Every year, we announce a cohort of composers who we will support in the year ahead, giving them a commission, premiere, and a series of professional development sessions to help them develop the confidence, contacts and skills to pursue further commissions and premieres of their own.
Each has their own dedicated page on our website where you can read more about them and listen to some of their music. We particularly invite programmers and commissioners to take a closer look at their work, and please be in touch with us if you would like to connect with them. Our 2024 RPS Composers are:
Aileen Sweeney - writing for Music in the Round. Aileen is a composer whose music is rooted in the traditional Scottish folk music she grew up with learning the accordion. Her music is often influenced by her interests in fields such as cosmology, nature, folk music and folklore!
Anjelica Cleaver - writing for Wigmore Hall. Anjelica uses music to create community and change. She aspires to the ideal of the artist as activist. Her work is often a meditation on the philosophical, the spiritual and the political, and on stage she encourages the audience to dream of new worlds free from oppression. As a Resident Artist at St George’s hospital in Tooting, she has used music and composing to help bring joy and relief to patients and staff.
Fergus Hall - writing for The Hermes Experiment. His creative practice is concerned with how a musician can act as a creative facilitator, constructing frameworks within which musical interactions can take place. Fergus is also active as a music educator, both teaching piano and as a conductor with the Inverclyde Music Service.
James Albany Hoyle - writing for Presteigne Festival. James has recently completed his doctoral research at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, investigating time and temporality through musical composition. He is committed to supporting the next generations of young composers, teaching composition at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Jasper Dommett - writing for Hebrides Ensemble. Embracing a sense of uniqueness has, over many years, become a source of pride for Jasper. Lately, they've been exploring these feelings in their music, finding poetic connections and using them to create emotionally charged works. Their journey has been all about experimenting, innovating, and pushing the boundaries of what's possible.
Sun Keting - writing for Cheltenham Music Festival. Keting's artistic vision is deeply rooted in her passion for merging diverse musical styles and traditions, resulting in truly distinctive and captivating experiences for audiences. Her compositions predominantly focus on the performing arts and instrumental sound exploration, drawing inspiration from Eastern cultural, spiritual, and philosophical elements.
Sarah Frances Jenkins - writing for The Marian Consort. Sarah strives to use the different facets of her musical identity to nurture meaningful connections and collaborations and to communicate with as wide a range of people as possible. Heavily influenced by the natural world, she is driven to create striking, atmospheric and immersive sound worlds that ebb, flow and mutate.
Since its foundation in 1813, the RPS has continually supported composers and brought new music to the stage. In its early years, it was central in establishing a repertory that remains much-loved today. It commissioned Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and supported the young Mendelssohn in his early twenties, commissioning his popular ‘Italian’ Symphony.
Ever since, the RPS has strived to help composers whose voices deserve to be heard, including our annual programme for composers like those above, setting out to make a career for themselves. Establishing yourself as a professional composer is especially difficult. It doesn’t just take remarkable talent: it takes great confidence, initiative and imagination to create opportunities for yourself.
As detailed above, each of these composers receives a commission from the RPS and a performance with a noted British ensemble, venue or festival. To achieve this, we are indebted to our 2024 partner organisations:
Cheltenham Music Festival, Hebrides Ensemble, The Hermes Experiment, The Marian Consort, Music in the Round, Presteigne Festival, and Wigmore Hall.
The composers begin writing new music for them from January. Around this, we embark together on a series of professional development sessions to further their practical understanding of how the profession works and meet valuable contacts. We help them plan their next steps and individual objectives, and build the profile and confidence to promote themselves and their music. In this, we are hugely grateful to Schott Music and a range of guest session leaders who will be sharing their expertise.
Our thanks to the range of donors who support our work here including RPS Members, Delius Trust, The Fidelio Charitable Trust, Presteigne Festival, PRS Foundation's The Open Fund, the Radcliffe Trust, the Susan Bradshaw Composers' Fund, the Vaughan Williams Foundation and several anonymous donors.
Please consider supporting our work by becoming an RPS Member. Every subscription helps us to help musicians and composers at key stages in their careers, ensuring classical music continues to thrive for years to come. Find out more here.