Britten Sinfonia | Magnum Opus 2024

Grace Bailey

Sound and Music news
Share this page
Image credit:
Anna Kent
Interest Areas:
Share this page

Applications for Magnum Opus 2024 are now open.

We are pleased to launch our Magnum Opus scheme for 2024, building on the successes of previous years and continuing Britten Sinfonia’s track record for commissioning new music.

Magnum Opus is a professional development scheme for three UK-based early career composers, who will be embedded in Britten Sinfonia’s activity across 2024. Selected composers will work closely with Programme Directors Dani Howard and Michael Zev Gordon to develop their skills in orchestral and chamber music writing and to have their works premiered as part of two Britten Sinfonia concert programmes. The scheme is tailored to each composer and will involve coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities and the chance to be embedded within Britten Sinfonia throughout the year.

Interested in applying? Find out more by reading our FAQs below.

Who is eligible to apply for Magnum Opus?

We are looking for three outstanding UK-based early career composers over the age of 18.

Our Magnum Opus composers usually already have some experience of writing for ensembles, may have taken part in similar schemes, may have studied composition (or music more generally) in a higher education setting, and will have a pre-existing portfolio of compositions. If you are not quite at this level in your career, you may be better suited to our Opus 1 scheme (opening in Spring 2024), which is designed as a ‘first step on the ladder’ for adult composers of any age, background and composing experience.

We are looking to work with those who are keen to develop, not only as composers, but also as well-rounded individuals who will become part of the Britten Sinfonia team for the duration of their residency with us. You should be a talented creative with flair and a good sense of what it takes to make a career in the industry.

To be eligible for Magnum Opus you should:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Plan to remain resident in the UK for the duration of the programme
  • Provide two scores and recordings of your work
  • Consider yourself to be actively pursuing composition as part of your career, and have taken part in opportunities and received awards or commissions as part of your professional development to date

Britten Sinfonia is committed to addressing under-representation in the arts and we would encourage applications from composers from a diverse range of backgrounds who are looking to pursue a career in composition.

What are the time commitments?

During the scheme, selected composers will be embedded within the orchestra for a year and expected to attend all workshops, rehearsals, premieres, coaching sessions and other events.

After being welcomed onto the scheme in late January, composers will write a short chamber work for a chamber music workshop on Wednesday 13 March for a premiere at Milton Court, London on Tuesday 9 April as part of Britten Sinfonia’s concert programme at the Barbican. Following this, composers will identify and work with suitable soloists to write a ten-minute chamber concerto for performance at the Magnum Opus Showcase in November 2024, in London. Composers will receive one-to-one mentoring with the Programme Directors, Skills Lab sessions, and support from the wider Britten Sinfonia team.

What if I can’t afford to take part?

We don’t want finances to be a barrier to any selected composer so we offer a bursary of £2,500 to cover reasonable travel and accommodation expenses as required to enable selected composers to take part on the scheme.

Who are the Magnum Opus composers from previous years?

You can find out more about our current cohort of Magnum Opus composers, Crystalla Serghiou, Daniel Soley, and David Roche here.

Our first Magnum Opus cohort in 2022 comprised Nathan James Dearden, Aileen Sweeney and Jonathan Brigg.

How to apply

Apply by completing this application form before 5pm on 4 January 2024.

Please make sure to read the form carefully and to submit exactly what is required. Applications which do not meet the requirements (e.g. missing attachments / answers above the word limit) will not be considered. Please also follow the instructions in the “attachments” section to make sure your scores and recordings are anonymous (that your name does not appear anywhere on the files).

If you have access requirements or need support with completing the form, you can contact us at

Share this page
Share this page