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 provide a variety of information about opportunities and guidance on applying.
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.
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 Independent 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 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)'.
- Help Musicians UK - Record and Release
Grants of up to £3,000, plus one-to-one business advice sessions and personal health consultation with BAPAM, to help musicians record and release their music.
- Help Musicians UK - Skills and Professional Development
Offering grants of up to £1,500 to help you enhance your skills or artistic practice.
- 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 £15,000 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.
- Vaughan Williams Foundation - 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 grant of up to £500 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.
- The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation
Offering grants of up to £4,000 to fund creative activity, group music making, or projects that involve young people in the process of composing and the development of creative ideas.
- 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
Participants have 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 Music Creator
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
A year-long scheme for 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.
- Philharmonia - Composers' Academy
Opportunity to write a chamber work for Philharmonia players to be performed live at London's Southbank Centre and recorded, with a £3,000 commission fee
- Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Rushworth 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.
- 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.
- The Alternative Conservatoire
A multi-disciplined course with a focus on developing an artistic voice through developing their own project, mentor guidance, creative leadership, collaborative practices, immersive workshops and a craft drawn from many cultures.