The Francis Chagrin Awards are for composers looking for a small grant of up to £500 to support their work through self-learning projects, equipment, mentoring, and other direct costs for a project or artist development.

How do the Francis Chagrin Awards work? 

In each round, we will be awarding up to 12 small-scale grants of £500 to composers and music creators in the UK. These can be used to purchase essential equipment, develop skills, or gain vital artistic and practical insight and experience in working with professional musicians, ensembles or other artistic collaborators, with a view to supporting individuals’ longer-term ability to sustain themselves and their careers.  

These awards are not designed as a hardship fund or to supplement projects which have confirmed grant support already.

Applications for this round are now closed. Only applicants given an extended deadline for submission will be able to submit an application.

Accessible versions of text on this page are available here: 

Shamica Ruddock, Francis Chagrin winner

How does it work?

In each round of the Francis Chagrin Awards, we aim to support specific groups that encounter barriers when it comes to accessing opportunities and sustaining a career.

Round 3 of the Francis Chagrin Award is open composers and music creators between the ages of 18-25. Our aim is to support composers at an early stage in their careers to develop their practice by undertaking creative or professional development. At least half of the Awards in this round will be given to composers not currently in education or training. 

Composers, music creators and artists at any career stage working in sound and music are eligible to apply who: 

  • are between the ages of 18-25
  • are based in the UK (for at least 2 years)
  • are not currently participating in a Sound and Music programme (or a recipient of our Covid-19 Composer Awards) 

We can support your access costs related to completing an application to the Francis Chagrin Awards – for instance, paying an assistant or support worker to complete your application on your behalf. We can also offer a short extension to the application deadline, strictly for access needs. If you have any access needs or access related costs with regards to applying for this opportunity, which are not covered on this page, please contact:
Grace Bailey ( 

What can the awards be used for?

Below are some examples, not an exhaustive list, of the types of activity this Award can support:  

  • an online course (not including Higher or Further Education)
  • a programme of coaching or mentoring sessions
  • acquiring and learning new software or hardware packages
  • acquiring technical equipment integral to the creation of a specified new work or livestreaming opportunity (e.g., LED lighting panels or camera) 
  • a self-directed composition project that would benefit from a period of rehearsal, workshopping or collaboration with a musician(s), ensemble or other artistic collaborator (e.g., visual artist, other performing artist)  
  • undertaking a recording of existing work with one or more musicians
  • access costs for any self-directed project

We will consider activity outside this list (including travel costs), however we will prioritise applications that can demonstrate the highest possible impact on your development as an artist. 

We are looking for applicants who have a clear idea of the activity or support they would like to access, what difference this will make and who will be able to pay for both the activity and their own time with the Award. There is no requirement to complete a new work or have a performance date secured. Activity can be in-person or online.  

These Awards are not able to cover access costs for projects which have confirmed grant support from other organisations, or to cover Further or Higher Education costs (e.g. tuition fees, course materials etc). 

Successful awardees will be invited to contribute to Minute of Listening, Sound and Music’s resource for primary aged children. Further information on this will be available after the selection process. 

"Since 2013, Sound and Music’s Francis Chagrin Award has supported a diverse range of composers and artists, working in an extraordinary variety of practices, to create new work. If you need a financial injection to push your project forward, I would strongly encourage you to consider making an application.”
Will Dutta
Chief executive

How do I apply?

Applications are now closed.

The application process should take less than 30 minutes. In the application form you will be asked: 

  • to confirm that you are aged 18-25 at the time of application
  • to upload a short biography (< 100 words)  
  • to upload a statement (in Word or PDF format – no more than ½ a side of A4) OR a video or audio application of no more than 2 minutes in which you: 
    • briefly describe the activity you want to undertake
    • briefly describe why it is important to you right now; what difference will it make to you as an artist in terms of being better equipped to support yourself in the future? 
    • provide a full breakdown of costs that make up the full grant of £500 

You will also need to complete our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (at the end of the Application Form).

If you need to submit an application in a different format (for example by email) or have any questions please contact: Grace Bailey (  

Our aim is to make our application processes as accessible as possible. If you have any feedback on accessibility we would love to hear so we can learn and improve.  

How does the selection process work? 

Decisions will be made and Awards will be granted by members of the Sound and Music team and an external panellist, in line with our Fair Access Principles. 

The same criteria will be used to review all applications: 

  • the impact this support will have on your future career 
  • value for money (to maximise the impact of these Awards) 
  • diversity of recipients, a breadth of types of work and geographical locations will also be considered 


To maximise the chances of your application being considered, please consider the following: 

  • Your application should not exceed £500  
  • Costs should be itemised 
  • Where artistic collaborators are being paid, fees are expected to be in alignment with rates as set by unions or similar bodies (e.g., Musicians’ Union, Equity, etc.) 

When will I hear back? 

We will aim to let people know (if you have or have not been successful) by March 20. Precise timing will depend on the number of applications we receive and we will inform all applicants if we experience delays in this process.

Due to the expected high numbers of applicants, we will be able to offer general rather than personalised feedback, including how many people applied, plus any general advice if you plan to submit another application in the future. 

Any questions?

If you have a question about the programme or any of our criteria, please contact our Head of Artist Development:

Previous Award Winners

While the Francis Chagrin Award is small in size, we are able to reach a large number of composers.

Meet the Francis Chagrin Award winners

In April 2020, we temporarily repurposed the Francis Chagrin Award to form the Covid-19 Composer Awards, to best support composers through challenges arising from Covid-19.

Meet the Covid-19 Composer Award winners

About Francis Chagrin


About Francis Chagrin

Francis Chagrin was the founder of the Society for the Promotion of New Music (SPNM). During his career, he composed symphonies, songs, chamber music, and over 200 film scores.

His music is archived in Sound and Music's British Music Collection.

See also

Photograph from a performance, in a dusty ound hall dancers pull sheets of fabric in a circle

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 with dark hair and a white shirt is making notes on a score while a white woman with glasses makes corrections

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

Shamima Ruddock, a Francis Chagrin Award winner

Sound and Music run a range of artist development programmes, including New Voices, Adopt a Music Creator, and Composer-Curator.

Explore our programmes and how to apply