The George Butterworth Award is a prize of £1,500 given annually to a UK-based composer for the creation of an outstanding new work developed through one of our artist development Programmes.

The George Butterworth Award was awarded by the Society for the Promotion of New Music annually between 1993 and 2008 and has since been incorporated into Sound and Music.

The George Butterworth Memorial Fund was established in 1921 by the composer’s family, together with initial trustees including Ralph Vaughan Williams and George Dyson. It was funded by income from the estate of the composer himself who was tragically killed on the Somme during the First World War, having been awarded the Military Cross.

Who was George Butterworth?

George Butterworth (1885-1916) was a British composer, folk song collector and country dancer born in London.

He is best known for the orchestral idyll The Banks of Green Willow and his song settings of A. E. Houseman's poems, and was friends with Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Butterworth joined the British Army at the outbreak of the First World War. He was killed in 1916 at Pozières, France during the Battle of the Somme aged just 31. In the chaos of war Butterworth was buried where he fell and his remains were never subsequently identified.

How do I apply?

The George Butterworth Award 2021 will be announced in March 2021.

To be eligible for the Butterworth Award you must either be enrolled on one of our artist development programmes, or be a recipient of one of our awards.

Meet the George Butterworth Award winners

Previous winners


Awarded by Sound and Music:


"Receiving the George Butterworth Award is a really special moment, not least because within the context of the shocking amount of racism towards Chinese communities catalysed by Covid-19, it brings a touch of optimism that it is possible to present different narratives of what it can mean to be of Chinese heritage today."
Alex Ho
George Butterworth Award
2020

Thank you


Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

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See also


Shamima Ruddock, Francis Chagrin 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

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