Applications are now open for the 2024 Royal Philharmonic Society Composers programme. Alongside a commission – premiered by a noted ensemble, venue or festival – the programme supports a cohort of composers taking steps towards establishing their careers, helping them build the skills, confidence and contacts to attain further commissions and performances of their own. We do this through a year-long range of sessions and activities, including the opportunity to meet and draw insights from professional composers and key figures in the music business, workshops to develop skills particularly in promoting yourself and your music, as well as individual sessions addressing personal objectives and how we might help fulfil them.
The programme is for composers of any nationality based in the UK who plan to build their career here. Accordingly, the content of our year-round sessions is based on principles and situations that composers will encounter in the UK music profession, and are led by UK industry experts. We strive for our cohort of composers to meet online and in person as a group throughout the year, and each composer is expected to visit the UK ensemble, venue or festival for whom they are composing.Fair Access Principles and are also signed up to the Keychange initiative. We warmly welcome applications from composers of all backgrounds, particularly under-represented demographics, such as those who are Black, Asian and ethnically diverse, those who are disabled, and those from working class backgrounds. We are also pleased to receive feedback and are keen to hear from anyone who may have identified potential barriers to applying.Vitally, composers should be at a stage where they can demonstrate genuine commitment to establishing a career as a composer, in the proficiency of the music submitted, and in their application. For most people, this programme is likely to be most useful to those who have already been working in the music profession in some capacity and are looking to reach the next level. Composers may have graduated in the last few years, or some time ago. Equally a formal degree or equivalent qualification is not compulsory. We recognise that composers pursue many different routes at different stages in their lives, so we look forward to hearing those individual stories. We’re always keen to hear from those who have not considered applying to the RPS before, but composers are equally welcome to apply again and tell us what has been creatively occupying them since they last applied. Every year, we change the professional composers we invite to review applications, to draw on fresh perspectives and minimise potential bias. We are continually striving to address how we can minimise barriers to the widest possible range of applicants. We are proud to have adopted Sound and Music’s