Against an increasingly difficult financial climate for young musicians and composers, the Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Musicians Programme provides much needed grants and awards to outstanding talent of the next generation. The latest awards announced, to composers and student musicians, total £42,500.
Each year, the RPS supports around 30 young musicians during crucial years of study and nascent professional life through its Young Musicians Programme. Every year, applications outstrip available funds, but this year, there has been a marked increase in the level of funding applied for. Applications to the RPS Composition Prize were up by a third, and the RPS Instrument Purchase Grants, in awarding a total of £22,500 for the purchase of instruments for music students, has only been able to provide an eighth of the money requested.
£20,000 to commission and support the work of emerging composers
Six composers have been selected by a distinguished jury to write new works for performance at prestigious venues in 2017 through the annual RPS Composition Prize. The composers, all current or recent first degree/master's degree graduates at UK universities/conservatoires, were selected anonymously from 120 applicants by the RPS Composition Prize jury of composers Unsuk Chin and Christian Mason, and musician/conductor David Corkhill:
• Donghoon Shin, Gareth Moorcraft and Lisa Illean who will write for the Philharmonia’s Music of Today and join the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Young Composers Academy, in partnership with the RPS, each receiving £3,000.
• Darren Bloom, who will write a new chamber work for the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. All will receive £3,000 in prize money.
• Jack Sheen who receives a £1,000 RPS commission for performance at Presteigne Festival 2017.
• Patrick Brennan receives £1,000 to write a new work commissioned for Music in The Round with support from the Garrick Charitable Trust.
£22,500 support for the purchase of new instruments for music students
The RPS offers financial assistance to help music students purchase their own instruments essential to their professional studies through the RPS Instrument Purchase Grants. In a welcome change from the model of student loans, the Society provides one-off non-repayable awards. Payback comes purely in the form of the startling musical progress that can be made on an appropriate, quality instrument.
This year, the awards panel decided to make awards totalling £22,500. The Fund will help towards the purchase of instruments for 17 music students from nine conservatoires nationwide. Instruments include a violin, tenor horn, French horn, double bass, guitar, alto and tenor sackbut, two bassoons, cello, soprano saxophone, and drum kit, snare drum, Eb clarinet, flute headjoint and cello bow.
This year's awards have been made possible by the annual RPS Music Awards Appeal, which this year raised £20,000, and by the generous support of the ABRSM, the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, The Kathleen Hannay Memorial Charity, and the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation (Instrument Grants) and Britten-Pears Foundation, The Garrick Charitable Trust, Presteigne Festival and the Susan Bradshaw Composers’ Fund (Emerging Composers).
22 July 2016