme/funding-wizard
- 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 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: https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/emerging-musicians/funding-wizard
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: https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/emerging-musicians/funding-wizard
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.
- 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 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.
- 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.