Every year, the RPS is able to support a cohort of composers through its RPS Composers programme, providing vocational support and a paid commission with a professional venue, ensemble or festival.
While we can only offer a limited number of places each year, we want to be as helpful to as many composers as we can, and are pleased to signpost other funds and opportunities.
We aim to keep this list as up-to-date and useful as possible. Should you come across any funds or opportunities for composers based in the UK that are not listed on this page, please do get in touch with us and we'll be happy to add them.
What is listed below is largely for professional composers, not students, but at the end you will find a few worthwhile opportunities for composers aged 18 and under.
Help Musicians UK’s Funding Wizard is a brilliant device, not just for composers but for all musicians, that invites you to input details of what support you are looking for and instantly presents a range of opportunities that may be available to you.
Similarly, Sound and Music offer their own directory of opportunities for composers on their website which can be filtered by type, location and genre/interest. They also provide a useful Toolkit, designed to give composers and sound artists information and advice on how to build and sustain a career in the music industry.
The Composers Wellbeing Collective aim to provide an impartial 'safe space', where composers can share their experiences and receive professional and peer based support and raise awareness of the issues they face within the industry.
The Incorporated Society of Musicians offers a range of resources, legal advice and templates for composers, available to ISM Members, along with the following packs which are freely available on their website:
- Arts Council England - Developing Your Creative Practice
Supporting the development of independent creative practitioners, offering grants of £2,000 to £10,000 to take a dedicated period of time to focus on their own creative development.
- Arts Council England - National Lottery Project Grants
Offering funds to independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers.
- The Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust
Providing support to young musicians at the start of their careers; for composers, this can include commissioning of new works and making initial recordings.
- The Countess of Munster Musical Trust - Stephen Oliver Award
A grant of up to £5,000 awarded to a composer for a work of music theatre, principally to assist with the cost of bringing that work to performance.
- Creative Scotland - Open Project Funding
Grants of £1,000 to £150,000 open to individual artists, creative practitioners, and groups in Scotland, supporting a wide range of musical activity.
- The Finzi Trust - Grant Giving
Offers a range of assistance to musicians including composers for 'music performance, music publication, books on music, music festivals, and furthering musical education (excluding full time courses)'.
- The Finzi Trust - Finzi Scholarships
Up to £5,000 of funding towards projects with a ‘musical foundation’ - notably you don't need specific musical qualifications or experience to apply.
- Help Musicians UK - Fusion Fund
Grants of £2,000 to £5,000 for professional musicians undertaking UK-based musical projects that develop and test new ideas and involve collaboration across art forms and other disciplines such as with storytellers, choreographers, theatre-makers and visual artists.
- Help Musicians UK - Do It Differently Fund
Grants of £500 to £3,000 to fund professional development opportunities and creative projects for independent, entrepreneurial music creators building their careers.
- Help Musicians UK - Transmission Fund
Offering grants of £500 to £1,500 to fund opportunities that focus on developing creative practice and furthering your professional development at a crucial point in your career.
- The Hinrichsen Foundation
Offers funding to support the performance of contemporary music, including the commissioning of new work, non-commercial recordings and publication.
- PRS Foundation - The Composers' Fund
Grants of up to £10,000 to help composers in any regard who are already making a considerable cultural contribution in their careers.
- PRS Foundation - The Open Fund for Music Creators
Grants of up to £5,000 for outstanding UK-based composers of any genre and background, and at different stages of their career.
- PRS Foundation - Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award
A grant of up to £1,500 to assist you with creative goals, career development, and mentoring from an experienced artist.
- PRS Foundation - Women Make Music
Grants to support the development of outstanding women, trans and non-binary composers of all genres and backgrounds at different stages in their career.
- The RVW Trust - General Funding
For professional British composers (established or entering the profession) who have not yet achieved a broad national reputation.
- Sound and Music - The Francis Chagrin Award
For UK-based composers looking for a ‘quick top-up’ to get them to the next stage in creating a new work. Support can includes costs towards copying, preparing scores, new kit and studio time.
- Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - Composers’ Day
An event inviting composers from across the UK to submit unpublished works for selection by a lead composer to be workshopped by either the BSO or Kokoro, BSO’s new music ensemble.
- Cheltenham Music Festival - Composer Academy
As part of the Festival, the Academy offers eight early-career composers the chance to have their compositions workshopped, performed and recorded.
- Dartington Music - Summer School and Festival
Running for four weeks every summer, Dartington has a very inclusive and interactive ethos, with concurrent courses for all ages and abilities of music makers, including composers.
- Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival - Fielding Talent
A range of opportunities at one of the world's foremost festivals of new music, giving composers and music creators the chance to gain experience and expertise, build networks and raise their profile.
- London Philharmonic Orchestra - Young Composers Programme
Participants get the chance to develop a chamber work with LPO musicians across the year, leading to a public performance at Southbank Centre.
- London Sinfonietta - Writing the Future
An opportunity to work with and write for a group of up to six musicians from one of the UK's leading contemporary music ensembles.
- London Symphony Orchestra - LSO Jerwood Composer+
16-month placement for two early-career composers to build experience in planning and delivering chamber-scale concerts.
- London Symphony Orchestra - Panufnik Composers Scheme
Over the course of a year, six composers who have not yet had chance to have their works performed by an orchestra of this scale are mentored by professional composers, developing their orchestral writing skills, leading to a short composition performed by the LSO.
- London Symphony Orchestra - LSO Soundhub
An opportunity for composers to lead a project with a small group of LSO players.
- Making Music - Adopt-a-Composer
A scheme which pairs composers with amateur choirs, orchestras, and ensembles for one year to collaborate in the creation of new work lasting around 10 minutes.
- National Youth Choirs of Great Britain - Young Composers Scheme
A year-long scheme which develops four composers aged 18-29, through workshops, mentoring and performance.
- The Night With… - Call for scores
A concert series of new music in informal settings across Scotland, with commissions from early-career composers.
- Nonclassical - Associate Composers Scheme
Open to unsigned and unpublished artists, the scheme offers at least one paid commission for a Nonclassical event, the chance to curate a Nonclassical club night, feature on an EP release, take part in workshops and receive mentorship.
- Psappha Ensemble - Composing For…
Supporting early-career composers interested in learning more about writing for a specific instrument.
- Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Christopher Brooks Composition Prize
Opportunity to write a chamber work for the orchestra's Ensemble 10/10, with a £1,000 commission and mentoring from the organisation.
- Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Composers’ Hub
A year-long programme for early-career composers at any age. Participants write a 7-10 minute piece for the full symphony orchestra and a 2-3 minute piece for small ensembles.
- Britten Pears Arts - Young Artist Programme
Courses for early-career composers with no upper age limit, led by high-profile musicians.
- Sound and Music - Composer-Curator
Support for composers and music creators from an expert team in both planning and delivering creative projects.
- Sound and Music - New Voices
An 18-month programme for 8 composer that comprises coaching, mentoring and a financial grant to develop your compositional voice and create a new work.
- Sound and Music - Pathways
A bespoke residency for composers who either have disabilities or are from non-White backgrounds.
- Southbank Centre - Composers’ Collective
An opportunity for composers at all stages of their careers to network and socialise together, attend open rehearsals, workshops and panel discussions.
- Wild Plum Arts - Made at The Red House
A fully-catered summer retreat at Benjamin Britten's Suffolk home for a cohort of composers to develop current work at their own pace.
Opportunities for composers aged 18 and under
- BBC Proms - Inspire Competition
- Birmingham Contemporary Music Group - Zigzag Ensemble and Creative Composing Lab
- Britten Sinfonia - Academy Composer Hub
- National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain - NYO Composers and Creative Hub
- Royal Scottish National Orchestra – Notes from Scotland
- sound Festival - Get Composing and Go Compose!