Current Recipients

RPS Composition Prize winners were selected in June 2017 by composers Unsuk Chin, Zoë Martlew and Param Vir.

Bethan Morgan-Williams

Commission: chamber work, Cheltenham Festival 2018 (supported by the Susan Bradshaw Composers' Fund)

Bethan Morgan-Williams (b.1992) is a Manchester-based composer of instrumental, vocal and electronic music. An inventive composer, finding motivation through a simple urge to provide performers with new and exciting music, she gained a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) under Gary Carpenter & Lelend Chen in 2010.

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Laurence Osborn

Commission: chamber work, Music in the Round 2018 (supported by the Garrick Charitable Trust)

Laurence Osborn (b. 1989) read Music at Hertford College, Oxford, studying Composition with Martyn Harry and Martin Suckling, and graduating with a 1st in 2011. He then studied for an MMus in Composition with Kenneth Hesketh at the Royal College of Music, London, supported by an RVW Trust Scholarship and graduating with Distinction in 2013.


Commission: chamber work, Philharmonia Orchestra, Music of Today 2018

Freya Waley Cohen’s music has been performed in the Sage Gateshead, St John’s Smith Square, The Barbican Centre as part of the Sound Unbound weekend, The British Film Institute, The National Portrait Gallery, The National Maritime Museum and at Aldeburgh, Tanglewood, Dartington, Cheltenham, St Magnus, Ryedale and Spitalfields festivals.

Eugene Birman

Commission: chamber work, Philharmonia Orchestra, Music of Today 2018

A composer of music of "high drama" and "intense emotion" (BBC), "at once, ingenious, hypnotic, brave, and beautiful” (Festival Internazionale A.F. Lavagnino), Eugene Birman has written for symphony orchestras (London Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra), choirs (BBC Singers, Latvian Radio Choir, Eric Ericsons Kammarkör), and leading ensembles and soloists.

Emmanuel Charalabopoulos

Commission: chamber work for the Presteigne Festival 2018 (RPS / Presteigne Festival Alan Horne Memorial commission)

Manos Charalabopoulos is a Greek-British composer, pianist and teacher. His compositions generally focus on the exploration of harmony and its relationship to formal narrative. Read more

Austin Leung

Commission: chamber work, Philharmonia Orchestra, Music of Today 2018

In 2008, Austin Leung was awarded a half scholarship to study in the University of Hong Kong, majoring in Medical Engineering. In his second year of study, he occasionally joined the university choir which served as the enlightenment of his music journey. Being inspired deeply, he started learning and practising music for around 6 hours a day. Two years later, he acquired his first ABRSM Grade 5 and Grade 8 certificates in both violin and music theory.

Related Pages


Humphrey Burton, first head of Music and Arts, BBC; founder/presenter of Young Musician of the Year and joint founder of the RPS Music Awards in 1989.


The cost of a bassoon for a young player starting their professional training is about £15,000. The RPS John Barbirolli Fund offers much needed financial assistance with instrument purchase.