as the world ain't square
Douglas MacGregor

Compose

Our artist development programme supports a diverse range of composers from across the UK to make experimental and innovative work. Through coaching, mentoring, guidance, and artistic bursaries, we support the development of both their careers and their audiences.

We take an artist-first approach — we listen to the community of composers working today to make sure we provide the support they truly need to thrive, to enable them to develop sustainable careers, and to ensure that they are at the heart of cultural life.

Who is a composer?

We use the term ‘composer’ to describe any individual who creates new work using sound or music, whether they perform it themselves or write for others — and whether they work with software, with notes on paper, through improvisation, or in other ways.

Whatever your methodology, we know that a professional qualification is not a prerequisite for the role of creating exciting, new and innovative work.

We also know that the word composer conjures many (often unhelpful) images and ideas, and we are working hard daily to change that, to challenge perceptions and to reflect all those composing across the UK today.

In short, we want to support you to own the term composer, and to crack on with the most important thing — creating!


Every year we work with a wide range of composers across our programmes.

Meet the composers and explore their works

Programmes


A black and white photograph of Sharon Gal performing

New Voices is an 18-month artist development programme that supports composers at pivotal stages of their careers to explore new ideas, new sounds and new music, including coaching, mentoring and financial grant to create a new piece of work and share it with new audiences.

Find out more about New Voices and how to apply

A blonde white woman is interacting with a group of musicians

Now in its 20th year, Adopt a Music Creator is a unique scheme, developed in partnership with Making Music UK, that pairs composers with leisure-time music ensembles and groups to collaborate on the creation of a new piece.

Explore Adopt a Music Creator and how to apply

A collage of images from Composer-Curator projects

Composer-Curator supports outstanding projects across the UK that are curated and produced by composers and music creators. These projects are centred on live and digital performances, and aim to engage audiences in new and innovative ways.

Find out more about Composer-Curator and how to apply

A collage of photographs from shortlisted composers

The International Society for Contemporary Music is an international network devoted to the promotion and presentation of new and contemporary music. At least one composer per year has a work chosen to represent Britain through Sound and Music.

Explore ISCM and how to apply

Awards


Shamima Ruddock, a Francis Chagrin Award winner

This is a small grant to support composers and their work through self-learning projects, equipment, mentoring, and other direct costs for a project or artist development.

Read more and apply to the COVID-19 Composer Awards

Shamima Ruddock, a Francis Chagrin Award winner

This award is a small-scale grant to help composers get their new work to the next stage. It can be used for making one-off purchases of materials, studio time, software or courses.

Find out how our Francis Chagrin Award could help you

Photograph of a performance of Untold, by Alex Ho

This annual award is given to a UK-based composer for an outstanding new work created through one of our artist development programmes.

Read more about our George Butterworth Award and meet the recipients

A white man and a white woman are looking over a score

All applicants to our New Voices programme who have been shortlisted and interviewed are awarded a targeted package of support, including coaching sessions and a small grant.

Find out more about our Seed Award

Resources 


British Music Collection

The British Music Collection is an exciting and diverse online space for UK-based composers create profiles representing themselves and their works. Join a constantly expanding archive of the most important names in UK composition, and take advantage of the unique opportunities a profile provides.  

Join the British Music Collection and create a profile

The Sampler

The Sampler is the leading hub for the UK new music scene, bringing together extraordinary new music activity from DIY nights, to livestreamed festivals, to workshops, sound installations and editorial. You can list your new music events to reach dedicated audiences, and check out curious editorial, reviews, and playlists.

Explore The Sampler and list your events

 

Thank you to our funders