RPS Composition Prizes

The RPS gives emerging composers the chance to write a work for a prestigious professional performance.

What does the RPS offer?

Winning composers will each receive a commission of either £3,000 or £1,000, and a professional performance. In 2018 the following prizes will be offered:

  • Three composers will be offered the opportunity to join the Philharmonia/RPS Composers Academy led by Unsuk Chin, and take part in a range of seminars and workshops throughout the year, culminating in a £3,000 commission to be performed by members of the orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall.
  • One £3,000 chamber commission for the Cheltenham Music Festival, supported by the Susan Bradshaw Composers’ Fund set up in memory of the pianist, teacher and writer.
  • One £1,000 solo piece for the Presteigne Festival.

Commissions are subject to change. Other commissions may also be available.

Please note the new entrance requirements:

In order to be eligible to enter the RPS Composition Prize, you must meet one of the following criteria:

1) You are either currently a student at a UK university/conservatoire studying towards a first degree or a master's degree (not a PhD)


2) You have completed a first degree or master's degree (not a PhD) at a UK university/conservatoire since 30 March 2009

You are asked to submit a portfolio of three compositions plus a MP3 recording of at least one of the works, together with proof that you fulfill the above criteria regarding your undergraduate/master's degree at a UK university or conservatoire.

Scores and the list of performances will be given to the jury anonymously. Each score and the list of performances must have your name removed/masked.

There is a £20 application fee (free to RPS Members)


As the RPS office will be closed over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, we will be accepting applications received by 1pm on Tuesday 3 April 2018.


The RPS Composition Prizes are part of the RPS New Music Programme. We are extremely grateful to the trusts, corporate sponsors and individual donors who support the programme. Click here to find out more.

Related Pages


Paul Hughes, General Manager, BBC Symphony Orchestra: Since 1979 when I won the RPS composition prize this amazing organisation has been part of my life, placing music at the heart of modern life.


An early Philharmonic superstar was the virtuoso double bassist Domenico Dragonetti. He brought his dog Carlo to performances, and commanded higher fees than almost any other player.