*** This opportunity is now closed. Please check on the main New Voices page for updates, this page is for reference ***

New Voices: an artist development programme for new ideas, new sounds and new music.

  • Are you a composer or artist creating your own original music or sound?
  • Are you looking to explore your creative ideas and take the next step in your career?
  • Are you determined and excited to explore your artistic and personal development?
  • Are you looking to produce new work for new audiences?

Then this could be the opportunity for you! Read below for more information.

1.  What is New Voices?

New Voices is Sound and Music’s artist development programme that supports composers at pivotal stages of their careers to explore new ideas, new sounds and new music.

Each project is unique from composer to composer and year to year and that excites us.

Take a look at previous New Voices composers and their projects here

Each year we support 8 composers over 18 months with coaching, mentoring and a financial grant to create a new piece of work and share it with new audiences.

New Voices is a unique opportunity for composers to take essential time to explore and develop their work. Whether you live in an urban or rural environment, whether you trained at a conservatoire or are self-taught, whether you produce electronic or acoustic work, or whether you have many years’ experience or consider yourself‘emerging’. We know there isn't one model that will or should fit everyone.

"New Voices has been a complete game-changer for me. When I applied I knew that I was 100% committed to developing my career but I didn’t know how to and was extremely frustrated. New Voices has provided me with the expertise and support I’ve needed in order to build a fantastic creative team for Scintilla, step by step."
Liz Dilnot Johnson
New Voices 2018

2.   What does being part of New Voices involve?


*** Please note registration for New Voices 2020 is now closed ***

You must register your interest in the programme to receive the application – just fill out a few details about yourself in a short form. See how to register below. 

The deadline for completing a registration form is 26th June 2020

Before you register make sure that you fit the selection criteria.

Selection criteria: 

To be eligible to apply for New Voices you must:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Not be in full or part-time education (unless in an unrelated subject)
  • Have been based in the UK for the last 2 years
  • Plan to remain resident in the UK for the 18-month duration of the programme
  • Not have been on our New Voices, Embedded or Portfolio programmes previously
  • Provide two recordings of your works



Everyone who has registered for New Voices will be sent a link to the application form in July 2020.

We will ask you to let us know a bit about where you are with your work, why this is the right time for you to be part of New Voices and what kind of project you would like to develop and for who. We’ll also ask you to give us some examples of your work for the panel to listen to or watch.

You will be able to apply through a written form or video application – details will be sent to you when the application period opens.


All applications will be reviewed by a selection panel including experienced composers and industry professionals, alongside members of the Sound and Music team. Every year we ask different people to be part of this panel.

The panel will select 18 composers who will then be invited to come to an interview. From the interviews, 8 composers will be selected to take part in New Voices 2020.

Meet the panellists for New Voices 2020

For New Voices 2020 we will be looking to allocate:

  • 6 places on the programme to individuals who have less than 10 years’ non-continuous practice (i.e. including career breaks or time away from composing). This is not an age restriction – New Voices is open to composers of any age.
  • 2 places will be available to composers at any stage in their career
  • 1 place (minimum) to a D/deaf or disabled composer

See our Fair Access Principles for our code of best practice for running successful, open and inclusive artist development programmes.


If you have accessibility needs and require additional support for applying please contact alex.noble@soundandmusic.org.

We can offer alternative application methods (e.g. via email), extensions for the application process, and can also offer financial support for anyone who needs to pay for additional access support, including at interview stage. We want to accommodate any access needs so please get in touch so we know how we can help.

Seed Award

Additionally, all composers who are shortlisted and reach interview stage will receive a Seed Award – a targeted package of support including coaching sessions and £100 contribution to support the research and development of a particular project.

For further information please see the eligibility and selection criteria below.

Covid-19 Adaptations

We understand planning for the future is incredibly challenging at the moment but Sound and Music is committed to supporting composers to develop, make and share work.

Our programmes, including New Voices, are designed to be flexible and are intended to support individuals to find new ways of thinking and working, both for now and for the future.

3. Programme overview

If you are selected for New Voices you will be working with us for c.18 months. During this time you will create a new piece of work and present that work to an audience (live and/or digital).

The programme is split into the following phases.

Discovery Phase (6 months) – you will:

  • be assigned a Creative Project Leader to work with at Sound and Music
  • receive a bursary of £500 for this stage of the programme
  • receive any additional access support (including financial) if you need this in order to participate in New Voices
  • meet the other New Voices at an induction day (online or offline)
  • start developing your project ideas for a live and/or digital projects
  • begin coaching sessions with an accredited coach
  • choose a mentor
  • take part in residential and/or digital networking days with the other New Voices composers 

Activity Phase (12 months) – you will:

  • start working practically on your project
  • receive a bursary of £1,000 for this stage of the programme
  • receive a production grant of up to £6,000
  • decide who you want to reach with your work, how and why
  • develop and present the final public event for your project
  • take part in project evaluation

If you are interested in finding out more about coaching and mentoring view our Coaching and Mentoring Toolkit here >>


Participants on the New Voices Programme will receive a £1,500 bursary and up to a £6,000 production budget to create a new work and share this with an audience.

Composers’ travel, expenses and access costs will also be covered for New Voices activity.

4.   Digital projects

There will also be the opportunity to apply for further support to develop a specific digital element to your work. This opportunity will be open to New Voices to apply to once they have started work in the Discovery Phase. More details on this process will be provided at the start of the programme.

"My project simply would not have been possible without the New Voices programme. Perhaps most importantly, it allowed me to dream of, create, and realise a project that challenged me in so many new ways."
Alex Ho
New Voices 2018

5.   How to apply

Register first, apply later

If you think the New Voices programme might be for you, then the first step is to register your interest in working with us.

Registration is a very simple process and it is the only way to receive the application in July.

We will collect this information with your permission, in order to help us understand more about those who are interested and about how the registration process is going. It will be treated confidentially and will not be used to inform the later application process.

You can find out more about this in our Data and Privacy Protection Policy here.

Please note that New Voices is designed as an artistic and professional development programme for individuals. It is not designed for working with groups or collectives. We welcome applications from individual members of groups or collectives, but you must apply as an individual.

6.   How we make our final decisions

Selection to be part of the New Voices programme is, unavoidably, a competitive process, since we are committed to being open to anybody to apply. An independent and diverse panel of experienced experts will be involved in this process, they will listen to your work and read your application; and they will help Sound and Music to find a representative and talented group of individuals to work with and support.

We will make our final decisions based on the following:

We are looking for people who have original ideas and the ambition to create truly unique, high-quality work, in whatever form.

As part of New Voices you will need to be ready to undertake self-reflection and evaluation in order to make the most of your involvement. You’ll need to be able to reflect on your work, why you do it, who it is for and when you feel it has been successful. We can help you with this but it must be something that you are interested in exploring.

Sound and Music is committed to making the New Voices cohort of individuals representative of the wider society in terms of gender, ethnicity, disability and socio-economic background.

A group of New Voices that brings together a wider variety of backgrounds is hugely exciting for us artistically, as well as allowing us to commit to fairness and equality for all. Read our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy here.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch about New Voices 2020, you can contact Will Dutta, Head of Artist Development at will.dutta@soundandmusic.org or on 020 7759 1800.

We look forward to hearing from you!

See also

New Voices logo

Alice Boyd, Georgia Denham, Tamsin Elliot, Cassandra Gurling, Elija Maja, Frazer Merrick, Shirley Tetteh and Melanie Wilson.

Meet the New Voices 2020

New Voices 2019 composer profile collage

Lisa Busby, Mella Faye, Jamie Hamilton, Sharon Gal, Emily Levy, Marv Radio, Max Syedtollan and Otto Willberg.

Meet the New Voices 2019

New Voices 2018 composer profile collage

Vicki Bennett, Stuart Brown, Bex Burch, David Austin Grey, Alex Ho, Edmund Hunt, Johnny Hunter, Andy Ingamells, Liz Dilnot Johnson, Marcus Joseph, Eunseog Lee, Daniel McBride, Eska Mtungwazi, Supriya Nagarajan and Gugak Sounds.

Meet the New Voices 2018