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?
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.
Awarded by Sound and Music:
- Lunatraktors and Eunseog Lee (2022)
- Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, no Award was made in 2021.
- Alex Ho (2020) for 'Untold'
- Blasio Kavuma (2019) for 'Spirit Level'
- Sarah Lianne Lewis (2018) for 'Blossoms in bloom are also falling blossoms'
- Egidija Medekšaitė (2017) for 'Megh Malhar'
- Pia Palme (2016) for 'MORDACIOUS LIPS, TO DUST'
- Nathaniel Robin Mann (2015) for 'Pigeon Whistles'
- Paul McGuire (2014)
- Brahim Kerkour (2013)
"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."
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.