25th Birthday Commissions for Classic FM

RPS co-commissions seven composers with Classic FM in celebration of the broadcaster's 25th Birthday

Seven young composers all under the age of 25 were chosen by a panel of judges from Classic FM and the Royal Philharmonic Society to write a new piece of classical music each to celebrate the radio station’s 25th birthday.

The composers were all aged between 16 and 24 years old and were from London, Cambridge and Surrey. With varying ensemble sizes, each composer will paid for their work, which will be recorded live and broadcast on-air to Classic FM’s 5.4 million listeners across the UK. In addition, some winners will be paired with one of the station’s events, such as its 25th Birthday Celebration with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Classic FM Live at London’s Royal Albert Hall, both in September, where their work will be premiered.

Any person born on or after Classic FM’s first broadcast on 7th September 1992 could apply. When the station launched, its aim was to make classical music relevant to everyone, and this mission remains at the core of Classic FM today. 

Rosemary Johnson, executive director of the Royal Philharmonic Society, comments: “How exciting it is to give these very young creative people such an interesting challenge and the opportunity to write for such big audiences.They have all demonstrated how up for it they are!

Sam Jackson, Classic FM’s managing editor comments: “Over 350,000 Classic FM listeners are younger than the station itself – and in this, our 25th birthday year, we’re so excited to be showcasing the music of these seven brilliant composers to our wider audience of 5.4 million people. The Royal Philharmonic Society very much shares Classic FM’s mission of bringing classical music to as many people as possible, and their support of new music is second to none. Together, we’re looking forward to seeing how these young musicians rise to the challenge of composing for Classic FM!

The Classic FM / RPS co-commissions are made possible with generous support from The Boltini Trust.

4 May 2017

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George Benjamin, composer, conductor, teacher, programmer: awarded RPS Honorary Membership in 2011.


From 1819 the Society’s home was the Harmonic Institution built by John Nash in Regents Street. The building was destroyed by fire in 1830 and is now the site of a NatWest Bank.