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 Music Days Festival. This takes place in a different member nation each year, most recently in Estonia, China and Canada. Sound and Music selects a shortlist of composers through an open application process. At least one composer from the shortlist is guaranteed to be selected each year.


More about the ISCM

The prestigious annual ISCM World Music Days Festival is the "principle vehicle" through which the organisation 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 o n 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 countries' Section and being selected from a shortlist by the Associate Members' panel.

Sound and Music is the Section for Britain and all applications for the festival must be submitted with us.

How do I apply?

Applications for 2020/21 are now closed.

Find out about previous ISCM British Section representatives below

Selected Composers

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


McNulty - Joe Cutler

Joe Cutler's McNulty was selected for the ISCM 2020 British Section.

"The piece takes some inspiration from the American TV drama series ‘The Wire’, concerning itself with ideas of what is pertinent and non-pertinent material, 2nd generation heritage (in this case Irish-American), and musical structures that go off the rails."
Joe Cutler
ISCM 2020

Auricularis Superior - Claudia Molitor

Claudia Molitor's Auricularis Superior was selected for the ISCM 2019 British Section.

"To experience Auricularis Superior the listener is encouraged to find a comfortable, stimulating or intriguing place to sit, lie down or amble through whilst the 30 minute piece weaves together stories, field-recordings and music. Ideally the piece is heard through headphones."
Claudia Molitor
ISCM 2019

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:

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

Collage of composer-curator projects

Composer-Curator is a composer-led and curated national touring programme which supports outstanding live and digital music projects and events.

Find out more about Composer-Curator and how to apply

A white blonde woman workshopping a piece with an ensemble

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

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