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Opportunities for composers and songwriters

This resource is a non-exhaustive list of opportunities, networks, venues, ensembles, record labels and events which may wish to engage composers and songwriters in commissions or partnership work. It is designed to serve as a starting point. Building relationships with performers and venues is equally important. We have also included some ISM resources to help you further.

Competitions and commisions

International Society for contemporary Music - Welsh Section

The official Welsh Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) invites Welsh/Wales-based composers to submit their scores for World New Music Days (WNMD) Johannesburg/Cape Town 2023. Composers of any age or point in their career may apply. Only one work per composer which must fall into one of the 16 stipulated categories. Deadline for applications Tuesday 7 March, 5pm.

LPO Young Composers programme

The London Philharmonic Orchestra is inviting applications for the LPO Young Composers programme 2023/24. Mentored by the LPO’s Composer-in-Residence, the Young Composers spend a season with the LPO, each creating a new work for chamber orchestra that is performed by Foyle Future First musicians and LPO players at a public showcase concert at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. The deadline to apply is 11.59pm on Friday 10 March 2023.

RPS Composers programme

The RPS Composers programme offers a commission, premiere and a year of professional development, aiming to transform the prospects of promising UK-based composers. Applications are now open for the 2024 programme. The programme is for composers of any nationality based in the UK who plan to build their careers here. Deadline for applications is Tuesday 14 March 2023 at 11am.

Nief-Norf International Call For Scores

2023 Nief-Norf’s International Call for Scores invites submissions of contemporary scores for the 2023 categories of large ensemble and open score. Up to three scores from each category will be selected, rehearsed throughout the Summer Festival, and performed at the annual Nief-Norf Summer Festival by Performance Fellows and festival artists. Deadline for entries 1 April 2023.

International Uuno Klami Composition Competition

The Klami competition is one of the world’s foremost composition competitions. Entries should not have been previously published or performed, and should last 15-30 minutes. The deadline is 4 December 2023. The jury will select between three and five entries to be performed by the Kymi Sinfonietta, conducted by Anna-Maria Helsing in the autumn season of 2024. First prize €11,000, second prize €9,000 and third prize €7,000.

Popular ISM advice and support for composers

Key organisations and ongoing support

Sound World

Sound World provides numerous opportunities for young and early career composers including professional public performances, commissions, and composition workshops.

PRS Foundation

Funding opportunities from the Performing Right Society's foundation.

Is there something missing? This is not a comprehensive list. If you think something should be added in, why not email us at [email protected]. If you have your own ensemble or group or venue, why not get in touch and ask us to add it in?