RPS Elgar Bursary

The Elgar Bursary supports the work of mature composers, helping to fund the creation of new work.

The Elgar Bursary was established by the surviving members of Sir Edward Elgar’s family using the royalties of Anthony Payne’s acclaimed elaboration of Elgar’s sketches for the unfinished Third Symphony. Elgar enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the Royal Philharmonic Society, which now administers the bursary. It provides financial support to an established composer - aged over 29 - in creating a new work which may push back musical boundaries, but not at the expense of accessibility.

The bursary is awarded whenever sufficient funds are available. It is not usually open to application but is granted at the discretion of the Society and the bursary's advisory committee.

Anthony Payne states:

'Life as a composer can be a particularly bumpy ride. At the start of the journey, there are a number of awards and bursaries available which help smooth the way for talented younger composers. However, to a large degree, older composers are left to navigate their own way: a process which I know from experience can be particularly tough, and not always conducive to the creative process. The Elgar Bursary has, therefore, been instituted specifically to offer much needed additional support to mature composers and assist the continuing development of their work.'

The RPS has a long tradition of supporting composers, dating back to Beethoven. We are only able to keep helping composers thanks to a generous family of individual donors, trusts and corporate sponsors, and gifts such as the Elgar Bursary. If you would like to help us to bring more new music to life, please click here to find out how to get involved. Even the smallest gesture is greatly appreciated.

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