ISM | Opportunities and resources for composers Jump to main content

Opportunities and resources for composers

This resource is a non-exhaustive list of opportunities, networks, venues, ensembles, record labels and events which may wish to engage composers 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

ROSL Composition Award

Applicants should be emerging composers and music creators aged 18-35 and citizens of UK and Commonwealth. The winner of the award will receive a £3,000 commission to compose a work to be premiered by London Sinfonietta.

Vale of Glamorgan Festival: Peter Reynolds Composers Studio

This is a week-long residency for six emerging composers, with mentoring from Course Director Rob Fokkens and Festival Artistic Director John Metcalf. There is a programme fee of £400 but bursaries are available to applicants from a lower socio-economic background.

Irish Composition Summer School [39th edition]

The Irish Composition Summer School is providing an in-person course in 2022. Applications are welcome from composers at the early stages of their career, and students taking composition and considering it as a career.

Great Piano Masters: International Piano Competition

The competition is open to pianists of all nationalities from any country, and category E is open to ages 18 to 37. There is an application fee to apply and prizes include a monetary payment and a paid solo recital.

British Trombone Society (BTS) composers competition

The competition is open to anyone, must be for a quartet of trombones, be original work and be no more than 15 minutes in duration. The winner will receive a recording of the winning composition and publication by Bones Apart.

Mikael Tariverdiev International Organ Competition

The thirteenth competition is open to musicians from any country. There is a fee to enter and you must not have been born earlier than 1 January 1989. The competition is conducted publicly and to take part you must be able to attend the first round at one of the following countries: Germany, USA, China or Russia. Thereafter, selected contestants move to Russia to participate in the second and third rounds.

Foshan Composers Contest

This is a new competition created with the aim of encouraging composers to create new music celebrating the city of Foshan. Composers of all ages and nationalities can apply. The composition is for an ensemble with Chinese and Western instruments and should reflect Foshan's cultural heritage.

Jerwood Jazz Encounters Programme

This is an artist development opportunity to create and develop new ways to present jazz at festivals and outdoor sites across England. Applications are open to UK-based jazz artists who have been working as a professional musician, composer or artist for three to 10 years.

Sheva collection: Contest for composers

A contest to celebrate the poetry of Emily Dickinson through music is open to composers of any age and any country. An entry fee is payable to enter the competition and four prize winners will be selected. Successful works will be recorded on a Sheva CD and be distributed worldwide.

New Music Scotland: Open Score Club

An open score club is to be held at 10am on the first Sunday of every month and at 7pm on the third Tuesday of every month. The Club is open for musicians of all abilities including professionals, students, instrumentalists and sound-artists. Club members are welcome to suggest repertoire or bring their own piece to try.

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?