About the ISCM

The International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) is an international network of members from around fifty countries, devoted to the promotion and presentation of new and contemporary music. Sound and Music represents the British Section of the ISCM and supports British composers to have work performed at the annual ISCM World New Music Days Festival. This takes place in a different member nation each year, most recently in Estonia, China and South Africa.

World New Music Days Festival

The prestigious annual World New Music Days Festival is the principal vehicle through which the ISCM pursues its mission, which can be described as a "platform for musical exchange and a showcase of world contemporary music without prejudice or bias on differences in musical expressions, styles, genres or media". It is organised and funded by the member Sections (countries) each year, and acts as a meeting place for organisations, performers and composers from around the world.

The festival takes places on consecutive days, however, the host nation has some flexibility in determining the individual themes that drive the programming of the festival, either presenting a showcase of activity from around the world, or applying other criteria for the selection and programming of works.

One composer from each member country has the opportunity to have their work performed and attend, after applying via their country's section and being selected from a shortlist by the associate member's panel.

ISCM World New Music Days Festival 2024 will take place in the Faroe Islands, from 23 to 30 June 2024. The British Section will be represented by Zoë Martlew, with her piece, G-lude.

The ISCM World New Music Days Festival 2025 will take place in Lisbon and Porto, Portugal, from 30 May to 7 June. This year's festival has a theme "Thirst for Change", you can read more about it on the festival organisers' website.

Previous ISCM British Section representatives

2024: Zoë Martlew
2023: Soosan Lolavar
2021: Conrad Asman
2020: Joe Cutler
2019: Claudia Molitor
2018: Ryan Latimer


How do I apply?

Applications for the 2025 World New Music Days are now closed.

1. Read the full Call Document including Works Categories

2. Submit an online application by using the online application form

Any questions? Email: grace.bailey@soundandmusic.org

Apply here


If you have access needs which would mean additional financial support is needed in order for you to undertake work as part of this award, please let us know in your application. If you require access support in order to fill out the application form, please get in touch using the email address above.


How are the shortlisted works selected?

Two members of the ISCM British Section will review submitted pieces and select six works for submission to the International Jury. Our submissions need to cover at least four of the listed categories. Provided Sound and Music meets these requirements, it is guaranteed that at least one work submitted by ISCM Britain will be included in the World Music Days Festival. 

Composers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Composers from Wales are eligible to apply to either the Welsh Section or the British Section, bearing in mind the stipulation that composers may only submit one work in total. Anyone living and working in Wales is encouraged to apply via the Welsh Section which is administered by Ty Cerdd.

Composers from Scotland are eligible to apply to either the Scottish Associate Section or the British Section, bearing in mind the stipulation that composers may only submit one work in total. Anyone living and working in Scotland is encouraged to apply via the Scottish Associate section which is administered by the Scottish Music Centre and New Music Scotland.

Composers from Northern Ireland are permitted to apply to either the Irish or the British Section, bearing in mind the stipulation that composers may only submit one work in total.

ISCM British Section 2025
The ISCM British Section 2025 Shortlist: (clockwise from top left): Jamie Man, Sam Hayden, Melanie Wilson, Alex Groves, Thomas McConville, Robert Laidlow.
ISCM British Section 2020 - profile photos
The ISCM British Section 2024 Shortlist: (clockwise from top left): Lawrence Dunn, Bobbie-Jane Gardner, Matthew Kaner, Sonia Killmann, Zoë Martlew, Benjamin Oliver.
ISCM British Section 2020 - profile photos
The ISCM British Section 2023 Shortlist: (clockwise from top left) John Aulich, Lillie Harris, Matthew Herbert, Soosan Lolavar, Hannah Kendall, Owen Ho.
ISCM British Section 2020 - profile photos

The ISCM British Section 2021 Shortlist: (clockwise from top left) Carmen Ho, Conrad Asman, Simon Le Boggit, Grace-Evangeline Mason, Robin Haigh, Fintan O'Hare.

ISCM British Section 2020 - profile photos

ISCM British Section 2020

The ISCM British Section 2020 Shortlist: (clockwise from top left) James Moriarty, Joe Cutler, Matthew Kaner, Naomi Pinnock, Manuella Blackburn, Tom Coult

ISCM British Section 2019

ISCM British Section 2019

The ISCM British Section 2019 Shortlist: (clockwise from top left) Cameron Graham, Claudia Molitor, Lillie Harris, Oliver Leith, Michael Betteridge, Alex Groves


G-lude - Zoë Martlew

Zoë Martlew's G-lude was selected for the ISCM 2024 British Section.

I am thrilled and honoured to absolute bits and pieces to have my piece G-lude selected to represent Britain at this year’s festival in the Faroe Islands. For solo cello and electronics, this is a piece that emerged from deepest lockdown at a time when the music profession was decimated, when I personally didn’t want to play, write or even listen to any music. This is the cathartic howl that exploded from the silence, trying to make sense of it all.
Zoë Martlew
ISCM 2024

I am the Spring, You are the Earth - Soosan Lolavar

Soosan Lolavar's I am the Spring, You are the Earth was selected for the ISCM 2023 British Section.

"I’m extremely shocked and delighted to be chosen to represent Britain at this year’s ISCM in South Africa. I’m excited to meet all the other nominated composers and can’t wait to hear their work. Thank you to the UK and South African juries for believing and giving me this opportunity and also to Laura Jurd for originally commissioning this piece for her album Stepping Back, Jumping In."
Soosan Lolavar
ISCM 2023

Have a question about this programme or projects? Wondering if this programme is right for you? Unsure about how it works?

If you have any questions, please contact: info@soundandmusic.org

We are grateful to The Bliss Trust for the Arthur Bliss Travel Award, which supports composers to travel to ISCM.

Sound and Music encourages our audiences to join the Bliss Society.

See also


In Motion is an 18-month artist development programme supporting anyone working with music and sound to innovate fundamental breakthroughs in the way they make work and sustain their career. 

Find out more about In Motion and how to apply 


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


Learn more about our programmes and awards to see how we support the future of new music. 

Explore our programmes